So, You got a tattoo that you know your parents might not approve of. This is a thing I have seen with clients, no matter the age. Even grown-ups in their 30´s have tattoos that their parents don’t know about because they’re still afraid to tell them.
My first tattoo
I got my first tattoo when I was 19. At that time, I lived in a small apartment close to my Mom. She is also an artist, so she was very excited when I told her I was getting a tattoo. She joined me to the tattoo studio the first time I wanted to have a look around. I had never been to a tattoo shop before. This was in 1999, so the artists were mostly Bikers, and for most people that can be quite scary.
I was inspired by that tattoo shop, I almost wanted to get one of those flash designs on the wall, like the little castle, or the wizard.
My own design
But instead, I went home and drew my own design. Remember, this was in the late 90s, so it wasn’t that usual for tattooists to make custom designs. Most did only the flash they had on the walls. I made a drawing of myself as a mermaid and got the tattoo artists to tattoo it on me. I was very happy and proud, and my mom was thrilled.
My dad was not.
My Dad is not an artist, he is a highly educated engineer with inherited, quite conservative views on tattooed people. In the beginning, he threatened to take me out of his will. I didn’t care. I even became a Tattoo Artist just a year after my first tattoo, with my Moms enthusiastic help. Towards my Father, I felt like a rebel and kept getting tattooed. And he kept asking me several times “So when are you going to remove those tattoos?”Towards my Father, I felt like a rebel and kept getting tattooed. And he kept asking me several times: So when are you going to remove those tattoos? Click To Tweet
After a few years as a Tattoo Artist, I had made a name for myself in the business. At one time, when my Dad traveled a lot around the country, he stopped at a cafe in the Norwegian Mountains. He saw that the waitress had a quite big tattoo on her arm, so he asked her if she knew who Electric Linda was. She gasped and said, “Yes! She is the greatest Tattoo Artist in Norway! I dream of getting tattooed by her one day”. After that, my Dad became pretty proud of me, despite all the tattoos, and realized that its just my thing.
After all, he just wanted me to be successful. He wanted me to have a steady job or career. And because of the prejudices on tattoos, it was difficult for him to understand my ambitious goals within this business. He was afraid that I wouldn’t be employed anywhere. Instead, I opened the biggest Tattoo Shop in the country.
I am glad that these prejudices are fading more and more. But they are still there, to frighten us and tell us that heavily tattooed people are dangerous.
Like I talked about in this video some time ago, I mentioned tattoos in movies. Have you ever seen a hero that has lots of tattoos? The villain might have, and the killer might have, but never the hero. Am I right? And this is still a stereotype that is used in making movies or series. It’s not helping on my little quest to end tattoo prejudices.I am glad that these prejudices are fading more and more. But they are still there, to frighten us and tell us that heavily tattooed people are dangerous. Click To Tweet
How to tell your parents
So to sum it all up, and answer the question, on how to tell your parents about your tattoo: As long as you are old enough to get tattooed, you are old enough to make your own decisions. If you want to tell them, do. If its better for everyone by not telling them, then don’t.
But I truly think that honesty is the best way to go. You are still you, even though you are tattooed. It is just a piece of art that you like, decorating your body, expressing something personal to you. It’s yours! Its nobody else’s business really. It’s up to you if you want to show it off to the world or not.
The easiest way of telling them
The first thing I would do is make sure it’s face-to-face. Start by explaining that you know they won’t like what you have to tell them, but that you respect them too much to try to hide it from them. This hopefully will take the excessive heat out of their reaction. By knowing that the other person won’t like what you have to say has a way of dispersing negativity.
Then, once you’ve passed that hurdle you can start talking about the tattoo. You could begin by sharing why you wanted it. If you are sensitive, yet firm in your convictions it should go a long way toward helping them to respect your decisions. Tell them you understand their reasons for not wanting you to permanently alter your body and that you accept this view. But then gently emphasize that you have an alternate perspective and that it is, after all your own body that has been tattooed, not theirs.It is after all your own body that has been tattooed, not theirs. Click To Tweet
If their reasons include the “type of people” who get tattoos, you can honestly say that in this day and age, it’s more likely that someone has a tattoo than not. Also, you can reassure them that one tattoo does not mean you plan to start smoking, join a motorcycle club, and piercing your body all over the place. Of course, if this IS your plan, you will probably want to avoid that topic.
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In the end, if people, especially your parents, have issues with you having tattoos, it’s their problem, not yours. But as I said, only if you are old enough! If you´re not, you shouldn’t have gotten tattooed in the first place, and you should definitely be scared of telling your parents! Haha!