Style

The Edition: No. 33

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  — Martin Luther King Jr.

Sucked. He’s not a work colleague, he’s an emotional vampire.

Strutted. I’m ready for the wider leg jeans comeback.  I bought these white WHBM slim flares and these AG Wasteland flares.

Hitched. Do men marry for love or when the timing is right?

Wrapped. I’m calling it, maxi-length wrap dresses are my go to late spring look.  I also love this Express floral wrap in an earthy green.

Insulted. Why able-bodied people need to stop calling those with disabilities inspiring.

Collared. This spectacularly large necklace ($29) really jazzes up a basic sweater.

Paid. For April, Career Contessa is hosting Equal Pay, Me month.  Check it out!

Frocked. I need a dress for a spring wedding: I’m choosing between this WHBM stunner and this pink off-the-shoulder Adelyn Rae.

Learned. Moms discuss the most surprising things about motherhood.

Scented. I found this awesome new fragrance brand, Atelier Cologne.  I couldn’t decide which scent I loved more (Bergamote, Madarine, Pomelo), so I bought this sample kit so I can try them all.

Rebranded. How poverty got a rebrand, and why  privilege begets the frugality craze.

Arrived. Did you see SJP did a collection for Gap? Pick up this gingham shirtdress and floral midi-dress before they sell out.

 

On Monday, we had an interesting discussion about second-ear piercings.  Today, let’s chat about tattoos.  I don’t have any.  Mostly because I’m terrified of needles.  But every couple of years, I toy with the idea of getting one.  Maybe to prove that I’m still “young enough” to do that sort of thing.

So here are the questions: Do you have one?  Do you still love it or maybe regret it a bit? Has anyone ever been surprised to learn that you have a tattoo?  Or has anyone ever had a problem with it?

{image found here; featured image by Jared Ropelato; this post contains affiliate links}

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    33 comments

  1. Niki says:

    I have one tattoo and want another one. My current one is not in a place that is visible any time other than when I have a bikini on or am sans clothes. The second one also would not be visible in any of my work outfits and probably also only when in a bikini/naked. My tattoo is for me and only me. It has significance to me (as will the second one). I don’t need to prove that I am a cool “older” lady! 🙂

    I do not regret mine at all, 15 years later.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  2. raq says:

    I have a few (small) tattoos and while I don’t ‘regret’ them, if I didn’t have any now I wouldn’t get any (if that makes sense).

    I say go for the second or third ear piercing! I had a cartilage piercing in my late teens and took it out in college. I’m now thinking of doing it again!

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  3. Christa says:

    I have one tattoo of a neuron (brain cell) on my back that I got to celebrate the completion of my undergraduate thesis (on brain cells, har har) and the end of my first year of medical school. I feel about it now the same way I feel about cloths – external expressions of my identity were really important to me when I was younger, and now I prefer my external presentation to be neutral or a blank canvas. I want people to notice my words and my actions to form their judgments. I still like the tattoo and the time in my life that it reminds me of, but I won’t get another one any time soon because I just express myself differently now.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
    • Betsy says:

      That’s exactly why I don’t have a tattoo – I want to stay flexible with my external expression. Plus, it’s not my thing. But if you want one…go for it. Same with the second piercing. If you think you will regret not doing it, you definitely should.

      I live in Austin, and I am the absolute minority when it comes to tattoos. When we go to other cities, my small children comment that “nobody has tattoos here.”

      April 6, 2018/Reply
      • Anna says:

        When I think about what I liked and even really who I was ten years ago, I can’t even fathom how I will change in the next ten years. I know myself enough to know that while I might not regret getting a tattoo, I certainly won’t like it as much or really any aesthetic decision I make now decades down the line. Most of my friends who’ve gotten tattoos, even in their college days, don’t regret it. I just know it’s not for me.

        April 7, 2018/Reply
  4. Jo says:

    So curious to see how you style the flares! I just got a pair of boot-cuts that are wider than any other jeans I have, and I’m struggling with them.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  5. Nicole says:

    I waited until I was 37 to get my first tattoo, and I love it. It’s on the inside of my wrist and can easily be covered by a bracelet or long sleeve, but I’ve never intentionally covered it and have had no pushback from my law firm employers (though we are on the west coast *and* are exceptionally casual). Amusingly, before I had one, a couple friends had expressed surprise that I *didn’t* already have any.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
    • Catherine says:

      Southern east-coast lawyer, also with a wrist tattoo. I love it – it’s my personal motto, covered easily with a watch for court, and most people have to be told about it to notice. It’s just for me, and I love it.
      I spent a spent a year thinking about it and using an ink pen to temporarily write an approximation of the tattoo on my wrist. After a year, I got it. I’m thinking of another tattoo that would be bigger and might get the Inkbox temporary tattoo ink to live with the idea for a bit. The temporary tattoos from the company are great, and a good way to see if you like the actual look and feel of a tattoo or if it’s a temporary itch.

      April 6, 2018/Reply
  6. Duchessbelle says:

    I have three tattoos and still enjoy them all. One on my hip, one ankle, one top of foot. I am very not edgy so years back I think some people were surprised I had multiple but they’re so mainstream now it doesn’t seem to matter. (Am 36 now). I may get more, I have ideas but nothing that I feel like I have to have. The only comment I ever got was from my dad about the one on my foot but if I’m ever on an interview or super formal work event it’s easy enough to wear boots or pants. They’ve never been a problem at work, even when I was an analyst on the Pennsylvania house floor. As far as pain goes, unless you’re getting it on a super sensitive area (ribs), the sensation feels like when you skin your knee, mildly abraded but nothing major.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  7. e says:

    I also have only one tattoo, which I got in my mid-twenties and is not visible unless I’m in a bathing suit. It’s a design I had wanted in that spot for over a year (that was my rule!). It’s on my back which means in 10+ years I have not gotten sick out of it and still sort of get a kick out of it when I see it in the mirror after a shower.

    If you have something in mind, I say go for it! Having mine in a spot that is not visible, even to me, helps me not be hyper-critical of it, or of my body around it, if any of that makes sense!

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  8. Martha says:

    Thank you for including the article about not calling disabled people inspiring. I’m blind, and everything she mentioned happens to me. Something else to add when thinking about disabled people is respect boundaries, don’t grab, and ask if we need assistance instead of assuming the best way to help. People, instead of using words or letting me point when I am asking for directions, grab me by the arm, push my back, put their hands around my waist, lift my cane, or grab my service dog’s harness, and then they are offended when I pull or push their hands away. I don’t want to be touched by strangers any more than you do, so please just ask or say you don’t know the info.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
    • e says:

      Thanks to Belle for sharing the post and to Martha on the insight on how to be more supportive of her community!

      April 6, 2018/Reply
    • Tai says:

      As an accomplished female blind attorney, I echo Martha’s comments. it is demeaning to constantly be treated like this. I am often treated like a child, and there is simply no need for that. I am really tired of the disabled person as inspiration trope. thank you, Belle, for posting this article.

      April 6, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I saw this video a few years ago. Stella Young’s thoughts on the topic really changed my feelings on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxrS7-I_sMQ

      April 6, 2018/Reply
      • Tai says:

        I love Stella’s message. We lost her too soon.

        April 6, 2018/Reply
  9. Jessica says:

    I have 4 tattoos and got my first one 9 years ago. I love all of them. All but 1 are completely hidden when I wear regular clothes or even a 1 piece bathing suit. My latest one is on my left forearm and it is my most daring one yet and is a decent size. Many people have made comments about it but they were all compliments, not a single negative comment or even an indication that someone didn’t like it. I do have to say though, all of my tattoos have a meaning to me. I didn’t just pick one out of a book at the tattoo studio, and I think that makes a big difference when it comes to regretting/not regretting them later in life.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  10. Melissa says:

    I have three tattoos. The first, a small dove on my shoulder, I got when I was about 18. The second, a symbol on the back of my neck was about a year later. The third, two serpents coiled together, is on my lower back. I’m 41 now, and while I wouldn’t say I regret them, I do wish I’d been a more informed tattoo consumer.
    Basically I don’t wish I didn’t have tattoos, I wish I had better tattoos. The first, the bird, is basically line art, and as it’s received the most sun is a little blurry. I’m considering having it covered with a shoulder cap. The symbol on my neck is small, but achingly 90s (it’s the Chinese symbol for dragon). I don’t see it, when my hair is long it’s concealed, and it definitely is a huge marker of that time in my life, so whatever, it’s fine. The one on my lower back I got about 8 months before the term ‘tramp stamp’ hit the mainstream, and dear god, do I wish I’d had it placed elsewhere. Also, I had an artist colleague do a rough drawing of what I wanted, thinking that the tattoo artist would stylize it. Nope. It’s a little rough. Removal would be REALLY expensive, so I’m considering having it reworked.
    For anyone considering a tattoo I’d suggest really considering placement, avoiding trends (including the watercolour style tattoos that are gorgeous, but don’t hold up well), and doing ALL THE HOMEWORK finding the right artist. It is worth getting on a list and waiting a loooong time for the right artist. They’re expensive and around for the long haul, so time and cost shouldn’t be your determining factors.
    And read Roald Dahl’s Skin. Excellent story.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
    • Stephanie says:

      Somewhat similarly, I got 4 Chinese symbols down my spine (right between my shoulder blades) when I was 18, and paid about $100. It peaked out over the top of my shirts, so I would always get questions about it, and I started to really regret it just a few years later. Fast-forward 10 years, and I just got the symbols covered with a bunch of beautiful flowers; my coverup cost $2,000 and took 2 months. I wish I’d never gotten the old one in the first place, but I love the new tattoo so much more because I really thought about it, waited to make sure I could commit to it, and then spent significant money and time on a great artist and a custom piece.

      April 6, 2018/Reply
      • SC says:

        My sister did the same thing — got Chinese symbols on her back freshman year of college, and then had them expensively covered up with flowers.

        I’m 37 and don’t have any tattoos, but I finally figured out what I want, and will get my first one this summer. I’m excited. 🙂

        April 9, 2018/Reply
  11. Nichole says:

    Yes, I have a tattoo on the inside of my left ankle. And I still love it today as much as I did when I got it almost 20 years ago! It has a special meaning in my family and I can’t imagine not having it. Most people I meet are very surprised that I have a tattoo, mostly because I work in a very conservative setting. My husband and I have talked about getting “matching” tattoos – like king/queen of hearts or key and locket – but never followed through with it… but I’m open to another one.
    My piece of advice to anyone thinking about a tattoo: be sure it’s something that has meaning forever and make sure it’s in a place that can be covered for a wedding or job interview.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  12. alice says:

    I have five tattoos, three on my torso, one on my upper inner arm, and one big one down the length of my thigh. I’ve worked for USG for a long time, and I never had any problems with the arm tattoo in the everyday office. I covered it with a blazer when we had events or big meetings. I love them and want to get a half sleeve in the next 5 years or so.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  13. anna says:

    I have one tattoo, on my back, that I got when I was 20 (12+ years ago). I still love it and it’s taken on new meaning for me over the years. I think that, like someone below, I don’t see it all the time, so it’s still a fun suprise when I see it in the mirror. I have several other designs that I’d like to have tattooed, but my body didn’t react well to my tattoo (as in it rejected the ink and I had to have it reinked, which HURT), so I’m nervous about doing it again. I’ll be ok if I don’t get another one, so I’m toying with taking the designs and doing some kind of custom framed artwork with them.

    That article about men and when they get married hit a note for me – it’s come up in conversation lately, so it’s timely.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  14. Kim says:

    I have 4: ribs, inside forearms below the bend on each arm, and a large back piece (it took about 30 hrs). I lucked out with an artist that’s amazing and it really looks like art, hokey as that sounds. I get lots of compliments on it from very old folks to the younger crowd. You can’t see any of them in regular clothes unless I’m in short/rolled up sleeves. Sometimes the top inch or so of my back piece shows- but you can’t tell what it is from there. Sometimes people ask but usually once they’ve known me a while. One forearm has four letters and people ask about it when they see it, but I almost never tell what it is. I just say it’s a friends thing (it is kind of-4of us have it but it stands for a saying in our group). I will say it’s my least favorite because I went to someone else’s artist and didn’t check them out first and the lines aren’t as clea. I sometimes think about covering it but it’s not noticeably off or anything. Point is: whatever you do, if you do, choose your artist wisely. I don’t regret any of them. I do try to make sure I don’t look “hard” with my makeup and dress if my backpeice shows. I like the contrast of dressing neat/preppy and having any tats. I am a manager in a library and I don’t hide them but I’m particular about whether any of them show or not, and usually it’s only the two on my arms that peak out. People are constantly surprised that I have a back piece even if they know I have the two small ones. Tattoos in discreet places are just so neat because it’s special when you share them and it feels more like it’s for you than for your look.

    April 6, 2018/Reply
  15. Jill says:

    Late to the ear piercing discussion. I got second ear lobe piercings in high school. I found that the tiny posts I didn’t take out started to shape themselves into my ear lobe. They also sometimes clashed or interfered with the main earrings I wanted to wear. Haven’t used those second piercings in decades but the holes are still visible, not unsightly but there. Wish I hadn’t indulged that trend.

    April 7, 2018/Reply
  16. GF says:

    I also love Atelier Cologne! such beautiful frangrances. the “vanille incense” was my winter scent all season!

    April 8, 2018/Reply
  17. Connie says:

    I have two tattoos and I love them. I waited a long time before getting both (and was in my 30s), making sure I both thought long and hard about what I wanted (they were tossing about in my head for at least a year or more each before I decided to actually get both), and went to an artist I knew, trusted and researched. I don’t regret either, and I’ve been thinking about my third for a really long time now – that one would be significantly larger (most of my back), so I’m taking my time on deciding and thinking about the design. Both of my current ones also carry a lot of meaning for me, so I highly doubt I’ll ever look back and think, “WHAT was I thinking?!”

    April 9, 2018/Reply
  18. Rachel says:

    I have a watercolor tattoo on my shoulder. You can’t see it unless I’m wearing a tank top (or less). I love catching it in the mirror and that I don’t have to (no one has to) see it all the time. I waited till after my wedding, thought long and hard about it, and found a really good tattoo artist. I want another, littler one, but I’m not sure where. I work at a nonprofit and I don’t think anyone at work cares, but DC in general seems like a pretty conservative place, tattoo-wise, plus my parents are disapproving Jews. 😀

    April 9, 2018/Reply
  19. Casey J says:

    I am 35 and just got my first tattoo in the fall with my best friend. We have anchors and chevron’s on our fingers on the inside. I’m going to get a bicycle tattoo on my other ring finger too I think. I am thinking about getting another small tattoo with my best friend too. I’m pro good tattoos from good well researched artists who do great work.

    April 9, 2018/Reply
  20. Courtney says:

    I have two tattoos. One on my lower back and one on my forearm. I love both still (at age 38).Although, the one on my lower back has migrated downward with age (because at 22 you don’t understand what gravity will eventually do). I’m thinking about having it removed, but redone elsewhere that won’t have the same problem. My forearm tattoo is my favorite thing. I’m a business executive in a fairly conservative industry, and my tattoo is visible almost always. However, it’s in white ink. Combined with my paleness it’s hard for anyone to notice. It took my own mother three years to pick up on it! I intend to have more added on and will stick with white ink.

    April 9, 2018/Reply
  21. natalie says:

    I have one tattoo- a caffeine molecule on my ankle. I didn’t get it until I was 30, I’m 38 now and still love it. I am a scientist in a customer-facing role and don’t feel the need to cover it should I decide to wear a skirt or a dress. Sometimes people even know what it is! Fortunately, the industry I work in isn’t conservative. It’s not unusual to go into a laboratory and see people with piercings and tats (and fun colors in their hair, too). I have my ears pierced 3 times. I didn’t wear earrings in the top two for a long time, but now I tend to wear small studs in the top two along with whatever dangles go in the bottom hole. While I’m not a wild dresser by any means, but I put myself together well. I am glad I don’t have to conform to the conservative style that a DC lawyer does, however. No one has ever had a problem with my tattoo or ear piercings and if they did- the problem is theirs, not mine. They’re so mainstream now- the old conservative folks need to lighten up!

    April 9, 2018/Reply
  22. E says:

    I got (1) at 18. It’s meaningful and I still like it. Yes – most of the time people are surprised I have a tattoo. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting another one from time to time, but I’ve implemented a rule, I have to wait 6 months from the time I get the idea, and if I still want it, then I can get it. Nothing has stuck.

    April 10, 2018/Reply
  23. Mtenhout says:

    I have 8 tattoos that can all be covered up by wearing long sleeves. I love all of them, and I plan to get more! People are often surprised that I have them, I guess because I don’t fit stereotypes of tattoo-havers. I think those stereotypes are largely going away, however, since at least among my age group (29 and below), it’s more of an oddity to NOT have a tattoo. Even though I work in politics, I’ve never had any issues with them since, as I said, I do make sure that all of mine can be covered if necessary (blazers!). In addition, I have 4 piercings in each ear – but I only wear gold, rather small, conservative jewelry, so that probably helps.

    April 10, 2018/Reply
  24. Sasaras says:

    I have a tattoo and so regret it. I was 15 and trying to get a belly button ring but wasn’t allowed, so I threatened that instead I would get a tattoo. I was afraid of needles, so my mom took me to a parlour (!!) and the tattoo artist only agreed if my mom picked out the image, and he picked where it went. I’m a stubborn person and agreed and didn’t back down. I’m still surprised how this all went down, but close to 25 years later I still have a sailor teddy bear on my ankle (minus the sailboat because it did hurt like hell). Most people are shocked to hear I have one, and then think it’s hilarious when they see it.

    April 16, 2018/Reply