Fad: A phenomenon that becomes popular for a very short time.
Tattoo: The fad will fade, but the ink lasts forever.
Two teenagers recently told me that all the NBA players and hot rappers like Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy have tattoos. These kids think having tattoos are cool, because people they idolize have them. Everyone will not grow-up to be a pro-ball player or a rapper. What about the kid who will grow-up to be a financial advisor or a lawyer? Although it’s bad to stereotype, some people might not think it’s cool to be represented in court by a lawyer who has the word THUG LIFE tattooed on his neck or knuckles. Or some fortune 500 companies may not want to hire the young man who graduated top of his class and has an MBA from Stanford, just because of a tattoo he got when he was an adolescent. If you are going to get tattoos, here’s a word of advice: they should be tasteful and strategically located where they cannot be seen during a business merger or a job interview.
I am not against someone getting a tattoo; I am against someone under the age of 18 having one. In most states including Pennsylvania, which is where I reside, you have to be 18 years old to obtain a tattoo without parental consent. So would someone please explain how teenagers under the age of 18 are getting tattoos? For instance, my daughter who is only 13, told me that one of her classmates just got a tattoo at a tattoo party, which is where a tattoo artist comes to your house and charges half what a tattoo parlor would to tattoo your guests. They don’t ask for ID, so it’s easy for young teens to attend these events and be tattooed without parental consent. My concerns would be whether the person is licensed. Who is liable if something were to go wrong? Is the tattoo artist using sterile needles?
Teenagers getting tattoos, with or without parental permission, can lead to some serious unhappiness down the road, which is exactly where teenagers are incapable of seeing. Most teenagers are not good at setting priorities, so they don't realize that priorities change, and often with surprising regularity. Make sure your teenager is aware of the health risks involved with getting a tattoo, such as infections and blood borne diseases from unsterilized needles. Try compromising with your teenager; ask him or her to wait six months (since teenagers change their minds like the wind). If they still think they want a tattoo at that time you can revisit the idea.
Fads will come and go, so be careful in choosing permanent things that could effect your long-term goals or decisions.