My tattoo is beautiful… so why am I regretting it?

Guest post by Emma

By: Lorena CupcakeCC BY 2.0
Earlier this year, I decided to go ahead with my plans for a half-sleeve tattoo, dedicated to my parents. I have a tattoo artist friend, and she’s very good. The tattoo itself is beautiful, and for a very long time I was happy with it, but now I’m feeling some regrets.

It’s not the typical case of “I got a horrible tattoo, and now I can’t stand it. Help!” I’m self-conscious about disliking it because it is absolutely beautiful. There are some days when I love it… and there are some days when it still feels unnatural to have it. I look back on pictures of myself before I got the tattoo, and I wish I could look like that again.

I can’t afford to have it removed, and don’t want to do that anyway. I chose the design that I did because it would always remind me of my closest, most-loved family.

Maybe I’m just having trouble adjusting to having a large design on my arm. I don’t like it when complete strangers ask me about it, or when men think it’s a sign that I want attention and hit on me.

I live in a fairly cold part of the world, so I can hide it most of the time, but it’s more unsettling to me that I’m not 100% ok with my decision.

I don’t want to get rid of it; I want to love it. I want to learn how to accept not only this part of my body, but other parts of myself. I have a lot of body issues, and I’m seeing this tattoo regret as a way to practice self-acceptance and learn to love myself as a whole.

Are there Homies out there who have regretted tattoos? How have you dealt with them and learned to love them?

Comments on My tattoo is beautiful… so why am I regretting it?

  1. I got a huge tattoo on my lower leg done by this artist that I loved for years when he finally visited Canada from Europe. I travelled alone 6 hrs to sit with him and we designed it together. Dream come true, right? For the first week, it felt so alien I could only look at it when I had to put cream on it. All other times I kept it covered with loose fitting yoga pants. It didn’t even feel like my leg anymore! And for a month, I regretted it, hardcore. Not the tattoo but the way it made me feel completely detached from my body. I thought I’d never really accept the tattoo or something.Then about 6 weeks after I got it, I had a photo shoot planned. It was a sexy one with corsets and red high heels that matched the red in my tattoo. I took a bunch of shots and had the photog take a close up of my tat with the sexy shoe and suddenly, it wasn’t just my leg with that tattoo on it, it was MY awesome, sexy beautiful tattooed leg! Ever since then, I have adored both my tattoo and everything about it. I can’t imagine it not being a part of me. It was a weird experience, to feel that detachment, especially since it wasn’t my first or even my first big tattoo. But you know what? Getting some sexy or fun or cute boudoir photos could get you to see you and the beautiful tattoo as one. And if not? Well, at least you have some sexy shots looking hot! 😉

  2. I -always- wanted to be covered in tattoos, right from when I was a kid, but I knew that I wanted to make sure they were what I wanted before I started covering myself.

    I didn’t want to get anything meaningful, because I thought that if I took it too seriously, there was too much importance weighing on the meanings of them, and I’d rather my tattoos develop their own meaning.

    I broke that rule when my little sister died.
    I got a tattoo of a beautiful rainbow, copied from a picture she drew in coloured pencil, and it’s the one tattoo I’ve been most critical of. No matter how many times I get it touched up, it wont be perfect, because it’s not her drawing, and it’s heartbreaking.

    I’ve got some amazing, beautiful tattoos since then, including a full sleeve of pirate-themed tattoos, and full-colour chest piece, and they all have come to represent me, but I’ll never be content with the one tattoo that -actually- means something to me, and that’s upsetting.

    But I guess that’s what happens when you go into something with so many emotions attached.

    The only advice I have is to let your tattoos grow into the sort of thing you want adorning your body. As soon as you try and dictate the sort of meaning they should have, you’ll ultimately be very critical of them….or something. <3

  3. I’m 43 years old and have exactly two tattoos. The first large piece on my right shoulder was designed by the man i consider “my first love.” I got it when i was 23 and he and i are still friends despite the fact we never became long term partners. The second is a tattoo around my left ankle that i got after the birth of my son. It’s a tattoo of the two of us with him as a baby in my arms.

    They both seem a bit out of place for me now and at the same time, they are so completely part of me that i wouldn’t consider getting rid of them. They each mark two of the most significant events in my life: opening my heart to another and assuming the responsibility of parenting and caring for child. Both events changed me forever. There is a part of me that is actually appreciative that those changes are reflected on my body.

    I suppose it’s really just an exercise in accepting our decisions. Some choices we make are so “right” they seamlessly integrate into our lives others require the ability to accept the consequences and move forward.

  4. I’m pretty sure it’s normal to go through some time where a tattoo doesn’t feel right. It’s too permanent. It’s not part of your mental picture of yourself. Kind of a bad combo of buyer’s regret and discordance with one’s self image, I guess.

    Anyway, I have a tiny tattoo of a lizard that covers up a scar (3D lizard!), and I felt that way for a little while, after getting over the initial joy of it. I never admitted it, because–well, you and the folks who commented before me covered that. But the feeling didn’t last that long. It’s been … whoa, more than five years… since I got it. And I love it. It’s part of me.

    • Thank you Coral, that sums up how I feel. I’m 42 and got my first tattoo a few days ago after thinking about it for years and refining the design for many months. It’s beai and well done but I feel weird as hell.

      So glad you love it now, I so want to love mine. The day it was done I was hyper pleased but as soon as I woke the following day I wondered what the hell I’d been thinking. As previous posters have said, at least it’s beautiful.

      How long was the adjustment period?

  5. My third Tattoo is one that I used to regret. I got it when I was young and a close friend died terribly in an accident. I had sketched a pair of sky blue wings with the words you visit me in my dreams and a falling star (he used to come to me in my dreams to tell me it would be ok) I took it into a shop and the artist there insulted my artwork and made me feel like it wasn’t very good. I did not let him tattoo me and went to a different shop where I asked the artist to draw it for me. I didn’t have enough money to fill it in so for several years I had an outling of blue wings on my back with big masculine letters stating you visit me in my dreams. It was hideous to me but I hardly ever saw it except for pictures. After I got engaged I decided it was time to fic the wings I was sure everyone would be able to see at my wedding. I went to my artist (who did the last 5 or 6 of my other tats) and she took black and grey to the wings and blended in the words. I love my tattoo now. It’s much more adult and I even though I regret not going with my own design I’m glad that I finally have a piece that I love.

  6. I think regret is okay. I don’t think you have to love something 100% to be happy that it happened and content to keep it. We live in such a black and white culture… if you don’t LOVE something you must HATE it. It’s the expectation for jobs, relationships, body issues, living situations, every aspect of life if we feel any doubt about it then it’s this total crisis. It’s okay to feel doubt. It’s okay to regret. You’re sure you don’t want to change it or get rid of it, so just live with the regret for a while. Maybe someday you’ll love it, and maybe you never will, but either way that is totally okay.

    • Thank you for this. I just got a rather large piece added to an already growing piece on my back, and here I am awake at 3:30am not 100% happy with it. The tattoo is very pretty, it’s just not what I was envisioning it would look like. I think most of my upsetness is directed at myself for not changing the drawing before it was tattooed on…but I thought about it for a year before getting it and the meaning of it will never be any less so I am working on getting comfortable with what it is. I do think I am going to go back to the artist this week to have him make a couple of minor adjustments (hopefully that will help). I just thought I would love it right away and I don’t. You are right it doesn’t have to be black and white. It is okay if it takes me a little time to fully appreciate my new work of art.

  7. These two pieces of advice from higher up in the thread: “the less time you gave yourself to get used to the idea of a particular tat before getting it, the longer the adjustment period is.” and “I’ve also been visualizing my arm, telling myself “soon this will be tattooed”, and I can’t help but look forward to the day.” are absolutely so helpful. I just got my first tattoo less than a week ago. I can’t tell you how many people were “impressed” that I had the lady-balls to go so big for my first time (it goes from my left shoulder to the end of my lower back, so basically the entire left side of my back), asking me if I was sure I wouldn’t regret it. I definitely went through stages of doubt before getting the tattoo, but that’s one reason I gave myself four years to think about the design I wanted. My grade school gym teacher told us if we wanted a tattoo, to pick our design and put it up on our bathroom mirror for a year before we decide to get it, because if you can’t look at it every day and still love it for just a year, you shouldn’t ink it on your body for the rest of your life. One of the wisest teachers I’ve ever had, because her advice helped me avoid getting a design I thought I wanted at 19. Once I settled on my tattoo, I kept the image of my design in mind until I had graduated college and was in a position to pay for the piece myself. I also spent the weeks leading up to the tattoo looking at my skin and thinking “this will never look the same again.” Did the same thing with my belly button before I got it pierced. When I finally sat down in my artist’s chair, the only nerves I had were from hoping I would be able to sit well for her, as I didn’t know what to expect on the pain scale (for the record, I sat great, even my artist was impressed with how easy I was which made me feel like a badass). In the end, I’m so happy I waited for the right time in my life to get this done. I feel like because I spent enough time thinking about my tattoo, having something designed with personal meaning, and visualizing it being on my body, I will never regret it. I’m the kind of person who hasn’t changed her haircut in years, so I needed that mental preparation time to nullify the post-tattoo freakout I would have otherwise had.

  8. I found this so interesting. I have three tattoos and I have never experienced what you’re talking about. Thinking about it, I think it’s partly because my tattoos are not that visible to me, and partly because I have a lot of scars, so my skin has not been “virgin” skin for years and years, and I’m pretty used to that. I guess if I could get rid of something, it would be the scars.

  9. As someone who doesn’t have a tattoo I thought this was really interesting.

    I’ve got three major tattoos planned out that I’ve wanted for…. well the youngest of them I’ve wanted for seven years now. I have a Harry Potter tat planned that I thought would be my first (I drew it up when I was 13 and although I’ve tweaked the design a little I still want it and plan to get it as soon as I get the color scheme to something I like- I used to like only solid black tattoos but I realized after a time that I LOVE blue on and near my skin and I actually really love color in general but I’m not super bold and I think my tattoos should reflect that… so subtle colors and what not are my ideal. ) Secondly, I’ve got a lacy watercolor/pastel/white ink sleeve planned out that is a mis-mash of things I love and that are important to me (centermost being a cat).

    Lastly, I’ve got a left-chest piece planned which very well may possibly be my first this Christmas (happy slightly late birthday and merry Christmas to meeeeeee) if my chosen tattoo artist doesn’t have his building burn down or he moves again. This planned tat is actually the “youngest” of my planned tattoos- it’s a pastel blue/purple design of the Star Trek com badge insignia with the Vulcan symbol behind it and instead of science officer or command it’s a lovely lilac Thundercats symbol. I’m in love with the design, but….. this is usually where I can’t go through. With all the times I’ve done the “pre-tat” tests where I’ve had it stained or printed on my skin I’ve adored the results. my eyes were drawn to the art and I would smile and brush it with my fingertips. Nonetheless, there is a nagging fear in my mind that whispers, “what if you don’t like this when it’s permanent? You scar so easy, and removal isn’t easy- it can’t be washed away like this can.” This thought and the fear of making an ass of myself if my pain tolerance isn’t very high makes me reconsider and eventually back down. (Well… that and the “well what if I loose weight” thought.)

    I’ve still got a couple tattoos that I’ve recently started planning. My husband is an Aquarius, and I am planning on getting a lacy white or just soft pastel koi fish with a heart through it on our fifth anniversary. (**I know people say not to get tattoos based on relationships -even my heavily tattooed sister- but…. it’s my way of documenting my life and something that even if feelings change later- right now we’ve lived three amazing and happy married years together and I want a memento of this part of my life to be honest.) I recently decided to plan five small very delicate and difficult-to-even-think-of-the-circumstances tattoos. I’m not sure of the placement yet but I plan on a small unicorn for my mother, a young dragon for my baby sister, a couple of dinosaurs quoting firefly for my brother, a frog in a tophat for my adopted sister, and lastly …. I’m actually not sure what to o for my father. I was thinking maybe a bigger dragon breathing fire and protecting the unicorn and younger dragon (he’s a passionate firefighter/firelover so something with fire makes sense but I’m not keen on having a firetruck on me) but… not sure yet. Anyhow…. each one of those will be sketch out and saved…. I plan on only getting them in the even that one of those family members pass away. I want to have them close to me and with me always and I know that people will pass on eventually, so I began planning these small mementos that remind me of my loved ones when my mother got breast cancer.

    I know this post is now mostly about my planned tattoos, but I think what I was coming around to say in the end -yes it took me forever to get here- is that even though I’m scared now and might indeed have trouble adjusting to a permanent change to my body these things that I’m planning (and I’m sure will eventually have) mean something to me right now enough that I think I want them on my body for the rest of my life. These people, these meanings, these emotions or events mean something to me. In the end, If I don’t love the look…. I think that’s ok- because it’s the meaning behind it that really matters to me. I know not all tattoos are important meanings or super thought out and I think that’s important too- because something we get on a whim can be just as loved or be a beacon of our strength during a difficult time in our life as a tattoo thought out and planned for. I think that when I get my tattoo… well if I have a time where I feel unsure about it will sit down and realy think about it and look at it. Admire it as if it was new. Look at each line and think of why I got it and where I was in my life. I think that the artist in me will love to sit down and just enjoy tracing the lines with my eyes- hell, if I get bored I can break out some markers or chalks and just mess around with it till I feel better.

    I verily hope I came out somewhat comprehensible through this jumble of words. (Thank you cold medicine for making me feel like I’m swimming through not-so-great-thinky-soup. ) ^^ I look forward to being part of the tattoo crowd someday and to quote some dude somewhere, “this too shall pass.” 🙂

  10. You could try to wear it not as a secret statement and something to hide, but as an accessory. A tattoo especially on a clearly visible spot has to be not only an emotional, but also a fashion statement. Wear colour complementary tops and jewellery, dress up that hair! You will have to live with it, so make it your strength.

  11. I didn’t read all the comments, but I know exactly how you feel. I realized that it was actually (in my own personal opinion) that it was my brain not registering what it is, and after that initial “omg i got my tattoo so cool” etc etc etc, I went into “OMG WHAT IS THAT THING ON MY BODY?! WHY IS IT SO BIG WHY IS IT SO DARK?! OMG OMG OMG”!!!! I freaked…and I didn’t look at it for about a year. After a year and some change I’m totally fine with my tattoo. It has a memory, it tells a story, and it’s a permanent reminder of a moment in my life. My tattoo is now a part of me…where before, it was a ‘thing’. It just took part of my brain a little bit longer to catch up with everything else. You’ll be ok, just give yourself some time to let your brain catch up… 🙂

  12. I just got my fist color and most visible tattoo the other day, it’s my 6th tattoo and I’ve wanted it for god knows how long, I was supper excited when I was getting it and never once thought “what am I doing” but ever since I got it I just felt like I shouldn’t of gotten it, I keep thinking that it will ruin my future job opportunities, that people will judge me, that it doesn’t look good where I got it, I feel like I’m going crazy! It is beautiful and well done, I want to love it, I hate that I don’t, I’ve never felt this way when it came to my other tattoos. Seeing that other people have gone through this does help, but I just hope I can get over this and love my tattoo.

  13. I have no idea what you’re feeling, and really just wanted to offer up another opinion. I have full sleeves and visible tattoos on my chest and ankles and really that’s besides the point. I have very visible and large tattoos, and I have not regretted them ever. Maybe it’s because I never got tattooed outside of a clean and reputable tattoo shop, and I went to professional artists, and really researched everything about tattoos in different cultures, but I really just can’t understand regretting getting them. I knew I wanted them when I was 9, and was made to watch TLC’s “tattoos gone wrong” shows or whatever (I often said I’d get my first one done with a BIC pen and old radio, a la prison tatoos [never did]). Even my shittiest tattoo is still great by most people’s standards, even though I see the flaws. I guess I would just say that if this is your biggest regret in life, than I think you’re living a great life. If you have issues with cutting your hair, I’d suggest not getting visible tattoos, or not getting tattoos at all. You certainly wouldn’t be seen as a bad person for not getting any more. It is your body after all, and you have to live with it 24-7, so you are the only person who gets to decide what you want it to look like.

  14. Your post could not have come at a better time! I am so glad I read it and also glad I took the time to read every single comment from everyone else. I have gotten a few more aspects and views now. I am currently not tattooed at the moment but I have an appt in December for my first tattoo (I have basically 20 days left). It will be my first piece and a BIG piece at that. I am getting a long quote down my rib cage (I know rib cage for first tattoo HOLY COW) Go big or go home right? I am scared and nervous. Not so much for the pain but for the FEAR of TATTOO REGRET. I am scared that my boyfriend/fiancé is going to pay for it and we get home and I am going to look in the mirror and just freak out and break down and cry and regret it. It is such a huge, dramatic, permanent change. I know I will have to get use to it but what if that day never comes? What if my boyfriend/fiancé secretly hates/dislikes it deep down when he is telling me he likes it (He hates tattoo’s he wont ever get one and think’s they are not that attractive) I bet you are wondering then why is he paying his girlfriends/fiancés tattoo to “mutilate” herself. It is because he says he wants me to have what I want (which is sweet) and that he actually likes my design and know’s I have been wanting this for years now. I am 22 currently and this quote is MY philosophy on love. I have loved this quote since I was in middle school. “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on its to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” (From the film The Crow). I know I am rambling on and on and not really giving much advice on tattoo regret but I feel as though I am venting and hopefully someone will read this and be in the same boat as me and not feel “alone” when it comes to this feeling.
    I am now wondering if I should get a different quote that is “fresher” and “newer” on my philosophy for love that is also smaller/shorter so maybe I wont freak out as much? I don’t know what to do. On top of all of this I want to do a little modeling and a lot of acting on film, I am hoping this does not affect my acting career.
    I don’t know….I guess I am just hoping that if everyone goes through Tattoo Regret that then it will be a phase. If I do get it and it wont go away I will just keep reminding myself that it is in a time in my life. And that it is a part of me, and that it is a love based quote/tattoo from a man that I love and that I will never ultimately regret it years down the road.

    • I am in a very similar situation -my appointment for my first tattoo is a few weeks away & my initial excitement has quickly changed to fear. Not of the actual process, but fear that I will regret it down the road. I’m getting something personal as well -an outline of my home state on my shoulder fading into tree roots. I know that I will never regret this completely, in the way you’d regret getting a name of an ex tattooed. I’ll always be from my home state, those will always be my roots. What is there to regret? Similar to BellDVone and other posts I’ve read, a lot of my worry comes from the possible perceptions of others. There is a stigma attached to tattoos, and although I think they’re unique & creative ways of self expression, I can’t help but worry about what others may think -let’s say 20 years down the road, when I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt to take my kids to school, or dress at a formal event.

      In thinking about this fear of judgement & reading the posts… I’ve had a moment of self-revelation: I’m getting this tattoo for ME. The idea came to ME, and it’s something I wanted to do for myself. It’s extremely personal, and has deep meaning to me. That being said, it will never gain the approval of everyone surrounding me, especially strangers who don’t know me. Why would I let this stop me from expressing myself?

      Even if down the road, I may not have chosen the same placement or size, I think I will always be proud of my decision to go for it and not let the fear of judgement stop me from being myself! It will serve as a great reminder of my strength & ability to stand up to my own fears. When I’m wrinkled and 70, I would rather be at ease knowing that I went for it and took a chance, than regretting not taking this leap and letting fear stop me.

      Reading this thread has been extremely helpful in solidifying my decision to go for it. Plus -for every look of doubt you may receive, will be a look of admiration from someone who thinks your tattoo is “badass.”

      Life is sinply too short to worry about the “what if’s” so go for it, embrace your new bodies & the self evolving that they represent!

  15. I am LOVING this thread. Thank you for starting the conversation.

    I got an 11:11 tattoo under my collarbone when I was 18. My best friend and I had stayed up all night being ridiculous, and on a whim the next day decided to get our first tattoos. Now, at least 8/10 people ask me what 11:11 means (my personal interpretation is making a wish at 11:11) and sometimes I feel stupid about it, especially when I get strange looks or people say things like “I guess I don’t get it…” I’m 25 now and while a part of me regrets getting something so permanent on an impulse, I love remembering that night and my young adulthood so fondly. Generally if I get strange looks I can just say, “Oh, you know, I was 18,” but ultimately it has become a part of me. I even have old friends who end up thinking of me when they happen to catch the time 11:11, which is flattering; being associated with making wishes can feel so whimsical.

    I also have a tattoo of a bunch of jasmine flowers in black ink on my back left shoulder blade. This was another impulse tattoo, which I got while I was volunteering abroad in Sri Lanka. Since I was constantly sweating and exposed to sun I wasn’t able to take care of it like I would a tattoo at home. Now the ink is a little thicker and bled out than I would have preferred, and for a while I thought it was an ugly mistake. I’ve ultimately grown to love it though, and its a reminder of my ability to still be spontaneous, adventurous, and is a souvenir of the best trip of my life.

    I have more tattoos that I have been proud of since the beginning. I think that overall what has helped me accept and finally love some of my less-than-stellar ink is associating them with the memories and/or feelings that surround them. I mean, in the end these pieces are for me, and a result of decisions made by me. I think falling in love with my tattoos was a way for me to continue loving myself, even when I am being impulsive, spontaneous, or careless.

    I think that you already deciding that you don’t want to get rid of your piece is you learning to accept and love it, and I think that first step is a powerful one. I agree that the unwanted attention can be cumbersome, but if it helps, I would try to think of it is an invitation to remember why you got the tattoo and to think of your parents and why you wanted to get this piece for them.

  16. I just have one small tattoo. I got it when I was 18 — definitely a growing up thing. I loved it for years, but for the last year or two, I’ve just been ‘meh’ about it. I’ve even considered having it removed.

    I went to a dermatologist who does that work — but mostly to ask him about laser treatments for the capillary breaks on my face. I have about 5-6 that could do with being zapped. He looked at them, and thought that two treatments would do ($160 — so affordable). Then, as an afterthought, I asked about my tattoo. He had a look at it, and being red-and-black and very faded, he suggested that it would probably be 2-3 treatments if I wanted rid of it, and basically the same procedure. And yes, it stings.

    He was a very nice guy, but recommended not doing anything with the tattoo until I was sure. He figured that it wasn’t really bothering me, there was no pressing reason to remove it, and I do more or less like it. And, like the previous poster, it does remind me of my younger self. And it’s always hidden. I hardly think about it, really. So, it stays for now. 🙂

  17. tHey petal i got my wrist tattooed ,of a bird on a branch at the end of October ,and am still having issues,but my third month now and feel better.i so wanted nearly to dig it out,as it turned out way bigger than i wanted 🙂 I’m 45,and had tattoo when i was 35,special maybe another .at 55. They should tell people aboutthe hand ,arm,and wrist tattoos,as they hard to adjust to,and a temp one first would be a better option,i wished i had done that first,never mind i can’t afford laser so i have to learn to luv it.like an arranged marriage.

  18. I have a lot of tattoos. Full sleeves, large upper back piece, both calves, one thigh, and couple scattered small ones. So far. I’m 42 and the majority of my tattoos have been done in the last 4 years after major weight loss. I’ve always wanted tattoos but I’m sometimes surprised at the direction I’ve taken it. There was a time when my sleeves were half done, I started with my forearms, that I thought, what the he’ll have I done? Once they were more complete I felt better. I don’t regret them. I don’t worry about getting old. I sometimes feel its better to stay covered in some instances. I ask if I am I representing someone else what they would prefer. As an ordained minister and a bridesmaid I have been encouraged to be myself. I am still sometimes surprised to find out just who myself is.

  19. I have a suggestion! You mentioned that you other body image issues as well as disliking (or being uncomfortable with) your tattoo. You should look into getting a glamour or boudoir photography shoot done! Sometimes it can be hard to step back from your own negativity to see how beautiful you really are (including your tattoo), but having a really smashing photograph of yourself can give you a physical reminder that you are a gorgeous bad-ass who is totally owing her life right now.
    Even if you don’t feel that way now, just having gone and done something a little out of your comfort zone (professional makeup?? showing skin in front of strangers????) can give you a little courage for other stuff in life, like blowing off those creepy guys who think a tattoo is an open invitation to hit on you.
    Professional photographers who do this type of photo will let you bring a friend (or two) if you’re nervous and won’t post your photo all over the place with out your permission. Many of them have pro makeup artists working with them as well.
    I haven’t worked with her, but I have seen AWESOME stuff by Bernadette Newberry (in the Cincinnati Ohio area)
    Seriously, look how good they look! http://www.bernadettenewberry.com/glamour-before-after

    Specifically on the tattoo side, I also have an absolutely gorgeous tattoo but sometimes I do wish I had plain old naked skin there. I don’t think its the tattoo specifically, but the whole “WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MYSELF??” thought process. On those occasions I just try to remember, yes, I wanted this tattoo. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, I trust my decisions and this was the right one. And yes, everything is going to be okay (but maybe not right this second).

  20. I feel Exactly the same, last year i got a huge tatoo of a cross on my back, it covers part of my shoulders.When my mother first saw it, she made a huge deal, I even ended up going to see a therapist.. My mum is very religious, and it really bothers her, because is a cross. However, I have 5 tattoos and she doesn’t mind them, just the cross. Since my mothers disliked, I started to hate it, and Receive a lot of bad comments, but my girlfriends love it . I have seen a doctor in order to remove it, she said there was no point because I am black and it’s almost impossible to remove it.. I am super sad, and I don’t know what to do., sometimes I say fuck people, sorry for the language.. And others it really does bother me ..

  21. I had this exact same thing last year. I got a mahoosive tattoo on my thigh – I’d thought about it for months and months, picked my favourite artist, deliberated over it for ages and gone over the design until I was totally happy with it – and yet after it was done, one unkind word from my parents about it made me go into a full-on freakout! But it will get easier with time to accept it, and you’ll remember why you loved it, and it will look wonderful. You’ll be fine. Don’t even think about removing it or covering it up – at least not yet! Enjoy it – and you sound smart and mature enough that you won’t regret it in your later years 🙂 I wrote a whole thing about my tattoo doubt in more detail here (http://misslilyrae.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/three-discoveries-i-made-this-week-sex-dreams-books-no-one-reads-and-tattoo-related-panic-attacks/ ), but honestly – don’t worry.
    Tattoo removal is for tattoos of crappy little bulldogs in flatcaps, not big beautiful pieces of art.

  22. I understand u because I just got a big piece which I love but I was kind of having problems accepting it. I have 5 tats but they are small and having this one a lil bit bigger kind of made me (not regret it) but I really wasnt expecting to be that big . Now im making peace with it,, I really love it, is very special to me. Is normal to feel like that at first. Embrace its beauty, get more and be happy =)

  23. This made me feel so much better about the situation I am in. I got a tattoo a few days ago, that I was in love with and planned out for a long time. I even loved it right after..but then I started feeling huge regret the next day and feel like it doesn’t belong on my body. I know it may just be the shock of seeing it…it’s a lot bigger than my other two tattoos and colored and on my shoulder blade so not easily hidden (although easier than some spots). I am hoping that this feeling will fade and I’ll end up feeling great about it, but right now I can’t help but feel like I made a stupid mistake that I will end up paying for by undergoing removal.

    I was wondering if you have had any changes in the way you feel about yours now that it’s been a few more months? I hope, whatever has happened, it is working out for you! Thanks again for your story.

    • Hi there. Reading your post mirrors my own situation. I had a tattoo on the front of my right shoulder a couple of days ago. A lot of research, thought and planning went into the tattoo and it is meaningful for me. The artist is fantastic and she has executed it brilliantly and on first sight, I loved it. Three days later and I can’t eat or sleep. I’m too afraid to show people and I’m furious with myself for getting it! Friends and family have been kind about it as it is a beautiful piece but colleagues have been extremely negative!

      I see you wrote your post in March – have your feelings towards your tattoo changed?

  24. Thank you for this article it is very reassuring. I got a tattoo recently and it was something I wanted for a long time. I waited till I was 25, did my homework, looked at artists, and went to shops. I did two consultations with the guy I got mine from just to make sure that it was what I wanted before I got it. I probably won’t go back to the same shop (it was a little dirtier in the back then up front) but I still appreciate his work.

    There were a few differences in the tattoo that threw me off at first. More shading than I would have liked, etc. But my first though upon seeing it was “This looks right” and I’m sticking with that. It just feels weird to have something that feels right and wrong at the same time, but that isn’t something I am unfamiliar with. There are lots of people with body issues, and dysphoria even stronger than that. But learning to like parts of you is all a part of the game I feel.

    I would say my view is flipped. I feel fine so long as I can see the tattoo, but when I cover it and I know it is there I start disliking it. But it’s good to hear your words about this.

  25. I know how you feel i’m feeling exactly same way my tattoo is beaudifull i love it and hate it at the same time really strange feeling tho

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