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What NOT to say to people with tattoos | Tattoo Aftercare


As anyone with more than a few tattoos will know, they’re often a big topic of conversation with friends, family, colleagues, and quite often – complete strangers.  Now I don’t mind the odd innocent question when people are genuinely interested in my tattoos and have harmless queries about them.  That’s absolutely fine.  However, I’ve found since getting quite a lot of visible tattoos, that I’m sometimes faced with strange questions that I’ve either found to be annoying, intrusive, or just downright offensive.  

A few years ago, when I was applying some tattoo aftercare cream to a new tattoo, a woman came up to me and said something along the lines of “Ooh you must be brave, or crazy! I bet that hurt!”  Now, I’m sure she didn’t literally mean she thought I was crazy, but nonetheless, it’s not something you should be saying to a complete stranger, and I awkwardly laughed off her comments. Questions like this can appear harmless, but quite often come across as offensive, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution when interrogating someone about their beloved tattoos.

Here’s a list of some of the questions and statements that tattooed people are probably sick of hearing:


Aren’t you going to regret them when you’re older?

This one is quite a common question, and probably not always meant in an offensive way.  For me personally, I like my tattoos, I’m aware that they’re there for life, and I don’t have a problem with that.  Let’s face it – nobody is going to look that great when they’re old and grey, and we’re all going to look old and wrinkly at some point, so I can live with the fact that I’ve got some really cool tattoos on my skin!


Is it real??

Yes of course!  Does anyone genuinely go to the effort to stick on temporary tattoos every day?


What are you going to do on your wedding day?

I’ll get married!...  This one is quite a common question that I’ve encountered, and I understand that people may not think that tattoos and wedding dresses are the perfect mix, but why not?  If tattoos are a part of how you represent yourself and it’s your ‘style’ on any other day of the year, then why should you feel obliged to hide them on your big day?  It’s personal choice.


What will your kids think?

I’m sure if I had kids then they’d be more concerned with me being a good parent to them.  


 Can I touch it?

Absolutely not.  This is the most terrible question you can ask anyone with tattoos (or worse still, the worst thing you could possibly do without someone’s permission!).  You wouldn’t go up to someone without tattoos and grab their arm or ask if you can touch them – so why on earth would you do this to someone with tattoos?  It’s disrespectful and creepy. 


 How are you going to get a job with those?

This question is completely unfair.  Literally every single tattooed person I know has a job/career.  Granted, there are a couple of fields out there that do not allow tattoos, such as airhostessing, however most lines of work either don’t care if you have tattoos, or would prefer for you to keep them covered whilst you’re working, which is fine.  You shouldn’t make someone feel inferior or unemployable because they’ve chose to have tattoos.


 So, you must love pain then?



 But you were so pretty without them!

This is pretty offensive – and a totally backhanded compliment.  Tattoos don’t take away someone’s beauty, and quite often people get tattooed because they feel it enhances their looks, and as long as they’re happy then that’s all that matters. 


What’s the meaning behind it?

So, this one is quite often asked with absolutely no ill intent.  People seem genuinely interested to know what your tattoo represents as if there should be some deep philosophical meaning behind it, but why does it need to have meaning?  Yes, some people do get tattoos with some kind of meaning or mantra attached to them, and of course people get tribute tattoos to loved ones, and that’s totally fine, but you wouldn’t dye your hair a different colour or get a piercing because it has any meaning behind it, so why should modifying your skin be any different? 


 If you’ve had any experiences of people asking odd or intrusive questions about your tattoos, then let us know in the comment section!  Don’t forget to check out our huge range of tattoo aftercare over on our website!


Love Toni…


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  • Antonia McLoughlin