What Does Getting a Tattoo Feel Like?
The first thing that comes into mind when one thinks about getting a tattoo is the feeling of it being applied to their body. But there are many other things which come into play while having a tattoo done. So before deciding whether or not to get a tattoo, it would be wise to know all the different aspects involved with it.
Tattoos are permanent, but they do have some limitations. There are various types of tattoos which include:
• Tattoo Removal – If you want to remove your tattoo, then it will cost you money. You may need to go to a professional shop for this purpose. Also, if you don’t want any kind of ink on your skin anymore after getting a tattoo removal procedure, then you may opt for this option too.
• Tattoo Removal Procedures – If you want to get rid of your tattoo permanently, then you may opt for this option. This involves taking out the tattoo from your body completely. However, there are certain procedures which will not allow you to do so.
These procedures include laser treatment and electrolysis treatments.
• Black Market Tattooing – If you are a bit of rebel at heart and don’t care about the government regulations about tattoos, then you may search for underground or black market tattooers. These black market tattooers offer cheap services at their own discretion. However, they may not be licensed professionals and they may not use sterile needles either.
The procedure for getting a tattoo is not as easy as it seems to be. There are different factors to consider during the procedure of getting inked. These factors include:
• The Intricacies and Complexities of the Tattoo Design – Most people prefer to have the tattoo design on their skin to be simple. However, the simpler the design is, the more times the tattoo artist has to puncture your skin with the needle. After all, they need to fill up an entire space on your body unless you get a very small and simple tattoo design of course.
As a result of this, people with simple tattoo designs may need to visit the tattoo artist more than once or twice before the design is completed. Of course, the more times you go to the tattoo artist to have the same design completed, the more money you will end up spending.
However, there are also people who want very complex and intricate designs on their skin. Although the tattoo artist does not need to use as many needles on your skin, the time it will take to complete such a tattoo may end up taking a very long time.
So before going to the tattoo parlor to have your tattoo done, you must first think about the intricacies of the design that you want on your body. This way you can plan how much money you will be willing to spend and also how much time you are willing to wait before the tattoo is completed.
If you are going to a professional tattoo artist rather than getting your tattoo from the black market where these rules may not apply, then be prepared to spend a lot of money and time.
While you are considering all these factors, you must also consider the location of where you want the tattoo to be. Certain parts of your body will be easier to tattoo than others. As a result, areas like your arms and legs will have simpler designs than say your neck or back.
If you are considering a very complex design for your back or chest then it may take a very long time before the tattoo is completed since most professional tattoo artists will not want to spend that much time on just one tattoo.
Tattoo Myths and Truths
Like any other form of art, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding tattoos and people who have them. In this chapter we will try to clear up some of these common misconceptions about tattoos.
Tattoos and Pain
One of the biggest misconceptions about tattoos is that people mistakenly believe that they are very painful. This misconception may be due to scenes in movies where people get tattoos and they scream in agony. In movies, they also use a lot of exaggeration when it comes to scenes like these and that is probably the reason why many people think that getting a tattoo is extremely painful.
Of course, like with most things in life, getting a tattoo is going to have a little bit of pain to it. However, contrary to popular belief, the pain that you feel from getting a tattoo is not usually all that bad. It really just depends on the person who is getting inked and how big or small the tattoo is.
There are tons of different things that can affect the sensation of pain that a person feels when getting a tattoo. Things like your mental attitude, your pain threshold, what you had for dinner, the artist who is doing the tattooing, the atmosphere of the tattoo parlor and many other little things can all have an effect on how much pain you feel.
The bigger the tattoo, the longer it takes and the more it is going to hurt. The smaller the tattoo, the less it is going to hurt. Also, a person who has a higher pain threshold will feel more pain than somebody who has a lower pain threshold.
There are ways to lessen the pain of getting a tattoo though, but we will get into that later on in this book.
Tattoos and Psychos
Another common misconception about tattoos is that people with tattoos are psychos or criminals. Of course, this is not always the case as there are many perfectly normal people with tattoos.
People often associate tattoos with psychos and criminals because members of these groups often have them. There is a good reason for this misconception though and that is due to the fact that getting a tattoo in prison is very easy to do and the equipment and technology has been readily available for a long time.
Also, members of these groups tend to have a very high pain threshold and are often looking for ways to test themselves which makes them want to get tattoos in the first place. So naturally a higher percentage of them are going to have tattoos.
The more common criminals and psychos that you see with tattoos often have these tattoos for certain reasons as well. Many of them get tattoos with their fellow gang member’s names or their own to show that they are part of a group.
Criminals and gang members also get tattoos of symbols or words that have special meaning to them. These can be anything from the name of their crime group, a childhood nickname, a crime or prison code and many more.
Many also use tattoos to intimidate others or to show that they are not someone to be messed with. A lot of people have tattoos that are often associated with psychos such as skulls, knives, horror images and anything else that can be used in a threatening way.
People often associate tattoos with these groups and hence they get the misconception that everyone with a tattoo is either in a gang or a criminal. While this may be true in some cases, it certainly is not true in all cases and you will always find exceptions to any rule.
All in all, tattoos have been around for a very long time and probably will continue to be around for a very long time. They have gone in and out of popularity throughout the years and sometimes heavily associated with certain groups, but they have never lost respect as an art form and for many people, their personal expression.
How Did Tattoos Come To Be?
Tattoos have been around for centuries among many different cultures. The method in which tattoos were made and the designs used have differed from culture to culture but the basic concept remains the same.
The word tattoo is believed to have come from the “tapa” which was a Polynesian word for “stab” and the “tu” which was the indigenous Fijian language word for “to strike”. This combined word refers to the act of pricking the skin repeatedly to place dark ink into the skin which is what tattooing is.
The very first tattoos are believed to have been done for religious or magical reasons. Tattooing was used as a way of showing either someone’s strength and bravery or in some cases it was used as a form of punishment. For instance, in the Borneo culture if someone committed a crime they would be sentenced to have a tattoo placed on their face.
In the Island South Pacific cultures, tattoos were used to protect fisherman and sailors who spent extensive periods of time at sea. By getting religious and magical symbols tattooed on them they believed that the tough tattoo images would act as a sort of armor against harm.
Tattoos became very popular among Sailors and Mariner’s in many different cultures. They were popular mainly becasue it served as a type of identification. If a sailor lost several fingers in a battle or an accident, they could still reliably identify their shipmates by their tattoos.
The Military has also embraced tattooing among it’s soldiers for the exact same reason. Tattooing has also been embraced by certain cultures for ornamental reasons mostly among high ranking or experienced members of that society.
Tattoos have been embraced by many different cultures for many different reasons and it has become a beautiful art form.
What Do Tattoos Really Represent?
Many people have different perceptions of tattoos. Some people think that everyone with tattoos are dangerous criminals or sexual deviants. While that may be true for some, it certainly is not true for all.
The oldest and perhaps most common type of tattoo is the symbolic tattoo. These types of tattoos have symbols or sayings that are related to a person’s life. In some cultures, they hold a deeper meaning recognized by everyone while in others they may be more for personal reasons.
Tribal tattoos are very similar to symbolic tattoos except that they often use images instead of words or symbols. Some tribal tattoos, especially those of the Pacific Island cultures, have deep and intricate designs. Other tribal tattoos, such as some of the Native American tattoos, are much simpler and contain images related to nature or animals.
Animals have long been a part of tattooing in many cultures because of their significance. Animal tattoos can hold different meanings depending on the culture. In some cultures, animal tattoos may be related to the religious beliefs of the people who practice it.
One of the most common types of tattooing nowadays is the use of pin-ups and pop culture figures. While in the past, pin-ups and pop culture figures were not considered “classy” enough to be tattooed on a person, that has changed dramatically. Nowadays, pin-ups and pop culture figures make up the largest part of any tattoo shop’s work.
These types of tattoos can range from cartoon characters to movie stars to singers.
Among all types of tattoos, these types are probably the most controversial because many people believe that getting one makes you less of a person. This is obviously not true because people get tattooed for different reasons, whether it be because they like how it looks or they identify with the symbolism.
Tattoos have been around for a long time and continue to stay around. From the beginning of its inception, people have been getting tattoos for different reasons and the art continues to thrive.
Sources & references used in this article:
Process and Meaning in’Getting a Tattoo’ by C Goulding, J Follett, M Saren… – ACR North American …, 2004 – acrwebsite.org
Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask by J Dunn – 2009 – books.google.com
Getting inked: Tattoo and risky behavioral involvement among university students by KA King, RA Vidourek – The Social Science Journal, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
“My Body is My Journal, and My Tattoos are My Story”: South African Psychology Students’ Reflections on Tattoo Practices by L Naudé, J Jordaan, L Bergh – Current Psychology, 2019 – Springer