“You’ll regret it one day.”
“Wait until you have a reason to get one.”
“You won’t get a job.”
Tattoos and piercings have been viewed as trashy, dirty and inferior in the past. Thanks to the millennial generation, pushing the rest of the world to open their minds, tattoos and piercings are becoming increasingly accepted.
I myself, have had double piercings in my ears and I have a single tattoo on my ankle. I got my first piercings when I was in second grade, and then my doubles in fifth grade. (Unfortunately, I can only wear white gold because of a discovered metal allergy, so I rarely wear my earrings anymore).
The weekend before I graduated high school I got my first tattoo. It’s a sea turtle that somewhat resembles a flower. The first time my older brother saw it, all he said was, “What’s up, Fred?” so ever since then everyone has known my adorable little sea turtle as Fred.
Piercings don’t get nearly as bad of a rap as tattoos do. However, there is still some controversy in the piercing world. Today, I’m answering some of your questions about tattoos and piercings. Those I don’t feel credible answering, I found someone who was.
Does it hurt to get your ears pierced?
Being completely honest, yes. But the pain is not unbearable. Your ear will burn and throb for about five minutes, and then it will just feel hot and uncomfortable for about an hour. The area that was pierced will feel bruised for a couple of days but again – it’s really not that bad.
How much does it cost?
All depends on the kind of piercing, the jewelry and where you go! You have to pay to have the piercing done, but then you also must pay for the earrings, or the piece itself. I know if you go to Claire’s it can be as cheap as $20.
How long does it take?
For ear piercings – not long at all! They’ll talk you through the procedure, load up the piercing “gun”, swab the area being pierced, line up the holes and boom! It’s done. 5-10 minutes. Belly button piercings take anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Nose piercings typically take about 20-30 minutes. With belly buttons and noses they’re using a threaded needle so it might take an extra sec!
Will I hear the “popping” noise?
With the piercing gun, they have to “click” the gun, so the click drowns out any “popping noise.” If a piercing gun is not being used, you may hear a popping noise. It’s nothing bad – I promise!
If I get my belly button pierced, will my stomach look weird if I’m pregnant?
It completely depends on the person. Some will get really bad stretch marks that are bright red, while others will just turn into a little red slit that is hardly noticeable. It all depends on the person and your genetics.
As I mentioned before, I have one tattoo, my sea turtle, Fred, who chills out on my ankle.
Can you spot Fred?
Funny story for you: I had wanted a tattoo for as long as I could remember. When I turned eighteen in November of my senior year, I held off because my private school had a strict “no tattoos” policy. When I returned from my senior spring break (I went to Panama City Beach, Florida) my Mom stood in the kitchen and asked me where my tattoo was.
Confused, I responded, “What?”
My Mom had been certain I was coming home with a tattoo after spring break. (I ended getting one about a month later, but in a clean and trusted facility!)
Now let’s dive into some common questions about tattoos.
Will I struggle finding a job because of my tattoo?
Some workplaces do prohibit tattoos. But at the very least, they will just want to make sure you are willing to cover it up. Personally, I would never want to work for a place such as that. Unless your tattoo is crude or offensive, I don’t see the problem with art on your skin. (Side note: I had an internship with what I would consider a very “conservative” company and they allowed my tattoo to be shown at all times. Several of their employees also sported tattoos on their ankles, shoulders and arms).
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Yes. The outline will hurt because it’s a duller needle. When they fill it in, you barely feel anything. The pain feels like pressure and a bee sting but it’s honestly not that bad. HOWEVER, the pain threshold is different depending on which part of your body is being done. My ankle has thin skin, so I felt a bit of pain. But my friend who went with me got her ribs tattooed and she said the pain was awful.
Other people don’t like my tattoo idea…should I get it anyways?
Many people will try to dissuade you from getting a tattoo by asking, “What does it mean to you?” Ignore them. This is about you. So, firstly, ask yourself: How long have I wanted this tattoo for? If you just found the design, I suggest waiting three months. If you still want it, get it. But definitely don’t let other people get in your head. It’s your body and your decision.
How much does a tattoo cost?
It depends on where you go, what part of the body and how big the tattoo is. If you want a sleeve, it’s probably going to be $1500, but you’re going to need several different sessions with the artist. My turtle cost me $50 and that is including a $10 tip. My friends was $40, including a $10 tip. Don’t forget to tip your artist!
Also, major WARNING. Please do your research and find a reputable place with artists who know what they’re doing. After all, this is permanent. You don’t want anyone messing up your design and you definitely don’t want dirty needles in your skin. So take your time and find a shop that’s right for you. (I drove 40 minutes to get mine done) This goes for tattoos and piercings!
Do you have to go back and get tattoos redone?
Yeah, eventually. I’m a junior in college now, so it’s been about three years. My turtle is still going strong. In a couple of years I’ll probably go get him touched up. The ink will never disappear, but it can begin to fade. How fast they fade depends on the placement of the tattoo on your body. Something on your ankle will probably fade faster than a tattoo on your ribs.
Are people going to look at me differently?
Be prepared because they will. Not everyone, but some. Unfortunately, much of our world is still close minded and tattoos can still be stereotyped as “trashy.” But people will come around. My conservative family was actually upset with me for getting a tattoo, but now everyone absolutely loves it and always asks, “How’s Fred?” Be patient and true to yourself. People will come around.
Personally, I would never attempt to dissuade someone from getting tattoos and piercings. My only suggestion is to be patient, make sure the art/jewelry you have selected is what you wanted (remember tattoos are permanent), find a trustworthy parlor and go for it. Stop worrying about what other people would thing. Be your own person and make your own decisions (as long as you finance these decisions).
Pierce whatever you want and get tattoos of whatever you want wherever you want! If you’re worried about looking back on them and regretting it when you’re older – stop. My theory is, I will be able to look at those tattoos and smile at the memory of getting it. If one day, I find Fred absolutely repulsive or he gets stretched out, I know for a fact I will NOT care. I will smile and remember how young, free and happy I was when I got him. Tattoos and piercings are SWEET.