Top 10 Tattoo Mistakes

No.1   Any tattoo on your face or neck

Unless it is for medical reasons, a tattoo on your face or neck is not advisable.  It will limit your career options and advancements dramatically. If you are independantly wealthy, and are assured of an income for life (and thus never need a job), it may be a option for you.

No.2   Your significant other’s name

In the heat of true love, most people search for a meaningful way to express their deep seated feelings for another.  Saying “I love you” seems to fall short.  Sailors and soldiers have consistently chosen MOM as a safe tattoo selection while away at sea or war, but even they rarely tattooed a love interests name on their arm.  While your ‘endless love’ may endure (despite statistics that show it won’t), it is always a bad idea to tattoo a mate’s name on your body.  Setting aside the fact that the relationship might end, and you will be left explaining the persistent tattoo to others (and quietly to yourself), the so-called act of love actually has a paradoxical effect on the relationship.  In some cases, the tattoo is seen as a manipulation. The thoughts that “I am owned by you” or “you own me, and no one else” can instill a sense of smothering or binding to a relationship that frequently hasn’t been mutually agreed upon.  It would be smarter to affirm your love of “LOVE” or “Commitment” in the form of a small easily hidden tattoo.

No.3   A Chinese symbol

The reason for not getting  the Chinese symbols falls in the ‘avoid a fad’ category. Certainly, if you speak Chinese, are of Chinese heritage, or love martial arts, then you can still use this overused theme, but if you (or others) have to do research to determine the meaning, it’s a bad idea.  Besides, you might accidentally put something “stupid” in Chinese on your body.

No.4   Barbed wire

Wow, that’s really tough!  If you really want to impress someone, wrap a real barbed wire around your arm. The first guys to do it were cool and creative, now it’s just unimaginative and repetitive.

No. 5   A Cartoon Character

While SpongeBob is funny, and I doubt he will be going away any time soon, it also is too trendy and fleeting for your body.  Who remembers Oswald??  Design your own cartoon personalized to you.  Imagine if you designed a cartoon for yourself, had it tattooed on your arm, and then the guy down the street put your tattoo on his arm, too.  That would be annoying.  Create your own stuff.

No.6   A pop-culture reference

That would be something that is hot now, and gone in five years, like the peace sign, or “Yes we can.” Please be a little more creative with your permanent art, don’t use pop culture references. Especially Monster Energy Drink symbols. . . really, is that going to be around in 10 years?

No. 7  An iconic face

Your body should have only one face. . . yours. More than one face on a body is “just creepy.”  If the person is still alive, they will change.  What if you had Michael Jackson at age 15 tattooed (and many did), and then Michael at 45 showed up. . .two totally different pictures.  What if you were an avid Buffalo Bills fan and had OJ Simpson (an incredible running back in the 1970’s) tattooed on your arm.  Twenty years later you now have a generally hated convict prominently displayed on your arm. This woman placed Michael Jackson on her bottom on an impulse within 24 hours of his death. How do you think she feels now???

No.8   An anchor

See Number 4 above.  Cool for the first people who got one, now. . .  just tired.


No.9   A mythical animal

I’m really okay with this, unless it’s a unicorn or something overdone like that.  Do some research, be creative, and then personalize it.  Or just wait, and see what life presents down the road.

No.10   A super hero emblem

Avoid this unless you are the actual super hero. It’s okay for Clark Kent, although the tattooist would have trouble penetrating that steel, but the design is too short-sighted for earthlings.


76 Responses to Top 10 Tattoo Mistakes

  • Elliptical says:

    This is the exact info i’m looking for, thanks! Arron

  • Tony Whitaker says:

    Dr Hall this is great I was wondering if one with a kidney transplant could get a tattoo. That is if it was done under the most sterile condition. Reason is I want this cool picture of my Dad at 65 just to be safe. Let me know Doc thank you

  • Tony Whitaker says:

    I read a little more and answered my own question no tat for me sorry Dad hope you understand. Thanks Dr. Hall

  • Tony Whitaker says:

    I read a little more and answered my own question no tat for me sorry Dad hope you understand. Thanks Dr. Hall I am trying to post this but it is being reconized as a duplicate question

  • admin says:

    Thanks for coming!! Glad all of your questions were answered.

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  • Hollie Whitaker says:

    Well…I LOVE TATTOO’S! So I have a 17 year old who wants a tattoo of his grandmother who has passed for his 18th birthday. What should I tell him?

  • admin says:

    Tell him that she is just the first of a long line of people that will pass before him. Cemeteries were also created for this purpose. . . to remember loved ones in a peaceful and dignified environment. Ask what she would want for him, and if she would have been okay with tattoos, where would she want her memory placed on his body? . . prominently for the world to see, or privately for his personal remembrance. If having a tattoo in her memory properly dignifies her life and her passing . . . then go ahead. It’s a personal decision, but one that requires thought and deep reflection. Thanks for coming, and sorry for your loss.

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    all the information on this site and now am more concerned about getting a tat so what advice can you give an ole lady……

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      Thanks for the note!! I tried my best to remain neutral on this site. But studies have shown that if you put thought into all aspects of getting of tattoo before you do it, you will be far more satisfied, and much more likely to not regret your decision. Watch the second video on the Tattoo Testimonials page, he’s an older person who always wanted a tattoo. If after reviewing everything, you decide to do it, you’ll be fine. I just started this site, so help me out by telling your friends!! And come back as I am always adding more material.

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    This is a great site to find out about tattoos and how they can impact your life (i.e. finding a job)! I like tattoos, but I don’t have one myself. As an educator, many young people want them. When you ask them why, they don’t even have a reason or if they do it is something stupid. Unfortunately, the idiot box is raising most children these days so I am not surprised why having a tattoo is cool. I think if you are going to get one, it should be something you have researched (i.e. health issues, find a professional), you should be at least 21, and find something that is meaningful to you. “Know Thy Self”

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