Tattoo Artists Reveal Which Tattoos They'll Actually Judge You For
After all, they are artists and are in charge of what's about to go on your body literally for the rest of your life. They'll do it, but they might urge you to reconsider your life choices in the meanwhile.
u/hanisthegreatest was curious about what might spark the judgment:
Tattoo artists of Reddit do you judge people for the tattoos they want to get? If so what was the one you really thought was stupid?
Here were some of the answers.
It All Worked Out
I try not to judge but I have a difficult time not doing so sometimes.
The most interesting tattoo I've ever done was on a guy who came in wanting the words, "Bridget, I'm sorry. I was wrong. I love you." I would say it was the most dumb tattoo I've ever done, but...well you just have to have the full picture.
The story goes like this: 38-year-old guy was dating and living with his girlfriend of two years. She wanted to get married. He was reluctant because she didn't fit some ideals he had in his head for his long-term partner. They were all superficial things: she was shorter than he liked, and blonde. He preferred brunettes. So she left him. Two months later he realizes he made a huge mistake. The only problem is that she's moved on and is dating someone and has made it clear that she's not interested.
This is when this gentleman comes to get the tattoo that is going to solve all of his problems. He tells me that he's arranged to have dinner with her in a week. He intends to plead for her to come back to him, and when she inevitably doubts his sincerity, he will reveal his tattoo as a sign of his commitment. I try to talk him out of it, but he's an adult, sober, and of seemingly sound mind. I do the tattoo.
Cut to that very next day. It's my off day. I'm at my friend's subdivision pool and I notice this guy who is remarkably attractive. He's also playing around with some of the kids there and I lean over to my friend and inquire as to Hotty McHottypant's identity. She tells me about how he's the new boyfriend of her pretty blonde neighbor who had just gotten out of a long term relationship. Her name? You guessed it. Bridget. In the flesh.
At this point I'm wriggling with the excitement of seeing this girl in person, and the anxiety of having knowledge of what is about to happen to her without being able to reveal it.
Over the next few days, little billboards start popping up around town. "Bridget, I'm sorry. I was wrong. I love you."
We all know how this is going to end. Bridget sees the tattoo, freaks out, and this guy leads the rest of his life with an uncomfortable tattoo.
But that's not what happened!
He has dinner with Bridget. She sees the tattoo, and she completely changes her mind. She breaks up with her boyfriend, gets back together with her ex. And three months later, they get engaged. They have a destination wedding, and are still married today. I know this because I saw both of them at that same pool three and a half months later and they both came over and Bridget gave me a big hug and thanked me. Also, the billboards earlier that month all over town that said, "Bridget, I love you. Will you marry me?" helped tip me off.
And that's my story of how the dumbest tattoo I've ever done ended up being not dumb at all. I wouldn't recommend anyone else trying it though.
It's Just Dull
I'm a welder, I have a coworker with a Miller logo tattoo. Non-welders, this is the equivalent of an office worker getting a tattoo of the PowerPoint start screen.
Why This Name?
I particularly enjoy watching the couples that come in and want each other's names or matching tattoos. They always seem like they just hate each other - lots of griping and b-tching, low talking and indecisiveness.
Not a tattoo artist, but during a regrettable time in my life I hooked up with a guy who had "make poop" tattooed on his knuckles. One word on each hand.
Yup, I'm Scarred Forever Now
My artist told me a story (one of the only tattoos he ever refused to do) was about this patchy creeper dude walking in the shop and asked for a tattoo of himself, naked, with clown makeup on, with a sock over his junk standing. Probably the most terrible/uncomfortable proposition I could imagine.. dude is probably dead or in prison by now.
A Tip For Surgery
I've scrubbed into a few amputations. I cant give specifics, but if you ever find yourself in a position where you are going to lose a limb and want to make sure you're getting the best damn medical treatment ever, tattoo something ridiculously stupid in that area. A lot of surgeons I've worked with try to just get through the day, but they will put in 110% if it means preserving a particularly stupid tattoo.
French Fried Ankles
I wanted to get a potato on my ankle since I was a kid. I'm 34 now and I still want one. I had a tattoo artist flat out refuse because he thought it was stupid. I tried to explain the reference but he wouldn't listen. So I'm pretty sure there was judgement there.
Shoot For The Moon
I asked an artist which tattoo he loathed to do and he just said, "Stars man, f-cking stars."
Nice Try, Guy
I had a guy message wanting a portrait of his son, his kid was about 4/5 yrs old in this picture, and he was putting his middle finger up and covering his mouth and nose with this hand. I thought it was different but showed some uniqueness to it so fair enough, I agreed to do it. Before his appointment he asked if I could remove the hand, I explained I can't guess what his mouth and nose look like, he never got back to me with an alternative picture
Star Light, Star Bright
I was in the chair getting part of my sleeve done when one of the dudes came into the back room and told my tattooist that there was a young woman at the desk who wanted some stars tattooing on her arm. He sighed loudly and told the other guy to tell her that sorry but they'd run out of stars so no can do.
I have two stories.
My boyfriend is the artist so I hear a lot of stories. The two that come up frequently about what tattoos he has judged (at all) are these.
A woman comes in and wants an infinity symbol. Sure. Easy enough. EXCEPT, she wants it made out of other smaller infinity symbols. The artist who did it died a little inside.
This one my boyfriend did (and I was there for this one).
A guy comes in wanting his girlfriends name tattooed on him. Stupid, yet common.
But he wants her name, on his penis.
There is a guy walking around with Chastity.
Also, the shop charges a 100 dollar penis holding fee on top of what the tattoo would normal cost.
Think This Through Next Time
So a buddy of mine is a traveling tattoo artist-- he just travels the world and works as a guest artist at tattoo shops.
So this time he's in Thailand and an older white couple comes in, husband seems to have had a few drinks. Husband wants to have his wife's name tattooed on his genitals. My buddy straight up denies the request (drunk, genitals, etc), but another artist decides to go through with it.
Next day, the couple returns, but they are instead arguing on the way in. Apparently it was a 'if you do it, I'll do it too' kind of agreement, but the wife wants no part of it.
That's No Ladybug....
A girl I know got a tattoo of a ladybug.
It wasn't a normal ladybug. It was a ladybug with a 5 inch long human penis going down her arm.
Non, Je Regrette Nien
I judged one girl hard when she came into dad's shop. She had just turns 18 the day before, and wanted three tattoos at once. The first was a hand holding a cigarette, the second said something along the lines of "no regrets" in French, and the third was a lip print on her buttcheek. The irony was lost on nobody
Olive You Too
Rainy Tuesday, I was an apprentice. Only type of day that we would take walk-ins.
Guy comes in and hems and haws over flash. Finally approaches the counter, eyes sparkling: "I want....an olive."
He got a green manzanilla olive, red pimento and all, the size of a baseball on his bicep. First and only tattoo. We asked why an olive? He said "Welllllllll...I'm dating a woman named Olive. Sorta. But it's kinda going south. But that's okay; I really like olives!"
We judged him to be of less than average intelligence. And taste. But no less awesome.
We had a guy come in who wanted a pinup girl on his arm, except he wanted the girl to be super fat. He then went on to talk about how much he loved heavier girls.
At one point he looked at the owners daughter who was (I'm guessing) around 250 lbs and said sorry but you're too small for me. I like them heavy.
After some back and forth we came up with a design he liked and we did business.
As long as the artist had some creative license with what they were doing they never actually judged. It was when they had to do that one flash butterfly /again/ or barbed wire that they judged.
And if that is what you REALLY want then cool. Just understand that at least five people in the immediate area have they exact same one.
One night a pretty drunk dude came into the shop and wanted a tattoo on his arm of tinker bell. Okay, not so bad. And underneath it he wanted the world "my little flirt". Again, a little strange but overall fine. And then, underneath that, he wanted his sister's name... They told him that they don't tattoo drunk people so he left.
Just Be Reasonable
My husband is a tattoo artist and he doesn't judge anyone unless they're being unreasonable. For example, you cannot expect a tiny tattoo with a ton of detail; it WILL blur together with time and my husband cares about how his work will age. Some dude actually had his sister message him and aggressively ask why he refused his idea. People are dumb and they don't think about the big picture.
Not an artist but worked the counter in a couple shops. Someone came in asking for a ghost but like...someone wearing a sheet over themselves type of ghost. Without any of the human parts though. And she wants it filled in. We let her know that it is essentially going to look like a big black blob with the eventual ink blowout and she adamantly disagrees so we did it. Still wonder what that looks like now.
Also some 18 year old girl came in wanting "Prince$$" on her inner lip which was pretty ratchet.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.