For as long as teenagers have been planning their first tattoos, adults have been mounting arguments against this most permanent form of body art: the most common argument being “you’ll regret that someday!”

But in a new short documentary for The Atlantic called “You Won’t Regret That Tattoo,” filmmaker Angie Bird found after interviewing a group of later-in-life tattoo enthusiasts that that this kind of denouncement of tattoos based on their permanence doesn’t really make sense.  Turns out, for the tattoo fans that Angie Bird interviewed, entering old age with a bit of ink can serve as a healthy reminder of youthful rebellion, personal identity, and evolving life stories.

So how can you be sure that you won’t regret your tattoo someday?  How can you be confident that your tattoo, like the body art of Angie Bird’s subjects, is something that you will cherish forever? Here’s seven fun ideas for tattoos that you won’t regret.

1. Reminders of Your Children…

If you are a parent, than you know nothing in your life is more important than your child.  And that’s one relationship that you can count on being important to you for the rest of your life.  Think of a tattoo that symbolizes your child.  In “You Won’t Regret That Tattoo,” one of Angie’s subjects gleefully points to a tattoo on her leg of cupcakes and candy, because she always calls her daughter “sweet.”

2. …Or Your Parents!

On the flipside, if you don’t have children yet, you can still commemorate a relationship that will impact you forever: memorialize your parents in ink!  You don’t have to get as stereotypical as “mom” inside of a heart, though that old standard is timeless

3. Tribute to Your Culture…

If you were raised by a family closely tied to your ethnic or cultural roots, you could get a tattoo to commemorate your cultural heritage.  After all, your ancestry won’t ever change, and might get more important to you throughout life.

4. …Or a Fallen Friend.

Losing a close friend can be a very impactful experience, and inking a commemoration to your fallen friend can be a meaningful way to keep their memory alive.  One of Angie Bird’s subjects talks solemnly about losing someone close to him, and getting a tattoo that combines numbers three and four on this list: a phrase he learned at a Native American community center while processing the loss of his friend.

5. Consider a Youthful Joke…

The first subject that Angie Bird interviews in depth talks about a tattoo of a chicken that he has on his heel – one that sparked a re-occurring dirty joke during his time in the armed service as a young man.  You can see the spark of youth in the older man’s eyes as he tells stories of being young and laughs like he used to.  A humorous reminder of youth can keep you laughing like a youngun for the rest of your life.

6. …Or a Life Event That Signifies Growing Up.

Many of Bird’s subjects shared tattoos related to events throughout their life, memorializing things like marriage and other big life events.  In each story, the type of event wasn’t important, it was only important that something big happened that contributed to who the subject was.  Just about anything monumental that has had a big affect on you can make a good tattoo that you won’t soon grow out of.

7. Just be Sure to Tell Your Story!

The one thing that all good tattoos share in common, and that will help you make sure that you won’t regret your tattoo later in life?  According to a recent article on Mic, it’s all about telling YOUR story.  The perfect tattoo for you isn’t going to be that perfect tattoo for anyone else: it’s about memories, about transitions and evolutions, and about preserving something as a part of yourself that will grow and change with you forever.  That’s what makes a good tattoo that you won’t ever regret: your story.

Want To Avoid a Tattoo You Will Regret?  Think it Through!

The one sure fire way to get a tattoo that you might regret later is to get inked up on an impulse.  Make sure that any tattoo you decide on getting is something that you actually care about, and something that has meaning to you.  As long as you don’t rush into a tattoo job, or worse yet get a tattoo while under the influence, you’re more likely to decide on a piece of body art that will be meaningful to you for years to come.

If you own a tattoo shop, you’ve probably given someone a tattoo that they went on to regret.  But don’t find yourself full of regret down the line for mistakes or accidents in your place of business.  Learn about getting insurance for your tattoo shop today with Marine Agency. 

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