Remember the slogan that animal welfare corporations have been peddling every December for the longest time now; “that puppies are not for Christmas”? A line designed to wake people up to the fact that, once the novelty has worn off and the Christmas tree has long been packed away, you are now the owner of a living thing until it dies or you are enough of an asshole to abandon it.

Yeah, well, I think there should be a similar advertising campaign about tattoos, which without a few thousand dollars to spend on laser removal and a high pain threshold you cannot abandon…

tattoos are not just for christmas

Once upon a time a tattoo was the sign of a total badass, the bearer had usually been to prison or endured a stint at sea and they most definitely didn’t care about the environment. Today sleeve tattoos in particular – where it’s more about quantity than quality – give little insight into the person beneath their inky skin and are mere a fashion accessory that’s saturated the mainstream.

Remember fannypacks? They were the coolest fashion accessory around at one point, I’m sure as shit glad I haven’t got one of those permanently fastened to my hip. Although, they were ultra convenient…

If one more guy I went to school with pops up covered wrist to shoulder in whimsical pictures of things he currently likes, I’m going to scream.

Don’t get me wrong, I like tattoos, I really do and I even attempted to give myself one after a few bottles of red and a bad break up. Fortunately it’s a rather drawn out process when you are using nothing but the needle from a sewing machine and a bottle of acrylic paint, and all I’m left with is a smeared, varicose looking blob on my thigh and possibly some kind of blood disease to boot. As tacky and unhygienic as it was at least there was some Goddamned feeling behind it! There is and never was anything fashionable about my blob.

I also tried my hand at piercings. Potato at the ready, I shoved said needle through any skin I could get a proper purchase on. Years later, aside from a couple of unfortunate photos and some scar tissue – usually only visible to those who had fallen victim to the fashion themselves like the markings of a forgotten cult – they are all but gone.

What goes up must come down and I fear that those poor 18-year-olds, impressionable and tender like veal, who’ve followed their celebrity idols into parlors the world over will be in for a healthy dose of regret in the coming years.

If he doesn’t join the 27 club (50 bucks says he will), Justin Beiber will have the means to get the skin from his entire arms replaced, probably even from a willing donor. Us regular folk do not have the means – something to keep in mind as you’re rolling up your sleeves to get one painted on.

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