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how to deal with judgement when visibly tattooed

tattooed person with hand tattoos

If you're visibly tattooed or thinking about getting tattooed in areas like your hands, neck, throat and face; you will find that the way the world interacts with you unfortunately will change. You will have complete strangers touching you and telling you unsolicited opinions and children will stare as if you have three heads but this is the reality you will come to know as a visibly tattooed person.

The joke about tattoos being a conversation starter, are not a joke. Suddenly complete strangers will feel entitled to telling you about their tattoos, opinions and stories. If you enjoy talking to strangers, then this is unlikely to bother you but myself, as I write this, I am an introvert and find the attention can be quite tiring a lot of times. The questions "did it hurt" "what does it mean" "why" "what are you going to do when you're old" become an almost daily occurrence, so what do you do ?

Well, there are two answers:

  1. don't get (more) tattoos in visible areas; chances are you have plenty of great space in areas that you can cover with clothing that won't cause people to interact with you any differently than they currently do or

  2. stop giving a f--k what people think

I recommend the latter in all aspects of your life, life's short. Stop living your life for the approval of people around you.

But of course, you still need to consider the long term implications of your tattoo choices:

  • will this tattoo affect my job

  • will this tattoo affect my family

  • will this tattoo affect my ability to be taken seriously

  • will this tattoo hinder my future

Being heavily tattooed or tattooed in areas like your head, neck, face or hands unfortunately still come with a stigma and can very seriously affect your ability to progress in a career, to get a job, to interact with your children's schooling, etc.

Many reputable tattoo shops will refuse to tattoo people in visible areas until they are more heavily tattooed in areas that can be more easily seen like arms and chest. This is usually done to try to protect clients from making rash decisions. At the end of the day, it's your body and entirely your choice, but we urge you to seriously consider the placement of your tattoos until you are 100% set that this tattoo won't change your life negatively.

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