To Tat or not to Tat?

More teens are becoming obsessed over tattoos, but what about their future?


IJ Fall Contributors (1-15), Ari Dawson #7

Uncle Sam might say “We want You”, but employers might say, “Yeah, just not your tattoos.” Although more and more employers are becoming accepting towards tattoos, there are still some that are against them. Yes, some tattoos are beautiful and elegant, but ultimately they are permanent and have lasting effects on their owners’ lives.

Most humans, at least once in their life, have experienced the feeling of regret. There’s really various ranges to the amount of regret you can feel towards a subject, but how about regretting a tattoo? Is there a higher level of regret knowing that there’s no getting rid of it? “Roughly 37 percent of people who regret their tattoos got their unwanted ink between ages 18 to 21. Another 20 percent were aged 22 to 25. But once you hit 26, the likelihood of regretting your tattoo falls into the single digits. If you can hold off until age 26—or ideally, 36—you’re a lot less likely to hate your tat”(Markham Heid, Men’s Health, August 7th 2017).

When you’re 18 years-old, you are just starting out your life and figuring out your career, and usually people are really unsure about what exactly they want to do. Whereas when your 36 years-old, you most likely have your career figured out and your life is settling down. So really, which stage of life would you rather get something so permanent in?

My mother, for instance, chose to get her first tattoo when she was 15 years old. Now, the 35 year-old Brenda Miles, has gotten that tattoo covered up. When I asked if she has ever regretted a tattoo, Miles replied: “The one I got when I was 15 I now have covered up because I didn’t like the design that I chose 20 years ago, so I guess, yeah, I did regret it.”

When kids are little, they all want to be something like a doctor, teacher, or a world-renowned chef. Though in reality, by the time they are 16, they want to be something completely different. Young minds are constantly changing. So how are they supposed to know what they want on their body for the rest of their life? What if, one day halfway through their sophomore year in college, that newly tattooed person decides they want to be a lawyer? How is the judge supposed to take them serious when they have a tattoo right on their face? How are they supposed to even get that job as an attorney?  Once in the workforce, “76% of employees feel tattoos and piercings hurt your job interview chances” (

When asked her opinion of interview chances for younger people Miles admitted, “I got all of my tattoos placed where they can covered up with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and that’s one thing I think that younger people don’t think about–is the placement of their tattoos. So for younger people, I think job interview chances are looking pretty slim.”

Overall, we can’t tell the future and what path we will go down in our life. Without fully thinking about it, tattoos can hurt your job interview chances and you may deeply regret it in the future. So I strongly advise you to wait; hold off a few years until you have everything figured out.


Miles, Brenda