"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Babies with Tats

Recently, I’ve seen a trend for parents, generally mothers, to take their teenagers in for a tattoo. Not just a little daisy on the ankle or a heart on the shoulder (not that I think that is okay). Rather, I see LARGE tattoos stretching from elbow to wrist, tattoos that cover the calf, tattoos that creep up from the collar. Once I saw a young man, age 14, who had his grandmother's and mother's names tattooed down his arms. I kid you not. His mother and grandmother were just so tickled that he "loved them enough to want their names on his body." Good god. Did they stop to consider that mama's boys are particularly unattractive? His grandmother's name contained 7 letters (each 1.5 inches high). His mother's name had 9 letters but he used a smaller font.

His GRANDMOTHER'S name!! (she isn't even dead).

Knowing that someone has tattooed my name on their body seems... weird. God forbid my kids did such a thing. I would get them into psychotherapy.

A current trend with young people is to have a tattoo of their child's name put on their arms, generally stretching about 8 inches. I wonder where they are going to put the tattoos for subsequent children? Would you really want to see your name on your parent's arm? Sometimes I wonder if these parents stop for two seconds and consider that while they may feel all warm and fuzzy about their newborn baby - they generally don't have the same love affair feelings towards their own parents, regardless of how much they love them. Personally, most people would rather their elderly parents have a life separate from doting on them.

But I digress. Yesterday, while waiting for court, a beautiful young lady sitting next to me delightedly wanted to show me her new tattoo that was given to her as a 16th birthday present by her mother.

God, I hate it when that happens. They are so exuberant and you don’t want to say anything after the cow is out of the barn – but what are the parents thinking??

She flips around and there on her lower back is a LARGE, at least 8 inches across, tattoo of angel wings with the words “Baby Girl” scrolled on top. There was a cherub reclining on the wings.

Here is a site that has something relatively similar - just imagine the cherub and the words superimposed on top - tattoo

It is the one a little bit down the page captioned not another "tramp stamp."

(note to readers, that site seems okay but if you google tattoo sites be prepared for a lot of security alerts to go off on your virus protection).

“I warned her,” the mother said, sheepishly, “that when she is older, it might not look so good but she really wanted one. She began asking for one when she was fourteen and I’d been telling her to wait until she was sixteen. A lot of girls get one at the small of their back so no one can see it unless she is wearing her bathing suit”

How about telling that young lady, “NO,” I wonder, but what was the point in saying it aloud? I just thank goodness that she didn't tattoo the name of her current flame. I've seen that happen and in just that spot.

“Baby Girl, Huh?” I say. “Honey, when you are my age, they are going to think you are referring to a grand baby.

She was so thrilled with the tat that nothing I could say was going to do anything but dim her pleasure, so I just ruefully shook my head. My darling daughter-in-law has a tattoo in the same spot but I suspect her parent did not take her down at 16 to get it.

“Very trendy,” I smile.


ranette said...

This tattoo trend makes me so irritated! My oldest daughter has one tattoo on her shoulder. She got it the week she turned 18 (this Mom isn't paying for that). She also wants a "quarter sleeve" tat and I told her flat out that if she did that I'd still love her but no more $$$$'s from me! I still remember what my old granddad's tat's looked like after a few years....not good. Plus they're addictive!

Anonymous said...

And to think...at that age, I was looking forward to getting my ears pierced! And when I got them double pierced (in COLLEGE!!) my parents were so disappointed!!

Times have changed!


tisme said...

I have a small rose tattooed on my calf. Want to know how old I was--40!! Now I really like my tattoo, but I was also old enough to decide I wanted one. I have so many young people applying for jobs at my restaurant, covered with tattoos. And I am sorry to say, that if it shows, you don`t work in my restaurant. Just my opinion, Penny

Owens Family Adventures said...

When I worked as a substitute teacher last year I was amazed at what some parents let their kids do. We can say no...ya know??! One girl came in to the nurse's office once a day for a week to clean out her bellybutton piercing. She was 15. I just don't understand what is going on. Kids will always push the envelope and ask for stuff....it is up to us as their parents to tell them no when it needs telling. It is allright to keep them innocent as long as we can. Let them have a childhood. When they are 18 they can make some of their own decisions. Til then they are in our care. Sorry for the long reply but parents really baffle me sometimes.
Loved the dog pics from yesterday!!! It looked like Evelyn was laughing. :)

Holee said...

All you have to do is type into google (tattoo Hep C) to be alarmed. I say this with knowledge because in 1979 through a blood transfusion I got Hep C after having surgery. Blood was not screen until 1992. I didn't know I had it until a year ago when it finally decided to kill my liver & me.

Since then I have gained a lot of knowledge on the subject. Tattoo's and piercings are becoming a major problem. Since I didn't know I had it for 30 years, would you have wanted to get a tatoo after me? Death from Hep C has become greater then HIV.

Besides this, if you have a recent tattoo, within 10 years of your death,you cannot be an organ donor. Guess why. I know this because my 27 yr. old son was a donor. First question they asked me was did he have any tattoo's.

everythingquilts said...

No tats here, and no desire for one either. I fought tooth and nail with my girls coming up wanting to get a piercing. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen. Yes, I was a bit strict with my children, but I think that as a parent it is our job to know when to put our foot down. I see so many parents not caring what their kids do, just because it is easier for them to let them do what they want. Well who ever said raising children was going to be easy? It's our responsibility as parent to teach and guide them, no matter how much they say they hate us, or tell us how mean we are, etc. In the end they will know how much you truly do love them. I'll never forget the time I switched my daughters legs up with a switch, yes it did leave some whelps. Call me bad but it was the one time I felt she needed it. I had caught her smoking and I admit I was afraid they may have called this abuse but, this was the first time I ever had to switch her. I told her when I sent her to school the next day that if the teacher asked her about it, to tell her exactly what I said when you got the switching, my words"This switching won't kill you, but those cigarettes will"

Penny said...

Teenagers brains aren't mature and we all know their judgement is not what it should be. That is why you have a juvenile justice system in the first place. Adults understand (or should understand) that most teenagers don't think straight and don't consider the consequences. If they are thinking ahead 5 days, that's pretty good.

Knowing this, I get frustrated that some parents STILL have a hard time standing firm when their teen wants to do something foolish or dangerous. To me, it is a lot like allowing a mentally retarded female to go off to a party with older boys and alcohol just because she thinks that sounds like fun. To a certain extent, parents are SUPPOSED to step in and save them from themselves - at least on the dangerous stuff. Eventually, the kids will be mature enough to make rational decisions. Parents might not agree with those decisions, but at a certain point, they are fully capable of making them on their own.

everythingquilts said...

One more thing, Penny, I sorry my comments are so long. But your post are just seem to get me going. I never have much to say till I read your blog. I love it.

Penny said...

You are sweet, Everythingquilts. I worry that I will lapse into an "ain't it awful" mentality and become a crotchity old lady. All the same, come on, when did mamas start thinking putting tattoos on their babies was a swell idea? I still think of my babies' soft, precious skin. The notion of a needle or a mark on it makes me cringe.

My son has called them stupidity badges and my husband points out that no matter how nice a tattoo, it amounts to a cartoon on your skin.

As for me, I can see the artistry of them when they are done well. But the decision to get one ought to be made when you are sober and rational.

bingo~bonnie said...

I forget where I read it recently (on the net somewhere) but the article said that all of these tatoos just tbaove the hips that girls are getting these days.. they just may REGRET them come time for labor and delivery a few years down the road...

depending on size and placement they won't be eligable for an eppidural b/c doctors won't put a needle thru a tatoo. but of course no one getting a totoo thinks about that at the time they are getting one.

I don't like them myself either and recenly my 4 year old has been noticing with strangers have them on their arms... I just tell her that their skin is dirty and stained and won't come off... and I don't care if that tattooed person hears me or not. b/c it is ture.. they are dirty and stianed. JMOH ~bonnie

Penny said...

EGADS, BONNIE!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You really found a collective hot button, Penny.

I'm with Karol - my mom had conniptions when I got my ears pierced - one hole per ear! I had to wait until I was 18 to do it. I can't imagine what she'd think about tattoos.

"Erasing" tattoos is going to be a profitable business in the future.


Penny said...

There are organizations that provide financial assistance in removing gang tattoos. A lot of the kids get these things and are then stuck. Some gangs don't let you out and as long as they are wearing a gang tattoo, they increase the risk that rival gang members will jump them.

Stay away from the kids with tear drops on their faces. Also avoid those with three dots on their hand... So I'm told.

jacquie said...

my son wanted to get his ear pierced, or gaged or something stupid like that...i said fine...but i get to place the next piercing and you won't like where i put it. that was the end of that conversation.
as for tatoos...i can't wait to see them when they are 80 and wrinkled.

Lisa said...

I was so glad when Florida passed the law stating that a minor couldn't get a tattoo or piercing with out parents consent... My kids didn't get it either.. But it didn't stop them when they turned 18. I maybe American Indian but I dislike tattoo's I think it's trashy and I tell my kids it all the time...
I have to tell this story (Sorry Penny)...My parents when to breakfast with my sister and her two young daughters. The oldest of the girls has vitiligo (my son has it too) over much of her body.
Anyways there's a couple in the resturant who loudly talk about how they wouldn't bring their child out in public if she looked like that!!! My Dad almost jumped up and had words with them but my niece told him not to worry about them it didn't bother her, God made her this way and people just need to except it. The irony of this whole thing was the couple had covered most of their bodies in tattoo's!!!


Pam said...

I held my breath when I saw the title of this post...I thought some parents were actually stupid/cruel enough to actually tat their toddlers.
I too, was of the generation that had to wait till they were 16 or older for the priviledge of piercing their ears (and that was just the girls!).
Interesting, the differences in cultures even within the U.S. In my area in south Florida, guess what the trend is for 16th birthday presents? Cars? No, they already have cars. It is BREAST IMPLANTS! Yuck. Don't get me started.

Penny said...

HEAVENS, Pam!! Breast Implants at 16? That would have to entitled "Babies with T*ts.

Forgive me, it was just too easy, if crass.