My Terrible Tattoos and Why I wouldn’t Change them if I Could

Everyone has regrets, but I find the biggest regrets in my life are often the things I didn’t do. Of course, it’s completely cliche and some would probably think I would count my wonky, odd, fan-girling, terrible tattoos as regrets…

…but for every tattoo, there’s a backstory. It’s not a deep and meaningful one – by all means look at my tattoos and ponder the deep and insightful message I’m trying to portray. They’re straightforward and visual, and most of them I got on a whim  and that’s all there is to it.

And if you look at me most days, you’d never know they were there.

Soundtrack: Frank Turner – Tattoos

When I look at my tattoos, I don’t think of them negatively. I would say if you’re going to get tattoos it’s better when they’re not sentimental or have some deeper meaning. Unless they’re ones honouring someone you knew, you don’t feel the same about certain things at all times of your life. I think with most of them I saw it and thought, ‘yeaahh… that’ll do.’

It’s better if you can just look at them and smile.

My first one I got from a seaside tattoo shop, right outside of a funfair. It lasted around 15 minutes and I used it as a test for my pain levels. It was straight from a flash sheet but it was probably the one I was most proud of. Just knowing I could cope with it, opened many doors of exploration for future tattoos.

My second was my bow on my other wrist. This led me into a BIG obsession with symmetry. For every tattoo on the left side of my body, I got another on the right. The bow again, means nothing, but it was one of 3 I drew myself.

“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

My third one comprises of words from an Enter Shikari song, Quelle Surprise. It was originally said by someone else… but that isn’t why I got it so, I won’t pretend like I’m trying to make some political statement. I think I just found it cool at the time… but perhaps not so much now that it’s fading into my skin.

My fourth and fifth were on my shoulders, both sketches by a naive, 19 year old me. One is an hour glass and the other an Alice in Wonderland inspired lady. Tattooed on me at Blue Banana for under £50 a piece… but lucky for me, I don’t ever have to look at them! I’d probably regret these ones if I could see them every day (yes, it is already THAT faded).

Harry Potter and the Ridiculous Tattoo Decisions

My sixth and seventh were by a guy I had a crush on in my early 20s. He had a tattoo kit and needed the practice (clearly) and so he turned my first tattoo into a cupcake which has all but fallen out now, and he did a simple Deathly Hallows symbol (because y’know).  My eighth and ninth were done by a far better apprentice. At the time, he was just starting out and I chose some Friday 13th flash designs for £13 a piece – a blue bird and a paper plane. No reason whatsoever. (Unless you want to make up some whimsical one for me about flying…)

Perhaps we’re starting to get the picture here – if you want a tattoo, just get a tattoo! It’s not even that life-changing anymore since tattoos are becoming more and more accepted. Just like anything you buy, the novelty wears off after a while and it just becomes part of you. Like a birthmark or a scar you’ve had since you fell off your bike when you were 14 (that wasn’t fun.)

If we had the luck to live our lives a second time through, we’d be sure to get the same tattoos.

My final, tenth tattoo is the only one which I am proud of and the only one which makes me frustratingly uneven… My Bioshock Infinite inspired songbird and cage, also done by the same artist. It was the worst, most painful place I’ve experienced tattoo pain and now I just can’t bring myself to go through that pain again for the other side to even myself out.

I think that, when I look in the mirror, will be my only regret.

14 thoughts on “My Terrible Tattoos and Why I wouldn’t Change them if I Could

  1. I want so many tattoos and reading all these stories has inspired me more! Love your tattoo especially if they have a back story. You’ll never forget 💕 you also look amazing in these photos!

  2. I remember you designing the Alice-inspired one 🙂
    I like all your tattoos, and I’m glad you don’t regret them. They’re a part of you and you’re awesome ^.^
    I need to start a tattoo collection at some point (much to my mum’s displeasure). I’ve had a couple of ideas over the years but haven’t taken the plunge just yet!

  3. Eurgh can’t get enough of these photos… the fargo wall art suits you so well! I adore all of your tattoos and it was really nice to read the story behind them all (especially the one that your crush did, so cute!) but I have to say that the Harry Potter one is my favourite. I have a thing for minimalist tattoos!

  4. I love reading your entries🙂! I can totally relate to this one, being a lover and collector of tattoos I too have a few “terrible” tattoos as well but I definitely do not regret them. I love glancing down and noticing them and it brings all those amazing memories flooding back! They are a great reminder of good times and should be loved and added to 😉!. Also all of yours are either awesome or super cute 😁.

  5. Such a great post on the story behind your tattoos. Whether you love them or hate them, there is always a hidden meaning behind each an everyone. I love the bird cage on the back of your leg – i never expected that area of your leg to hurt! I have one tattoo on my finger.

  6. This is a lovely post. I do want one but just a few dots and a little heart or star. So scared that I will hate it so still haven’t been.
    I love yours- full of colour and meaning.
    I like the idea of not getting anything too sentimental. I have heard it is additive

  7. Great post 🙂 I don’t really have any I regret just the placement. I have one on my lower leg and it’s still incomplete coz I can’t stand the pain there but really want it finished as it’s by an apprentice and she’s amazing… especially for putting up with my twitches and me being such a wimp 🙈

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