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I have a tattoo. Let’s just get that out of the way, shall we? ‘Cause it’s not like I think my tattoo is all that cool. I mean it makes me cool. I can easily hang out with the young hipster kids (note – I mean kids in their early 20s, ya perv) and be immediately considered awesome. I mean that doesn’t happen, but I’m just sayin’ I can do that if I wanted to. Probably.

Tattoos are an interesting feature of today’s society. What used to be a taboo has now become mostly acceptable. Hell, I’d argue that it’s damn near commonplace. It’s almost weirder not to have some sort of ink. Case and point: these two kids who are on the forefront of teen pop, Harry Styles and good ‘ol Biebs:

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Now, I don’t mean to sound like an old man here, but back in my day, teen pop was this:

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So clearly you’re going to be wanting a tattoo. Totally understandable. But what should you get? And where? Color or black and white? Fear not, dear reader. I shall take you under my tatted wing and advise you in such matters. For I am not an authority on tattoos like either Biebs or Styles, or really anyone that has more than one, BUT I am here (and neither Biebs nor Styles decided to comment on this article, the dicks).

What To Get

This is probably the toughest question of all. You just got back from the One Direction concert, Harry took his shirt off, and man oh man you’re rip roarin’ and ready to get inked. The first thing you should do is pause. Meditate in a field of lavender until the tattoo idea comes to you in an apparition. Or think about stuff that’s meaningful to you. If you’re ballsy you can also just go to the shop and flip through the tattoo artist’s work until you find something you like. Better yet, talk to him or her about what you’re looking to achieve (coolness, duh) and they can whip up a sweet piece for ya. But the best thing to do is to let your idea simmer.

That’s what I did. I waited almost 10 years before I got my idea permanently etched onto my skin. This was only partly due to getting the idea, kinda forgetting about it for a while, and then coming back to it, but mostly (for the sake of sounding wise) it was ‘cause I made absolutely sure it’s what I wanted. I’m going to stick with that plan, too. By getting a tattoo once every 10 years, I figure I’ll have a decent 5-6 more tattoos before I croak. Unless I keep consuming cheeseburgers at a Wimpy-level pace, at which point I’m looking at more like 3-4. But whatever that magical waiting number is, I think there’s value in just pumping the brakes as you’re speeding towards the shop to possibly avoid getting something you’d regret. At the very least I’d advise against getting your One Direction vanity plate (ONE-DRXN)  tattooed on your arm. Especially if it’s your only tattoo. And you waited 10 years to get it.

Color or black and white is easy. If you think it’ll look good in color, or the colors have an important meaning, go with that. But listen closely to your tattoo artist, ‘cause they’ll know way better what’ll look good and what’ll look stupid (thank God he talked me out of getting my vanity plate tattoo in black and white).

Where To Get It

Now, when I say where to get it, I mean what part of your body. I trust that you know how to Yelp a business and make sure they’re legit. Where to get a tattoo is not necessarily the easiest thing to figure out. I knew I wanted mine on the inside of my left bicep from the get-go. No clue as to why, just felt right for it to be there. I think the way I can help the most is by advising you on where not to get one.

There’s the obvious lower back. I’m not sure how lower back tattoos became popular, or why, but I don’t think that’s a great place for ‘em. I mean, yeah, when you bend over and your shirt lifts up people see it. Or when you’re at the beach. Or during sexy time or something. But it’s just a weird spot. It’s kinda out of the way. I guess the best thing about it is that it’s flat, but I think you can do better.

Arms are always a good place to start. Or the back proper if you don’t want to see it all the time. The side of the ribcage seems to have grown in popularity, but that’s a painful spot (by definition right on the ribs), so I’d consider that a more advanced location. Tattoos on extremities are pretty much worthless, as they don’t last (unless you get a Zoolander-esque hyperbaric chamber). The general note I’d say when considering location is coverage. Even in this day and age, having a tattoo that can’t be covered will probably limit the type of work you can get. So take a note from the Yakuza, keep that sh*t in a place where you can put on a shirt and cover it.

So now that you know what to get and where to get it, what are you waiting for? Go forth and get that ink! Oh, you’re waiting, ‘cause I said to wait earlier? Well thank you for retaining that info. Be sure to hit me up in 10 years when you finally go through with it. It’s only 9 more years until I get my next one, combining my love of JTT and The Lion King:

 

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