Permanent tattoos can lead to future regret

Dylanne Petros and Dylanne Petros

Marc Garcia got the tattoo “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” which means “If you want peace, prepare for war,” on his arms thinking it would be on his body forever.

Now, he wants it gone.

“I realized many other people had [the tattoo], including celebrities,” Garcia, a sophomore, said. “I’m covering it up not only because of that but also because the artist messed up a letter.”

Grammatical errors are sometimes the reason for getting a tattoo covered up, but they are not always the reason for having tattoo regret.

“Usually it will be people’s names,” said tattoo artist Jon John of Ink Mafia on North Main Street.

John said the artists often try to talk their customers out of getting people’s names tattooed on them.

Another reason some people might have a regretted tattoo is because they didn’t think the tattoo through enough for it to be on their body permanently.

“I originally got the tattoo because I wanted to get one before I graduated and the phrase stuck out to me,” Garcia said.

Johni Amos, graduate assistant in American Culture Studies, believes there are other reasons people regret their tattoos.

“They don’t like how it turned out or how it looks,” Amos said.

Another reason Garcia is having his own tattoo covered up is because the ink is not dark enough for his liking.

Even though junior Rachel Stepowoy doesn’t regret her tattoo, which is in remembrance of a loved one who passed away, she does regret the placement.

“[The tattoo] is on my side and it’s just high enough that in dresses and tank tops, it’s visible and I would prefer to conceal it for weddings and whatnot,” she said.

The fact that some customers are intoxicated can also influence their choice of tattoos, leading them to regret it after, John said.

InkMafia also has policies in place that artists must follow.

“We usually tell the customers to come back to the shop when they are sober,” John said. “We want our customers to be 100 percent satisfied with their tattoos … we refuse to tattoo on people when they are intoxicated.”

The tattoos may also just be a spur of the moment tattoo.

“[The regretted tattoo] was a dumb idea or a mistake,” Amos said.

Even though Garcia regrets his Latin phrase on his arm, he plans on covering it with something more meaningful.

“I plan on getting it covered up with a mural for my grandparents,” Garcia said.