Top 5 Reasons People Remove Tattoos
As the nation’s leading provider of laser tattoo removal, we meet hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of patients every month who are interested in getting a tattoo removed. While each tattoo and its origin story are unique, we’re surprised how often we hear the same reasons for removal from very different people.
When patients visit Dr. Tattoff for the first time, they’re often self-conscious about why they’ve come in and sometimes there’s even a feeling of shame or embarrassment about having the tattoo, or wanting to get it removed. It’s a deeply emotional and personal choice that brings a number of issues to the forefront. To help remind these patients that they’re not alone, we thought that sharing the reasons people remove tattoos might serve as some measure of comfort. Just as there is a feeling of connectivity between tattoo enthusiasts, we believe there should be a sense of community among those who are considering or currently undergoing the removal process.
1. A Failed Relationship
Over 30% of our patients are having a tattoo removed of someone’s name, a symbol, initials or a ring of ink around their finger that represents a past relationship. Because a tattoo typically lasts forever (or used to), just thinking or talking about the tattoo can be an immensely painful reminder of someone they once believed they’d spend a lifetime with. Tears are not uncommon when we’re meeting a patient who falls into this category, especially when the break-up was recent.
2. A New Relationship
The beginning of new love can bring with it a renewed sense of self-awareness and aspirations for self-improvement. We are anxious to please our partner, and without realizing it may dabble in new interests or hobbies, alter our tastes, and explore new ambitions based on our partner’s needs and desires. This rationale is usually manifested in women who have recently become involved with someone that has expressed a distaste for one of their tattoos, or all their tattoos. It is at this point, that the one partner decides to visit Dr. Tattoff in order to please the other one.
3. Looking for Love
There are many reasons people stay single for years, when they want more than anything to be in a relationship. Sometimes it’s because they are sending the wrong signals, or they aren’t emotionally available. Other times it’s because they seek a partner outside of their current social circle or cultural surroundings. Unfortunately, people who don’t have tattoos sometimes assume that people with tattoos have certain traits or are on a different life path simply because of misconceptions and stereotypes. This is another popular reason people want a tattoo removed. They believe it will help them meet someone, and they’re often right. Like-minded individuals tend to be attracted to one another initially through visual cues.
It has been estimated that 40% of millennials have tattoos. Defined as born from 1981 to 1997, many visit a tattoo studio the moment they turn eighteen and add to them in their early twenties before they’ve spent much time thinking about their career outlook. Around the age of 25, when the once sought-after independence and self-reliance loses its luster, they begin to consider how they’ll ever afford the lifestyle they seek. Along with that realization comes a need to make oneself more marketable for the job market. That can include everything from improving a resume, going back to school or pursuing a graduate degree, to changing one’s image. Despite the popularity of tattoos, it has recently been widely documented that most employers still negatively judge job candidates because of them.
For those looking at white-collar positions, visible tattoos can be an obstacle to landing a job or a setback to being promoted. Even in the case of some blue-collar job prospects, there are many companies including police departments and military divisions that do not permit tattoos on the neck, hands, or lower arms.
5. Starting a Family
Getting engaged, married or starting a family are popular milestones where people commit to making big changes. As future brides think about how they’ll look on their wedding day, they embark on weight loss programs, begin laser hair removal (which we also offer), start exercising and vow to eat better. Many also begin the process of tattoo removal.
Raising a child is the first time some people take an in-depth look at themselves and think about the example they’re setting. Surprisingly, people with tattoos are often the most vocal about how horrified they’d be if their child eventually decided to get a tattoo. To avoid being a walking contradiction, we see many new parents (mothers and fathers) getting their tattoos removed in order to be a role model to their kids.
Every day, our experiences shape who we are, and who we are in the process of becoming. Most likely, your favorite TV show or movie isn’t what it was when you were seven or twenty, because your sensibilities change. You gain new perspective with every challenge, disappointment and victory. So it’s no wonder that a tattoo that defined you when you were younger no longer defines you. Maybe you felt rebellious at 22 and the best way to express that at the time was with a tattoo, but at 42, you’ve probably outgrown those feelings. Or maybe rebellious is more complicated, and is no longer achieved by sitting in a tattoo artist’s chair while a needle plants ink your skin. With age comes wisdom, along with the ability to admit you’re not who you were, and maybe (just maybe) you made a mistake.
Whatever your reason for getting a tattoo or having it removed, we offer a free confidential consultation in a private room where you can tell us as much or as little as you’d like. Our nurses were selected based on their qualifications as well as their professional demeanor. If you decide you’d like to move forward, we’ll be there to support you through the process on a physical and emotional level.