I am a super-duper tattoo enthusiast and am planning, now that I have a career, to eventually have my limbs totally covered. What do my tattoos say about me? I really don’t know yet — although I’ve been told more than once that it’s either incredibly narcissistic or super bad ass that I got a heart tattoo with my own name.
The varieties of tattoos you can get are basically endless, but when people get tattoos, they tend to fall onto design precedent, choosing tattoos that are proven to look good. The type of tattoo you get says a lot about who you are, which is usually the point. So what are your tattoos saying about you? Click through the gallery to find out!
Asian Religious Symbols On A Caucasian Person: You Probably Have Nothing To Do With That Religion
My first tattoo was an aum on my wrist, so I’m speaking from experience here.
Bike Tattoo: Get Out Of The Bike Lane, Asshole
I bet you got it two weeks before that month’s Critical Mass.
Biomechanical: You Take Your Body Way Too Seriously
Just so we’re clear, humans are organic and machines are artificial. We’re clear on that, right?
Cat tattoos are just permanent memes. But hey, maybe Disco was a real cool cat.
City-Inspired Tattoo: You Hate Change
You will probably never move out of the city you got a tattoo for, or you will move back there, because you really would prefer to just be where you grew up/came of age/whatever. Why else would you have gotten a tattoo for it? Also, you hate that the neighborhood is changing.
Coordinate Tattoos: You’re A Little Bit Of A Control Freak
Coordinate tattoos are like a little secret you have with yourself. You want to be reminded of something that’s special to you, but you don’t want other people to know what it is without having to ask you specifically what location your coordinates refer to, which I take to mean that you really want to be in control of your relationships with new people.
Courier Tattoo: You’re A Rube
Seriously, Courier is the ugliest font ever. It would honestly be cooler to get a tattoo in Comic Sans.
Cursive Handwriting Tattoos: You Had Disposable Cash In 2014
I think that last year, Gen Y was just starting to get some cash, and so we decided to get the simplest, cheapest tattoos we could get without seeming totally unoriginal. (I say “we,” but then, I don’t have any cursive handwriting tattoos.)
Designer Tattoos: You Don’t Have Forethought
This Xoïl tattoo is beautiful, but the design is super of-the-moment and will be outdated in a few years. I mean, come on, couldn’t you see that on a Threadless t-shirt?
Dot Work: You Have High Pain Tolerance
It hurts way more to get poked repeatedly with a tattoo needle than to have the artist drawing lines or doing shading. I had a stencil tattoo that had some dot work in it and it’s an experience I wouldn’t want to repeat unless absolutely necessary. My hat’s off to you, friend.
Grey Wash: You Take Yourself Way Too Seriously
If you can’t stand color tattoos, you’re probably overly concerned about appearances.
Horror Tattoos: I Bet You’d Be A Fun Friend
You like movies, you like grossing people out, and you’re probably really enthusiastic about having fun. LET’S HANG OUT.
Mandala: You Probably Have ADD
Mandalas keep your eyes busy, so they’re great for people who are easily distracted.
Map Tattoo: You Had Disposable Cash In 2013
They were super trendy two years ago. Like cursive handwriting tattoos, they’re simple and cheap, but they also inspire a sense of *~ADVENTURE.~*
Nautical Tattoos: You Have Probably Never Stepped Foot On A Ship, But Your Tattoo Looks Cool, So There’s That
More likely, you see ships as a symbol for adventure or something. But hey, seriously, your tattoo looks cool.
Prison Tats On Pretty People: You Have Never Been To Prison
I don’t know how this became fashionable, but prison tattoos on skinny/famous/beautiful people, or people who obviously do not have a rap sheet, are a little tacky, no?
Religious Tattoos: We Probably Can’t Be Friends
I respect your beliefs, but it’s gonna be hard for me to have your shoulder missionizing at me when we hang out.
Sailor Jerry Tattoos: You Might Be An Asshole
Don’t get me wrong, I have a few Sailor Jerry tattoos myself, but people who go crazy with Sailor Jerry tattoos tend to be pretentious rockabilly types who genuinely wish, deep down inside, that they were living in the 50s.
Scarification: I Am Scared/In Awe Of You
I’m not a huge fan of back tattoos, but I would scar a pattern onto my back if I thought I could handle the pain. I mean, just looking at the pictures of scarification is giving me the willies. How do you people do this?!
Skulls: You Have An Image To Live Up To
That image is “bad boy prototype,” knows how to fix cars and build things, smokes cigarettes, drinks cheap beer, etc. People with skull tattoos are often, by the way, very nice despite the image.
Tribal Tattoo: Douchebag
Come on, everyone knows that.
Very Realistic Portrait Of A Famous Person: You Lack Imagination
“I like this person. I like this picture of this person. Instead of looking at this picture of this person, I would like for this picture of this person to be transferred permanently onto my body. Please do not alter it in any way so that it is more personal. I just wish to have the picture as it is.”
Very Realistic Portrait Of A Non-Famous Person: Your Love For Your Friends And Family Is Endearing
Realistic portraits are a risk because the shading can make the subject look slightly non-human sometimes, and the fact that you’d take that risk is touching.
Watercolor: You Wanted A Tattoo But Couldn’t Think Of Anything To Get
“Just, um, put some color on my arm. OK, that’s good.” I mean, hey, if you just want a tattoo for decoration, it works out.
Your Kid’s Hand/Footprints: You’re Only Ever Going To Get One Tattoo
You’ve always kind of wanted a tattoo, but never wanted to commit to the subject matter of a tattoo, so you saved it for when you had kids. It’s a good strategy.
Original by: Rebecca Vipond Brink