Social Question

rockfan's avatar

What's your first impression when you see someone with a lot of tattoos?

Asked by rockfan (7190points) May 18th, 2014

I always think to myself “That’s really impressive and artistic. But what’s so wrong with simply having it on a canvas and in their home?”

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55 Answers

Mariah's avatar

Meh, I could care less. I don’t want them on myself but it doesn’t affect me if someone else chooses to get their own.

I can only see myself getting judgey about it if the content of the tattoos is offensive or something.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Like @Mariah stated if it comes across as offensive or vulgar I would be judgey about that person, now what about later in life might not be the best thing in a big business environment, and really want to explain to the Grandkids what Fuck the world, or bar tramp means and why it’s on your arm or leg.

Kardamom's avatar

I think they make the person look dirty (un-clean, not naughty). I don’t care for them, but a lot of people that I know and love have them and the tats don’t make me love them any less. I guess I’m a lot more used to seeing them now, than say 20 years ago. I too wonder why not just put that “art” on a canvas.

tedibear's avatar

My very first thought is, “OW!” because I think it would hurt. I don’t have any, so I don’t know if that’s true.

After that, I don’t care. Some look great, some look awful, but those are only my opinions about the artwork, not the person.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t want any but do whatever you want with your bod.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I say “Hi Kids!” and they say “Hi Mom!”

ibstubro's avatar

I saw a young man at Subway today who had a large, very dark tattoo on the side of his neck. I found it very distracting. Then I noticed that his teeth were largely black nubs. So I counted the other visible tats, and there were at least 5. With the boil-like bump on his cheek, I think “white-trash” pretty much sums it up. I’m reasonably sure he would be unable to spell, “Methamphetamine”.

That said, I look at a lot of young people with tats and wonder how they could not regret it at some point in their lives. And those hideous checkers in their ears.

Finally, let me add that I think tattoos that are not outlines in ¼” black ‘Look At Me!’ lines are pretty cool. If I wasn’t an old fart, I might consider one on my upper forearm – something for me to enjoy, but easily hidden.

filmfann's avatar

My first impression when seeing someone tattooed? I wonder if they know my daughter.

canidmajor's avatar

I mostly just wonder what the story is behind each one. Does the body art commemorate an event? Does it honor a person?
If they’re really badly done I just think it’s too bad.
I have a bunch and when people see them I get judged, but I learned many years ago that the knee-jerk reaction of strangers isn’t worth fretting about.

cookieman's avatar

I’m generally attracted to them (the tattoos, not necessarily the person) if they are done well. Some tattoos can be beautiful.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh look, that person has tattoos.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My son has a story behind his tattoos. One is the VIN number of his ‘78 Pinto hatchback that he’s restoring! There are different ones for different reasons.

I don’t think much really, unless they have them on their face. That I don’t understand.

syz's avatar

Depends on the tats. Some are lovely works of art. Some are random styles, color, content, and varying tattoo artist skill, and I fnd them distracting.

I’m strongly attracted to the watercolor style of tattoo and looking for an artist in my area for this design.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I saw a woman with an interesting tattoo on her neck. It was her family crest. That was cool.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I want to get one on my ankle.

Dutchess_III's avatar

For a while, when the kids were teenagers, I wanted to tattoo their names on my butt. >_<

livelaughlove21's avatar

My first impression is that the person has tattoos and it doesn’t affect me, so it’s none of my business. I don’t think anything good or bad about someone because they have tattoos. It’s just something people do; why should I care?

syz's avatar

I find the juxtaposition of tattooed forearms with business or formal wear very sexy.

ragingloli's avatar

violent gangster. switch to the other side of the road.
I have the same reaction to skinheads.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 “what about later in life might not be the best thing in a big business environment”

Of course it can depend on placement, but people can be heavily tattooed and still maintain a solid career in business. Once on the train I was sitting next to this guy who was fully sleeved on both arms and had a huge piece covering most of his back. He worked as a bank officer of some sort. Granted he was easily able to cover his tattoos with business attire, and was clean cut, but still, it’s possible to be inked and have a respectable career beyond the food service industry.

El_Cadejo's avatar

It depends very much on the style and art of the tats. I’ve seen some people with full sleeves that look absolutely amazing and others that are just like “dude…..dafuq where you thinking…..”

Haleth's avatar

They might be a creative free spirit or an insufferable douchebag.

Coloma's avatar

I like many tattoos, have a couple small ones myself, but, some are overkill.
It’s one thing to have a thoughtful design and another to just scribble all over yourself like a wall of graffiti lol
One of the coolest tats I have ever seen was a Koi fish twining up this womans leg. It was so well done, a work of art.

Mimishu1995's avatar

<——- ............

GloPro's avatar

Above the shoulders I think “That’s a mistake.” Except for a girlfriend of mine with progeria. She has a cool sunflower tattoo on her bald head. She normally has her wig on, but she wanted to have something beautiful when she took it off.

Otherwise, I like to look at well done ink. Tattoos are definitely something you don’t skimp on quality to save money.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Always makes me think of a story I read somewhere called The Illustrated Man where each of his tattoos come alive and tell a story.

Coloma's avatar

@Dan_Lyons “Thing of a story? Ya know, the “G” key is 3 over to the left form the “K” key. LOL Are you smokin’ the peace pipe? haha

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I wish. LOL. Luckily I fixed it while I had the chance!

johnpowell's avatar

I want to have sex with them.

edit :: And my sister gets lovely tattoos.

Coloma's avatar

Aaaand @johnpowell gets the award for most straight forward. lol

Coloma's avatar

@johnpowell What is that? An Octopus or an East Indian Elephants face? haha

johnpowell's avatar

I think it is a whale that took a holiday in India.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ LMAO!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@johnpowell ya know, these two sentences next to each other don’t exactly sound good…. :P
“I want to have sex with them.
edit :: And my sister gets lovely tattoos.”

ucme's avatar

Complete apathy

Dutchess_III's avatar

“The Illustrated Man” was written by Ray Bradbury. (I did not Google.)

ibstubro's avatar

I think people of a certain age mostly know that, @Dutchess_III. The Bradbury part, I mean, not the Google part.

ibstubro's avatar

Okay, most normal people. Satisfied^^?

Paradox25's avatar

My feelings are usually neutral, because it’s the demeanor, mannerisms and facial expressions of a person that stand out to me more than anything else.

It depends on the tattoo though, since some stand out more than others to me, so a few types of these can make me wary. Sometimes shady people, or those whom I disagree with (politically, religiously, etc), like to express their way of life by having these symbols and words painted on their bodies.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It depends on where they are, if they all tie in together for a basic theme,and how well they are inked. Sadly most of the time the first thing that comes to mind is “What in the world were they thinking!?”

El_Cadejo's avatar

@syz Ya know, I love star wars but I don’t think either of those look all that good, especially the sleeves in the first link. It just looks gaudy.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ I did not know the first was a tattoo, I thought it was a shirt that someone had open, I was looking at the chest thinking where the tattoo was. That is one of those ”What the hell was he thinking?” tattoos. It would look silly in the boardroom, and when he is old and wrinkled it will be worse. The second one I thought was a one slick piece of work. However I am sure some would say it was Photoshopped. I am sure his money was well spent on it.

Darth_Algar's avatar


How many people go into the boardroom shirtless?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Not shirtless, but on warm days some go with short sleeves, you won’t hide all that ink with it from shoulder to wrist.

Darth_Algar's avatar

^ And some don’t. I’d assume anyone who’s inked up and has advanced far enough into their career to be sitting in the boardroom knows how to cover.

canidmajor's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central : in my experience, (which I recognize may not be everyone’s) of having tattoos for over 30 years, the only people who have been concerned about tattoos being ”...old and wrinkled…” are the ones without tattoos. Unless one is tattooed on the head and neck, and/or hands, the ink is fairly easily covered in all seasons.

syz's avatar

^ I’ve never understood the “old, wrinkled, and tattooed” argument. Like “old and wrinkled” is attractive, but if you throw in a tattoo, suddenly someone is hideous?

ibstubro's avatar

@syz I think most of us have seen people with a large black blob calling attention to their old-wrinkledness. Once the art is unrecognizable, it appears to be a self-inflicted skin disease.

Please don’t take that as an insult or argumentative, it is simply a reply to your Q, face value.

syz's avatar

@ibstubro Well, it helps if you put some thought into your tattoo placement. Some areas distort more than others.

Darth_Algar's avatar

When I’m that old and wrinkled I’ll likely have greater concerns than how some ink under my skin looks.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree, @syz. Unfortunately that’s not something a lot of kids consider. Or ancestry. If they would look at their parents and try to determine where a tattoo would look best on them, they could probably have lasting art. Unfortunately, many would be revolted by that idea.

I think the ‘old and wrinkly’ argument is often mature people thinking of all the stupid crap they’ve done in their lives, and appreciating the fact that there’s no visible marks from it. Kinda like ‘What if every joint I ever smoked had left a hickey somewhere on my body for life?’ Cautionary.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the “old and wrinkled” argument from anyone mature.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I have seen tattoos that would have been good on a person at one time, but now that thew person is very old and wrinkled, where the tattoo lies is in a valley of wrinkles, and hard to even see for all of the loose skin.

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