Tales of a tattooed generation: Tips for tasteful tattooing

Courtney Starbuck

Many people get tattoos on a whim, but before you do, there are several things you may want to consider before adding a permanent feature to your body. These are some steps to take when getting a tattoo.

So you’ve made the decision to get a tattoo. You’re pumped, you’re psyched, you’re ready, you have … no idea what to get. Big, small, colored, black and white, simple or intricate, when it comes to choosing a tattoo, the sky is the limit. Some people go to the parlor and get what is called a “flash” tattoo, or a ready-made design, usually on the walls or in a book.

Others choose a “custom” tattoo, which is one that you come up with yourself. People at Villanova had different views about how to choose a tattoo. Paul Moser, a junior nursing major says, “Don’t look through the books at the parlor.” While a “flash” tattoo may or may not be the right one for you, all advocate getting something meaningful, and not just a passing trend.

Many people make up their own design and bring them in. Lindsay Rodman, a junior Marketing major advises females to “keep it feminine and fairly small.” As far as what to avoid, Gianna Verdoni, a sophomore Marketing major adds, “The only thing I would stay away from is people’s names.”

You have the guts and the design, but choosing any artist may not be such a bright idea. Since you already are planning ahead, but it is wise to check out the place where you will be tattooed. Look around. Does the place seem clean? If you get a bad vibe, you may want to move on.

Also, if you get a chance, briefly interview your future artist. Ask to see pictures of his work, how long he has been tattooing and any problems he has encountered. Better yet, get a recommendation from someone you know who has been one of his clients. Show him your design; you can probably get a price quote right away. Regardless of what you choose to do, doing more research before getting the tattoo will undoubtedly lead to more trust and peace of mind when it comes to actually getting it done.

Finally, know the risks. Tattooing involves putting a needle filled with ink into your skin. This means that the skin is broken, which therefore makes it susceptible to infection.

Properly cleaning your tattoo while it heals will lessen the chances of your tattoo getting infected. Keep in mind also that you could be at risk for other communicable diseases. While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to document a single case of HIV transmitted through tattooing since 1985, when it started recording this information, it is has not yet been determined if the connections linked to Hepatitis-C pose a threat in the United States. Point in case, make sure that you watch your tattoo artist open ALL needles and cleansing tools in front of you. In addition, your tattoo artist should be wearing gloves at all times.

That’s it! If you are planning on getting a tattoo, make sure you have an idea of what you want, and that you take precautionary measures to ensure that your tattoo looks great.

This Week’s Featured Tattoos

Name: Tony Bilello, 21, senior finance major

Number of tattoos: one: Phi Sigma Kappa symbol on his shoulder blade

Age when he got it: 20

Significant meaning: “It’s a secret meaning that has nothing to do with gluing cookies to the Oreo.”

Love it or hate it?: “I think I love my tattoo because it’s in a manly spot, my shoulder, as opposed to the ankle or lower back. But I’m embarrassed because when people see it they associate me with (another fraternity member). That kid is awful.”

Fun fact about Tony’s tattoo: “I got the tattoo because although ‘The Man’ is trying to bring us down, Phi Sig is still the best fraternity on campus.”

Name: Cary Morrell, 22, senior Communication Major

Number of tattoos: one; Chinese symbols for faith, strength, and love on her right side.

Age when she got it: 19

Significant meaning: “I got the tattoos for Faith in myself and God, strength (both mental and physical), and unconditional love. I chose my side because it is a unique place that can be easily hidden.”

Love it or hate it?: “I Love it!”

Fun fact about Cary’s tattoo: “I got it with my best friend.”