Social Question

Crumpet's avatar

Tattoos... Cool or Ugly?

Asked by Crumpet (1785points) September 11th, 2012

In today’s society it seems almost the norm to get at least one tattoo at some point in your lifetime.
It’s something I’ve never really understood, and personally, I find tattoos on women a bit of a turn off.
In years to come they fade out blur, and don’t look good at all.

I’d be disappointed if I ever took a girl home who I thought was smoking hot, and then found a butterfly on her lower back, and a snake coiling round her leg. Or a portrait of Monroe on their arm.
What’s the point?

To me tattoos just take away from a persons natural beauty, and they mostly look pretty cheap too.

I can always remember a quote from Ozzy Osborne, “If you want to be unique, don’t get a tattoo”

What are your opinions of tattoos?

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44 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’m just curious, do you think a tat looks okay or is more acceptable on a guy?
I personally don’t think about them one way or another.

Crumpet's avatar

@chyna well, I don’t really like them on males or females, but they are something I’ve always thought to be slightly more masculine.

bewailknot's avatar

I have 3. I got the first one in 1976, and the 3rd in 1980. If I could afford more I would have more. I now work at a very conservative place which requires tattoos to be covered if possible, which means I cannot wear a dress to work. I consider tattoos to be permanent jewelry, something I cannot have taken from me.

fremen_warrior's avatar

I think people who decide to get tattoos are generally more open-minded than most. Given there is a difference between the “I want that one” and the ”...well, I’ve thought about it and what I want is…” type of tattoos. It took me well over two years to discover what I wanted to get tattooed for instance, and so I got my first tat a month ago.

If anything a well placed, thought out tattoo can look great, and makes that person the more interesting in my eyes. You should get a tattoo first and foremost for yourself, and if people do get to see it someday and like it, that’s a bonus.

Berserker's avatar

I think they’re pretty cool, and I don’t believe they take away from a person. I don’t really think tattoos are so much about wanting to be different, rather than it is a relation or attachment to something personal. Maybe, maybe not, I denno. Must depend on the person. But I think they’re pretty cool. I’d like to get one myself, of an owl. I don’t know where to put it though, and I have two different choices for the owl, in flight or standing on a branch. Can’t freakin decide haha.
But yeah, tattoos, FTW I say.
I’m also pretty interested on the history of the tattoo as social status in different cultures, and how it came to be what it is today in many places.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

One or two small ones would be okay, but I’m more into the natural look in the women I like. I’ve seen some family crests that are interesting, and Symbeline’s owl sounds interesting, but the big garish ones turn me off. Symbeline, if you’re interested I have a great owl picture for you.

Berserker's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Show away. :) Owls rule.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline Crap. it’s not on this computer. Let me get it for you tommorrow. Big or little?

Berserker's avatar

Whichever works best. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The big pic really shows his beauty, but it’s 81/2 by 11 inches.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I think if a tattoo can change your opinion of someone from “smoking hot” to “disappointed”, you aren’t really understanding the concept of “natural beauty”.

I’ve seen many tattoos that are cool, and badass, and many that are rather “meh”, and some that I think are ugly and freak the crap out of me. Much like all other art.

Berserker's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Well let’s go with that.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO ink belongs on newspapers and paychecks.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline This one is close but not as beautiful. I’ll get it to you tommorrow.

wundayatta's avatar

I suspect there is a relationship between class (whatever that is) and willingness to get inked up. This is on average, so of course there will be some people in more well off groups who get tattoos, but a higher proportion of people in less well-off groups will get tattoos. I suspect that in corporate management you will see a lot less tattoos than you will among the ranks of those who get told what to do.

Tattoos, despite being much more prevalent these days, are still, I believe, associated with the notion of rebellion. This fits with the class notion. It shows you are more open minded, perhaps. More willing to take risks. Willing to believe you can make a decision now when you are young and you will be happy to live with it the rest of your life. It probably means you discount the future heavily, and doubt your body will change so that the tattoo looks like shit. So tattoos are more likely to be found on people who don’t do extensive analyses of the future. People who don’t think as much or plan as much before taking action.

I like looking at tattoos. Some are really cool and beautiful. Others are ugly, and I don’t like looking at those. When I see someone whose arm or trunk or whatever is covered with tattoos, I kind of despair. I doubt if I will ever know someone like that, personally. We just don’t hang with the same crowd.

That’s another thing. I suspect that people who like tattoos probably drink more in bars. I don’t drink, and I don’t go to bars, and so I don’t meet people with tattoos.

The only time I meet people with tattoos is doing artistic things, but even then, they are mostly kids, and want nothing to do with a 56 year old fat guy who has no ink and probably couldn’t understand them.

I guess it’s another culture as much as anything else. It’s edgy. Different. It is a complaint against the establishment. It’s probably a “fuck you” in some cases. It says “I don’t give a shit about what you think.”

So, yeah. Cool and ugly, depending on how good they are. Very much a statement, although maybe not clear what the statement is about. I think that if you want to be a leader anywhere but in the military, you don’t get a tattoo.

Yeah. I don’t have any. Not going to get any. Wouldn’t want my kids to get any, although I’m not going to tell them that. My daughter already figured it out.

But if I were in the market for a relationship, I think a woman with a sexy tattoo would probably make me see funny and lose a bit of my capacity for thinking. There’s something mystical and mysterious and magical about a woman with a secret tattoo somewhere only I could see it.

Hey! @Symbeline! I have an idea where you can put that owl.

partyrock's avatar

Some people have cool, interesting, and beautiful tattoos, but it seems the majority of people in the city I see have ugly tattoos!

I don’t like it when people get tattoos that are trendy. For example when people had the barb wire tattoo around their upper arm back in the 90’s. Or women getting a “tramp-stamp” tattoo.

I’ve seen some beautiful ones, but mostly ugly ones.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I care more about my farts than what people do with their skin.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I really don’t make it my business to judge what other people choose to wear or how they adorn themselves.
I like tattoos, I have tattoos, I don’t care if other people do or don’t.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It depends on the artist. A well done tattoo can be a thing of beauty, a poorly done tattoo can be ugly as sin. Unfortunately it seems there are currently more bad artists than good ones in the tattoo industry.

cookieman's avatar

Like most things artistic, it is subjective and very dependent on the body on which it is worn, the location it is placed, and the skill in which it is applied – not to mention “does the viewer actually like the image they’re looking at?”.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If someone you like doesn’t like your tattoos, you can always turn the lights down or off.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Both. Depends a lot on the artist and what the image is of. There are a LOT of shitty tattoos out there, but there is also some truly amazing and beautiful artwork on peoples bodies.

gailcalled's avatar

My youngest step-son had a tough time as an adolescent. His two older brothers and his step-brother and sister,and his father and mother (and me) were intellectuals and either graduates of or headed for Ivy League or similarly competitive colleges and universities.

This guy had a learning disability and suffered through school. He got hooked on crack cocaine…both using and dealing. During this ten-year period he got two garish large tattoos on his arms.

Eventually after several tries at rehab, he straightened his life out. He got certified as a Personal Trainer and now, at age 49 owns a gym and runs a very successful business. He uses weight-lifting as his drug of choice.

He is very unhappy about the tattoos and is planning on having them removed, a long, painful and expensive process.

Sunny2's avatar

I’d like to have a small one on my butt, but not enough to do it. It hurts!

filmfann's avatar

I don’t have a tattoo, and neither does my wife, though she has spoken of getting one some day.
I occasionally threaten to get a tattoo of either the Superman symbol, or the sign on top of the Grand Lake theater
My son sometimes talks of it, but doesn’t have one yet.
My daughters both have tattoos. Becky, who works as a body piercer, is heavily sleeved, and has numerous images all over. Her tats are quite large, but seem tastefully done.
My niece, who is an idiot, has numerous garage tats. They are horrible, and resulted in her having trouble finding a job.
I guess having them professionally done, and having an idea of how they will all look together makes a huge difference.

Adagio's avatar

When I was a lot younger, tattoo was always associated with sailors and hoods . I’ve changed my mindset about tattoos over the last couple of years. My daughter often used to talk about getting a tattoo but never did, then she met the gorgeous man who became her husband, he has a strong artistic bent which he channelled in various directions over the years. About two years ago he decided he would start working as a tattoo artist, which is exactly what he did. They recently moved to Melbourne, Australia where he works very successfully and happily in his chosen artform. My daughter now has quite a number of tattoos which she is very proud of. I don’t think I will ever choose to be tattooed, although my mind is not completely closed off to the idea, but I’m more than happy to let others make the decision for themselves. My son-in-law spoke once about every tattoo on his body telling a story, reflecting a particular period in his life, it made sense.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on the tattoo, the person it’s on, the placement and quality of the image, and possibly even the personal meaning (for the wearer.)

zensky's avatar

The latter. Sorry.

ucme's avatar

They can be either depending on the quality or lack thereof & the content.

Seek's avatar

Well, either and both, I suppose.

I know a good many people with fantastic art on their bodies, and just as many with a Chinese character that means “Fluffy” when they were told it means “Demon”. My dear friend has a huge, gorgeous chest piece that took two months worth of work, my brother has a flaming pumpkin on his arm. Whatever.

If and when I ever get my tats, they will be very specific ones, well thought-out, related to my own life passions, and things I cannot possibly see myself regretting (unlike that girl from high school with the portrait of Lance Bass from N*Sync on her right shoulder)

OpryLeigh's avatar

In general, I love tattoos and I think many women look hot with tattoos. In fact, I tend to prefer tattoos on women that on men! I’m not to kee on tattoos if they arejust generic though, my sister has got a tattoo of a butterfly on her belly which she admits has no meaning to her whatsoever, she almost regrets having it done but she did it when she was young and every one was getting them, my brother did the same thing with a few stars going up his arm which he has since had covered. I like tattoos that say something about the wearers life, loves, beliefs and memories rather than something that everyone else has a version of!

I have mentioned many times on here that the only reason I do’t have tattoos is because my boyfriend isn’t keen. I would love a lighthouse under my right boob down to my hip in particular.

gailcalled's avatar

@Leanne1986: If you sister gets pregnant, gains weight or ages, that butterfly may turn into a
large bird with a very large wing span..

Women need to consider how certain body parts will change with aging.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@gailcalled She is currently pregnant and it’s not looking to good right now!

deni's avatar

Cool looking tattoos I enjoy, ugly tattoos, especially those depicting a real person’s face, are usually ugly and unpleasant and make me question the person’s intelligence level. I think they can be really sexy as long as they fit the persons personality and interests and are done by a skilled artist. I have a lot of friends with a lot of really cool tattoos, but thats only cause they’re cool people to begin with with good taste in most things.

gailcalled's avatar

@deni; Who defines what is good looking, sexy and cool as opposed to ugly, unpleasant and invented by a stupid person?

Who gets to say what is tasteful and what is not?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Crumpet It is understandable how you feel. There are many others who feel the same way about tattoos, whether a potential partner is male or female. What they sometimes find is that the personality outweighs the disdain for body art, particularly if it is part of their love interest’s past. Please don’t judge a book by its cover.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled We all do. I get what you’re going at, we all have our own opinion on beauty and what not, but if we really stuck to that, this question and a lot of others would become instantly moot.

deni's avatar

@gailcalled Me cause I’m the one judging it? Them cause they’re the one wearing it? Everyone is allowed to judge everything, everyone, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to give a fuck about anyone else’s opinion. And they shouldn’t, and a lot of people with a lot of tattoos I think are past the point of worrying about strangers opinions of them.

gailcalled's avatar

Not giving a “fuck about anyone else’s opinion” is a very different issue from being an arbiter of taste, is it not?

@uberbatman; You raise an interesting question for another thread. Are there absolutes in esthetics? Do those who love Elvis on velvet have a valid point of view? Of course they do. But NIMBY or front hall.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not a big fan of almost any type of body art, including tattoos and piercings. The body in its natural state is much more attractive to me. I’ll also guess that I’m one of those ‘rare’ people who will never get a tattoo or piercing of any type during my lifetime either.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled Oh please ask. Or @uberbatman. Are there absolutes in aesthetics? I’d love to know how people who believe there are come to that conclusion. Where do these absolutes come from? How do you know what they are? How can taste be anything other than relative?

downtide's avatar

I like tattoos on men or women, provided that the quality of the artwork is high, and it doesn’t include the name of a lover (current or otherwise). The tattoo will no doubt outlast the relationship.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled or @wundayatta go ahead and ask, I’m sure both of you could word the question more nicely than I could

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