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Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:22 am
by TopHatFox
Thoughts on tattoos and piercings? Are they a waste of time, a fun way to decorate the body, a statement against authority, a mark of the freedom from 9-5 work?

I'd like to get a single or double helix brass ring piercing ala this overly dramatized and romanticized picture:

And this less dramatic iteration:


What are ya'lls thoughts on tattoos and piercings? Some of my concerns include taking care of them and potential "professionalism" shenanigans in the work place or during interviews (I suppose I could simply remove them during these times).

Are there any functional yet beautiful tattoos or piercings?

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:39 am
by Dragline
Meh. It's really kind of a MIllennial thing for the most part. All of my nieces have tattoos and have fiddled off and on with piercings. I think statistically, about 50% of people under age 35 have tattoos and 25% have visible ones. It's really just become kind of a mainstream thing to do for many people.

OTOH, this guy is one of my not-too-distant relatives and he's been involved with these things for over 30 years: But for him, its a business and a lifestyle.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:12 am
by C40
Olaz wrote: Are they a waste of time, a fun way to decorate the body, a statement against authority, a mark of the freedom from 9-5 work?
yes, yes, no, yes.

I have one tattoo. I like it. I'll probably get more but I'm not in a huge hurry. Mine was often visible at work. I didn't notice a single negative reaction, and there were a number of positive ones. It could be different when trying to get a new job though.

Tattoos are very trendy right now. In 5-10 years, they probably won't be. Then in another 5-10, they will be again.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:03 pm
by ffj
It's your body, but most of the ones I see are pretty generic or they are simply branding what age group or club you belong to, with most being fairly unoriginal. My biggest complaint is that they don't go away, and what interested you at 20 may look foolish at 45, or worse hinder certain job prospects.

Piercings can be removed if necessary.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:40 pm
by chenda
Each to their own but personally I hate tattoos, especially on women. They just look so unfeminine to me.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:09 pm
by EdithKeeler
I personally don't care for tattoos or piercings beyond earrings. Oh, I've seen some nice tats, and some that I would even call pretty. (seen some ugly ones, too). I was telling a friend the other day that I'd rather have jewelry--I can change it up when I get tired of it or sell it and get something else.

I will say as a person who hires people in a conservative business, while I wouldn't immediately reject anyone for having a visible tat, I would think about what kind of tat it is and how it might be perceived by our customers who also trend conservative. So even though they've certainly gone mainstream in a lot of venues, a large number of or obvious tats on fingers, hands, face, neck, etc. might not be a good idea unless you know for sure that it won't affect your future employment somehow. Or relationships,for that matter. Some people are just really turned off by tats and piercings.

I read an article recently about tattoo artists who specialize in modifying existing tattoos, basically tattoo over existing body art to make it something else. Lasering them off is apparnetly expensive, painful and time consuming. That's the thing--that tattoo of Hillary might have seemed like a good idea a little over a month ago, but now....

I considered at one time getting a tiny rose or something on my ankle, but changed my mind. They aren't so unique when everyone's got them. But your body, your choice.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:25 pm
Neither are for me. I rank them right there with custom rims for cars.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:17 am
by jacob
I once considered getting a log scale tattooed on each index finger. That way, I'd have a built in slide-rule. However, I worried that finger length might change with age which would screw up multiplications and so decided against it.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:43 am
by enigmaT120
Ah, logarithmic scale. At first I thought you meant a scale for measuring logs, which made me wonder just how long your fingers were.

I don't have any use for tattoos or piercings. But I saw a cartoon making fun of Charlie Sheen depicting him shirtless, with tattoos of tiger stripes. I actually like that idea.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:10 pm
by fiby41
Our Digital Electronics professor has the Aum / Om symbol ॐ tatted on the inside of his arm. ॐ is just a small symbol so its not always noticed but always visible when he's teaching. When his hand is horizontal it looks like Aum ॐ but when it is vertical it reads RB, which is his initials. That's really cool as only the initials of professors are given on the timetables and most professors are known by/referred to by their 2 or 3 letter initials.

Aum ॐ is the scared first sound from which all other vowels and consonants are derived.

A girl in our class has 'Make it count' tatted below her right-hand side collar bone. So it is only visible when her clothes/top is taken off... don't ask how I came to know of it. Talk about pressure to perform...

I've only though of getting a tattoo of the verse explaining the Karma Phala Siddhant (Principle of relation between action and it's fruits) from the Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta but it's too long so I don't know where it'd fit on my body.

I like Eminem's tattoo 'Slit me!' on the wrist.

Warning: Never get a tattoo with your girlfriends name. Then unless your next girlfriend, her name needs to be the same.

I had both ear pierced when I was small but now they're bridged due to disuse.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:42 am
by Sclass

I get a bad feeling when I see them. They remind me of the low lifes I grew up with. Now it's kind of mainstream though. I come from a time when it wasn't as fashionable.

I guess I think gangster when I see them. I'm prejudiced to be blunt. I've seen them on smart, educated people in professional settings and I still get the yuck feeling like I don't want to do business with them even though it has nothing to do with the person's ability. As I said, I'm silently prejudiced against this stuff.

I don't think I'm alone, so I give a big thumbs down to this. It's like wearing a shirt with a a statement that might be offensive to some people. Why wear it especially if you cannot take it off.

Here is the ERE clincher...don't they cost a lot of money? it looks like it takes a skilled artist hours to lay down anything of lasting value. $

I'm all about looking ahead as an investor. Doing something like this usually indicates some sort of foresight deficit.

Recently I went swimming at the Jewish community center and noticed out loud how there weren't any tattooed people in the pool. My host politely explained it all to ignorant gentile me. I recall saying something shallow like "hey Look how classy this place is, nobody with tattoos".

Some police forces do not allow visible ones.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:19 pm
by TopHatFox
To be clear, I don't want a tattoo. But I wouldn't mind a piercing -- less permanent and removable, as ya'll have said. : )

It is interesting to hear some of the different perspectives revolving around tattoos and piercings.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:57 pm
by sfchristo
Tattoos and piercings (IMO) can be beautiful or terrifically ugly. Probably mostly just an eye of the beholder thing. My own preferences are for ones that match the natural contours of the body. I have one tattoo and three piercings. People accept that women (and in some places nowadays) men can get their earlobes pierced, otherwise you will always be able to find people who are turned off about it. And because this seems to be almost universally accepted, I contend that distaste over other forms of piercing are often from a lack of familiarity. Why would someone be ok with earlobes but think other piercings (even the top of the ear) are "mutilation"?

So, some practical advice: a piercing can be taken out if the hole hasn't been stretched too much, it'll most likely close up enough that people won't notice it whereas as tattoo is FOREVER and if you end up not liking it, pretty much the only good option is covering it up with something even larger. I waited good and long before committing to a tattoo (my mid 30s) and then designed it and had it re-designed by someone else with both designer and tattoo experience (taking into account eventualities such as ink creeping over time). I waited a couple weeks after that to be sure I really wanted it. I also photoshoped the tattoo onto my body so I could imagine what it would really look like. I've had it at least 13 years and still like it/don't regret it.

If you are going to start down this road, I'd consider a piercing first as you can remove them. Be careful with the idea that you can remove the one you pictured for a job interview. Some piercings start to close up very quickly once you take out the jewelry. I'd research that. If you go for a piercing, feel free to PM me about a 3 day cleaning protocol I followed. My DH is a surgeon and I followed a pre-surgical treatment that is a far cry from the quick swipe with alcohol you'll get from the piercer.

For tattoos, I'd consider that wherever you are in life right now is bound to change and it makes sense to get one(s) you can easily cover up with clothing for a job.

A frugal way to get a piercing might be to ask some friends about theirs and see if they have older jewelry sitting around (people frequently need to get smaller gauge starter piercings before they get new larger jewelry that stretches the hole and let's them put in the size or type they want.) The piercer will autoclav the old jewelry to sterilize it before installing it. I've gotten a couple larger/thicker pieces and given away the older smaller ones.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:39 pm
by C40
One thing to add about tattoos.... If you're not totally sure (90%+), just wait. 5-10 years from now, you aren't going to be kicking yourself for not getting tattoos. Likely the worst is you think "ahh, it's no big deal... I could've started them a long time ago". But if you get some tattoo that you regret later, that's a lot worse. And if/when you get one, be intentional about the artist you chose. I doubt you (Zalo) would do this, but many people I've known have said "Oh, I think I'll get that tattoo this weekend", and just pick a shop at nearly random. If you know what you want, find an artist who can do a very good job of it (Basically, who specialized in that style, or whose style means they'll be able to do what you want). Sometimes the challenge there is you find an artist you really like, and they are super popular and hard to book. I had that problem with this artist. She seem super hard to book, just for locals, and it was almost hopeless for me trying to get time with her when I would only be in her area one a year for work. Also, some artists seem to chose what they want to do... which seems to be the case for the artist I linked. I loved her plant tattoos, which she used to do a lot of, but now it appears she's prefers to do animals/skulls as they make up the majority of her recent work.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:16 am
by tommytebco
I have one tattoo.
I grew up as a "suit" in the 60's and 70's when a tattoo marked you as a rebel (a bad thing then).
In the mid 80's I quit the suit thing and started my own auto electric rebuilding business.
I finally got a tattoo. Being conservative , I got it on the back of my shoulder. It only shows with shirt off oar a muscle shirt.

Interestingly, after getting one, there was a period of time where I wanted to get many more. I fought the impulse successfully.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:00 pm
by fiby41
Read this on a post,

Tattoos are the only thing you take to your grave. having tattoos does not make you a delinquent or a thug... Its art! Art is about self expression and creativity. Some people hang their art, we wear ours.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:25 pm
by Ego
Okay then. Let's start with the science of tattoo ink. ... 048919.htm

In a laboratory within FDA's Arkansas-based National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), research chemist Paul Howard, Ph.D., and his team are investigating tattoo inks to find out

the chemical composition of the inks and how they break down (metabolize) in the body;
the short-term and long-term safety of pigments used in tattoo inks;
how the body responds to the interaction of light with the inks.

"There have been no systematic studies of the safety of tattoo inks," says Howard, "so we are trying to ask—and answer—some fundamental questions." For example, some tattoos fade over time or fade when they are exposed to sunlight. And laser light is used to remove tattoos. "We want to know what happens to the ink," says Howard. "Where does the pigment go?"


Since then there has been at least one study on where the ink ends up in your body...

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have tattoos, which predominantly contain black inks consisting of soot products like Carbon Black or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)....

Two major conclusions can be drawn from the present results. Firstly, PAH in black inks stay partially in skin or can be found in the regional lymph nodes. Secondly, the major part of tattooed PAH had disappeared from skin or might be found in other organs than skin and lymph nodes. Thus, beside inhalation and ingestion, tattooing has proven to be an additional, direct and effective route of PAH uptake into the human body.


It is not often mentioned but tattooed people frequently get burned by MRI machines. ... ttoos.html

Tattoos can hinder an MRI scan depending on the ingredients used in the tattoo ink and the size of the tattoo. Since there are currently no FDA-approved tattoo inks, determining which chemicals were used in a tattoo can be tricky. But experts say that some ink colors cause more of a reaction than others.

The dye used in red tattoo inks contains iron (for example, think of the color rust), which is magnetic and very susceptible to the magnetic fields used in MRI machines, said Moriel NessAiver, a physicist who teaches MRI safety in Baltimore.

"Since iron can conduct electricity, loops of current are induced when the magnetic fields are rapidly changing during the imaging process," NessAiver told Life's Little Mysteries. "Any time you have a current flowing, as in a wire or other metal, that metal can get hot hot enough to burn."

If the tattoo is in the shape of a loop, it can act like an antenna, and can also get increasingly hotter as the ink pigments pick up more energy from the magnets, according to NessAiver. The reaction can result in swelling of the tattooed skin and its surrounding area, as well as the flesh feeling hot and irritated.

Some photos... ... lzh2tuM%3A

So, to reiterate.... No studies have been done on the various pigments you are putting into your body when you get a tattoo. Unfortunately metals like mercury, iron, arsenic, lead, antimony, beryllium, chromium, cobalt nickel and cadmium help to give tattoo ink its color and permanency factor.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:15 pm
by jennypenny
I like tatts.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:15 pm
by Sclass
I think I was a little harsh about the whole tattoo thing. It's a free country. It sends signals that can be negative depending on who you're showing them to. I guess I'm saying there is a risk of doing this. How you want to take the good or bad response is your choice. Maybe the judgmental people aren't worth your time...but maybe they're a gatekeeper.

You're free to express yourself as you please but don't be surprised if people silently make assumptions about you. Your business and your hurdle to overcome if you need to undo their prejudices to get what you want.

Edit - I was told by a Japanese Engineer in the 1990s that tattoos will get you diverted to the slow line at customs. Apparently their agents could be very prejudiced.

I can recall a lady I was introduced to that I wrote off because of her ink. she wasn't good enough to explain away the ink among my friends and family. They are the types who care.
Ego wrote: --------

It is not often mentioned but tattooed people frequently get burned by MRI machines. ... ttoos.html.
Yeah forgot about this one. My doctors told me the colored ones would obscure or look like a shadow when they tried to map the extent of my tumor. I was glad I didn't have any because I wanted to give them every chance at success. They mentioned colored ones being the tumor cammo.

Re: Tattoos, Piercings?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:39 pm
by halfmoon
fiby41 wrote:
Tattoos are the only thing you take to your grave. having tattoos does not make you a delinquent or a thug... Its art! Art is about self expression and creativity. Some people hang their art, we wear ours.
This is patently a personal choice, but I think the key is that "hanging" art can be changed as you evolve. It has nothing to do with being a delinquent or a thug, but the art that spoke to me when I was 19 (Salvador Dali comes to mind) bore little resemblance to that of other periods in my life. I'm immeasurably glad that tattoos weren't mainstream at the time. :shock:

The best (in my twisted mind) bumper sticker I've seen read: "Plants and animals disappear to make room for your fat ass". DH was all for displaying this on our car, but I vetoed it as being offensive to numerous friends and clients. I shudder to think how strong the urge would have been to plaster this on my skin when I was younger. It's not always necessary to shove your views down everyone else's throat just to define who you are at the moment.

Having said that, I really liked sfchristo's description of the steps he took before deciding permanently on a tattoo. It seems to involve more thought than some go through before having children. :D