What’s Wrong with Tattoos?

What’s Wrong with Tattoos?

by Bob Smithouser

Are tattoos bad? My parents tell me not to get one while I live in their house, but I don’t see what’s wrong with them.

Tony Moreno, El Paso, Texas

Many families duke it out over tattoos and piercings. The bottom line is this: Until you’re an adult, you need to obey your mom and dad, even when you disagree with their rules or don’t understand their reasoning. Having said that, let me try to explain why they may see this issue differently than you do.

While you’re probably thinking about how cool a tat would look to your friends, your parents realize that a permanent label on your body won’t earn you points with everyone you meet in every setting for years to come. It can actually create problems that you don’t anticipate. I met a woman recently who hated that her wedding gown exposed a tattoo on her shoulder that probably seemed like a good idea when she was 17. As she got older, it embarrassed her.

Of course, it’s very noble to proclaim, “Who cares what people think? They should only care about what’s on the inside!” But the reality is that people (like your future in-laws or the person interviewing you for a job) develop impressions based on choices we make about our appearance.

I’d suggest some very honest soul-searching. First, try to determine why getting a tattoo is so important to you. Then, see if it’s possible to meet that same need in a way your parents can support.

This article appeared in the October 2006 issue of Breakaway magazine. Copyright © 2006 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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