Tattoos were taboo in many African households not long ago. What is ironical, however is that our grandparents and great grandparents had cultural markings, which could be termed as tattoos for their generation. Getting a tattoo is all fun and games until it is not.
Getting a tattoo was originally viewed as a form of rebellion and bad behaviour. However, it is now being seen as a method of expression or simply art. Anyone who has a tattoo or tattoos has gone through scrutiny and here are a few things that they can relate to.
Itching as the tattoo heals
A tattoo is more or less a scar that needs to heal; and in the process, it can get annoyingly itchy. You should NOT in any way give in to your urges to scratch away. Scratching could cause nasty infections and could even lead to your tattoo peeling off before it should and this gives you poor quality tattoos.
‘You know the tattoo is permanent?’
Gee, thanks. I did not. These are the people who say this as they look at you with eyes filled with disapproval. Of course, you knew it is permanent when you went to get it. These people are the first to start asking, “Why did you decide to get a tattoo?” or “What does it represent?” These are annoying or unnecessary observations and questions.
What will you do when you get old?
I’ll keep slaying, that’s what I’ll do. When we are old, we have more important things to think about other than tattoos and how it looks then. Furthermore, you’ve had the tattoo/tattoos almost all your life. Why would they start distracting you now?
Everybody that sees your tattoo wants to touch it; or take a closer look
At first, it feels good when someone notices your tattoo but it gets to a time when you are completely unmindful of your own tattoo. So, imagine people who are constantly grabbing for your hands, especially to gawk at your tattoo and gasp or pretend to understand what it represents.
‘What does your tattoo represent/mean?’
This is another rather annoying question. Where is it written that I have to have a whole story behind a tattoo? Maybe my story is personal and I don’t feel like sharing it. The fact that it is on my skin means that it was my choice and you should, maybe, mind your business. Next question please?
The ‘I want a tattoo as well’ people
These are the most annoying bunch. They see your tattoo and immediately dive into how they have this cool idea for a tattoo they want; but they never get to have it. When you ask them when they plan on getting them, they always say: “Soon. You will see it.” You never get to see it though.
Do you have another tattoo?
Just because you have one tattoo does not necessarily mean that you have now transformed into the tattoo monster. One tattoo could simply be enough. A question that mostly accompanies this curiosity is: “Do you have any hidden tattoos?” If you say yes, then they demand to know what it is; and in worse cases they insist on seeing it. Like, really?
Having to cover up your tattoo for work
It can get quite challenging when you have massive tattoos and your company does not tolerate tattoos. You have to get very creative if you do not want to have your tattoos removed.
Getting a legit tattoo artist
In today’s world, everyone wants to be an artist and it does not matter which art they partake in. Some of these ‘artists’ have decided to get into the tattoo business. You decide to get a really cool tattoo for a small price. Ever heard the phrase, ‘Cheap is expensive’? Yes. There is your answer.
Wanting a real cool tattoo but having no money for it
Good quality tattoos are expensive with some even going for Ksh10, 000; only to have someone give you their opinion which you didn’t even ask for. There is so much more to having tattoos than having some ink embedded in your skin. Tattoo care demands patience and commitment. So, the next time you feel like doing the above things, take a step back and leave them alone.