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Tattoos have become a huge signifier of the Millennial Generation. Today, dear friends, we are talking about the certain social niceties that need to be learned and followed in regards to addressing people with tattoos.
That being said, my credentials are that I am fairly heavily tattooed. Once summer rolls around and I inevitably have to put on shorts and put away my sweaters, I get all kinds of insane and wildly inappropriate attention. Think of this guide as a “How NOT to be a huge douche bag to people with tattoos.”
Now now now, before your jimmies get all nice and rustled, I’d like to point out that I’m very aware that if you have tattoos, it’s generally accepted that you are going to get some unwanted attention. So just, shut up and enjoy the article.
1. “WHAT DOES IT MMEEEAAAN?!”
This is a question I get all the time. Thank you Miami Ink. Now, a lot of the time the answer you will get is “Oh it’s bad ass!” but many people get tattoos for deep and personal meanings. If you wouldn’t explain that shit to a stranger, then they probably don’t want to tell you either.
Small children, sure I get it, but I’ve had adults just grab my arms and start running their fingers up and down my work. I don’t need to explain why this is inappropriate. Much like dick pics, unsolicited touching is a huge no no. If you absolutely NEED to feel the tattooed skin, then I suggest you ask or suck it up.
Side note: Sometimes you can feel the tattoo under the skin if it’s still relatively new, and that feels neat. Just please ask!
3. “Oh well, I was planning to get…”
If the conversation appears to be heading in the direction of you talking about getting tattoos, then by all means go ahead. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had completely random people come up to me and start telling me their tattoo plans without so much of a hello.
4. “DID IT HURT OMG?!”
Yes. Tattoos don’t feel good.
5. “WOW! You have a lot of tattoos!”
It may be shocking to you, yes, but it is definitely on par with telling an abnormally tall person that they are indeed… tall. They know. You know. Why do you need to waste time with that?
TO DOS: [The only acceptable things to comment on, in my opinion!]
1. “Who did your work?”/”Where did you get your work done?”
If you are interested in somebody’s artwork, then show your interest by asking who the artist is. Usually people who have quite a few larger pieces are always happy to share the wealth and spread new clients to the artist of their choice. It’s a great way to open up a conversation and show that you are interested in the artwork and not creep up on them trying to cop a feel.
2. “Wow, your work is beautiful!”
This is a compliment that I wish I heard more often. It tends to be sprinkled in with some of the “Do Nots” listed above. If you’re ooggling somebody, then don’t be afraid to let them know that you are in awe of their work.
Now you know! Go out and tell that cutie patootie (me) that you like her work and buy her some chocolate and she’ll be mighty impressed with your manners.