Why Do People Get Their Tattoos Removed?
The tattoo you wear on your skin is a form of self-expression, inspired by where you were psychologically and philosophically at the time you chose to get inked. You may have been in the throes of a new romantic relationship, an angry rebellious teenager, or feeling wild and carefree. In any case, your decision came from an emotional place, and your tattoo is likely a reflection of how you felt at the time. However, emotions are fleeting and tattoos are permanent. Herein lies the rub: our outlook on life naturally evolves but our ink doesn’t.
When we choose ink based on who we are or how we feel in a moment of time, we are emblazoning on our bodies (often in a noticeable place) a permanent representation of a feeling that will not last forever. Months or years later, people feel quite differently than they did at the time, but they are stuck with a depiction of themselves that isn’t accurate. What’s worse is that other people make snap judgements about your tastes, aspirations and lifestyle based on a false perception of who you are. For people looking to pursue a new career, embark on a new relationship or join a new social circle, this prejudice can pose obstacles that are almost impossible to overcome.
At least half of the patients we meet are having their tattoos removed because they no longer relate to the feeling or meaning behind their tattoo. In some cases, the tattoo is a painful reminder of a time in their life they’re trying to leave behind. In other cases, patients feel their tattoo is limiting their ability to land a promotion, find a quality partner or be the role model they’d like to be for their kids.
While there are a multitude of reasons, they can usually be boiled down to a desire to move forward portraying a different image than they had in the past. This makes tattoo removal as much of an inward process as it is an outward one.
Here are some of our favorite quotations about taking control and making a decision to change as a means to betterment of ourselves.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide
“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” -Warren Buffett
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” -Steve Maraboli
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” -Andy Warhol
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -Winston Churchill