Feb 19, 2019-

Dear Aunt,

I am a 20-year-old woman and a tattoo enthusiast. I have been getting small tattoos since I was 18. I have been getting inked two to three times a year and I have eight tattoos on my body, most of which are on my left arm. The biggest one I have is the most recent one and it covers the entire left shoulder and a portion of my arm.

Usually when I get my tattoos, I don’t discuss them with my parents but I show them after I have gotten them done. They have never made a big deal out of it, but I know that they haven’t been very happy with my choices either. But since the last tattoo, I have been obsessing over full sleeve ink on my left arm and I fear that it would be a bit too much. Although my parents have been supportive of my inking hobby till now, I don’t know if they will ever approve of a full sleeve.

On the other hand, I am also a bit skeptical about the social reaction to it. My friends tell me that it might be difficult for me to find jobs or even fit into a professional environment. As a young person who has yet to begin her career, I really want to know your opinion on this matter.


Dear Arati,

Getting tattoos is an entirely personal decision and it is up to you how you would want to accessorise your own body, as long as you are following all safety measures. Some people also see tattoos as a form of art and it is definitely wrong to judge any person for their choices.

Having said that, tattoos are permanent and there are many people who have regretted their decision to get inked after a certain time. In your case, it is definitely worth thinking through before you get a full sleeve. But since you have already got tattoos, eight of them to be precise, and have not regretted them yet, I am assuming that you do not make spontaneous decisions when it comes to tattooing.

However, from your question, I feel like you are conflicted, even though you say that you’re obsessed with getting a full sleeve—which is not a bad thing at all. It is important to gauge the pros and cons in every situation before you decide to dive into it. To get a clearer picture, why don’t you list the pros and cons in a notebook so that you think everything through. Apart from that, it would also be a good idea to talk to your parents about it—even though you may fear their initial reaction, they can provide you with a perspective that you may have missed.

It is also necessary to reflect on why you want the full sleeve tattoo—is it because you want to express something or you’re just following trends or is it just your independent decision? None of these reasons are wrong but you need to be clear about it. This will not only help you decide whether you really want to get your arm inked but also help you look beyond social limitations if you decide to get the tattoo. Most importantly, it will minimise any potential future regret.

But at the end of the day, it is your decision and good luck with that!

Published: 19-02-2019 10:55

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