Monday, 20 April 2009

Tattoos

My daughter has got her tattoo. I am sad. I am also wondering why I am sad, because, actually, it is rather nice, it suits her, it is well done and I am proud of her for having the bottle to do it. She designed it, checked around for a reputable and respected tattooer (?) and drove herself to Whiteley Bay to have it done, having first saved the money she needed. So what is my problem ?
I think it is because, inevitably, I am a product of my age and upbringing. Girlchild sees it as body art chosen by her, I see it as a sort of mutilation that will mean she is judged by some, who will take it as a badge of affiliation to a subgroup in society, I am concerned she will regret it in later life, she says it is part of who she is.
So, a worried Mother or someone who should be happy her daughter is confident in who she is ? Perhaps I need to learn from her example, I shouldn't spend my life saying "What if.." but say "That looks fun, lets have a go....."

I'm still not going to get a tattoo though !

9 comments:

Maternal Tales said...

I understand your concerns, but times have definitely changed. I, too, have a tattoo (a tiger on my right ankle). I had it done when I was 19 and was so scared about how my parents would react that I didn't show it to them. In fact I managed to hide it from them for 7 years, by which time I had already proved to them that I could do all the things they would have feared I was unable to do with a tattoo (ie get a good job, find a husband, etc, etc).

The right tattoos in the right places can be not only beautiful, but can also show a strentgh of character of that person which is not apparent without a tattoo. By the sounds of things your daughter has chosen well and I don't think she will regret it.

I have had my tattoo for 16 years now and have never regretted it for one day. I sometimes catch myself out and forget it's there and when I see it I still like it.

Titian red said...

Thank you for that - I suppose the fact she discussed it with us and thought long and hard first at least suggests I'm doing something right ?

Nora Johnson said...

I'm probably a product of the same age and upbringing as you and would probably, too, have a similar reaction if my daughter (or son) sported spiky orange/crimson hair or a goth tattoo. But the fact, as you point out, she fully thought it through and discussed it with you, shows firstly, her level of maturity and secondly, her respect for your opinion and approval. So both of you are to be applauded!

Nora

PS It's probably another sign of my advancing years but I have to admit I'm leaning ever more to the Carpe Diem way of life for all (incidentally brought to mind by a poem I recently came across and was so struck by I even wrote a post about!)

Catherine Nelson-Pollard said...

Yes, it does sound like she thought it through. However I still remember a comment made by Jonathan Ross when Robbie Williams said he was going to get a tattoo in the design of the "Eye of Horus" on his neck. "Eye of Horus?" exclaimed Wossy, "Sorry mate but by the time you are 50 it will look like you've got a dripping fried egg on your neck, gravity takes over with age and the skin isn't as firm." "Nah said Robbie, that won't happen to me,"
"Hmm.. wait and see" said Wossy

Titian red said...

Expat - I know, this was also put to her, but with the insouscience of youth she couldn't take "age" on board. I keep remembering all the single coloured tattoos that you would see years ago that looked as if someone had tried to wash black "Quink" out of a hanky. Grey-blue and blurry.

justme said...

I SO identify with this! my lovely 18 year old wants a tatoo.....I share all your reservations! However, I do have friends with tats ( martial artists....loads of them like!) and in the end I said to him that if he REALLY wants one, I will sort for one of my mates (whom I trust) to do it for him. I have suggested something discrete on his ankle!!
But I guess I DO think its up to hime....and actually, these days I am more open than I would have been 10 years ago! So.....

pinklea said...

I too am of an age where I just don't get the whole tat thing. That being said, they are so mainstream now that I think everybody under 30 has one. Or maybe even 40 already!

I do think it's great that your daughter discussed the whole thing with you first, so you know that it was a well-thought out decision on her part. Sounds like she's been very well brought-up!

Titian red said...

Justme & pinklea, thank you so much for your support, I am quite surprised at how calm I now feel, but probably this is because it would be foolish to make further comment to her as it cannot be changed. As for being well brought up - it's a lovely thought, most of the time it seemed to involve random yelling, lots of felt tips and a healthy disregard for grub !

Marian Allen said...

My youngest is now in her late twenties, but I still remember how I cried when she started walking and I saw scuff marks on her perfect little feet. It doesn't matter if they hurt themselves accidentally, choose to get piercings or body art, or cut themselves deliberately. Our children's bodies are the vessels that hold our children, and we don't want them compromised. I may change my name to Mom Don't Freak.