This Woodbury Mom Will Resist the Tattoo Trend

Do you have a tattoo? If so, why did you get it?

I don’t get it. Or, should I say, I haven’t gotten one.

I’m speaking about tattoos.

Years ago, tattoos signaled you were in a biker gang, served jail time or survived a weekend similar to the 2009 movie, The Hangover.

Today, you can’t visit the beach without little Johnny asking where some lady’s flowering vine tattoo is supposed to be growing from. I keep waiting for this trend to become passé. For flowering vines to grow only in gardens.

But, I’ve seen no signs of a waning ink addiction. And I do believe it can become an addiction.

Like tanning spas or plastic surgery, it seems those who do it can easily overdo it. I thought once 40-year-old suburban housewives started getting tattoos, it might lose some of its “hip” factor. What gives?

For greater insight into this body billboard phenomena, I visited Rose of No Man’s Land tattoo and piercing Studio in Woodbury.

“Tattooing is an art form nearly as old as cave painting. It’s become culturally engrained and transcends passing fads,” co-owner and tattoo artist Josh Edwards told me.

Trend is reflected in tattoo styles. Josh says he tattoos lots of lettering these days. People want positive affirmations printed on their bodies. Others get tattoos to memorialize a family member. For Josh, he compares getting tattoos to collecting art.

“Some people collect art for their homes,” he said. “I collect art on my body.”

I ask if it’s polite to inquire about someone’s body art? He says asking is OK. But please don’t touch.

I’m stunned to learn people routinely touch other people’s tattoos. But then, it does seem public, like tattoos invite attention. But Josh says his tattoos are for his personal enjoyment. Fair enough.

“It’s sometimes different for women,” Josh said. “Tattoos are like fashion, like an outfit or hairstyle.”

OK, but fashion changes. Tattoos are permanent. I tell my kids, you liked Barney when you were 4. But aren’t you glad we didn’t tattoo Barney on your arm?

Josh has a similar opinion.

“I get bummed out if a young person seems to be making a bad decision, like getting a tattoo of their girlfriend or boyfriend’s name,” he said. “I want to feel good about doing tattoos. If a customer has a great story and seems to be making a good decision, I feel good about doing it for them.”

Is there anything you won’t do?

“I won’t do any face tattoos,” Josh said. “That’s a game changer. And I’d rather a person be heavily tattooed already before considering a hand or neck tattoo.”

I admit having told my sons nothing good can come of a neck tattoo. Josh smiles and says he agrees, which is funny, since he has a prominent tattoo on his neck. He adds, “I also won’t tattoo anything racist. It’s getting kind of late in the day for that kind of thing.” Agreed!

Josh is nice. But I’m still not a big tattoo fan. For adults who are, Josh recommends choosing a studio that is clean, friendly and has an extensive portfolio. References are also a good idea.

My thought is: enough already. But if you must, please keep it tasteful. For those of us having to explain things to the kids.


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Michelle Scheuermann September 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I got a tattoo when I was 32 in Hawaii with my husband (he got one as well) It was kind of spur-of-the-moment and part wanting to remember our fab time in Hawaii. It is the only one I have, though I sometimes play with the idea of adding to it - not necessarily of getting another one. (Its a hibicisous flower on my shoulder) One of my good friends got a tattoo when she was 30 with her stillborn son's name all up her calf. Its a huge tattoo, but very sweet and memorable. Oh, and I hear you must have tattoos in odd numbers. So you can't have 2 - you must have 3. I think its just a way for people to get more tattoos!
Kris Janisch September 11, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Thanks for sharing Michelle! I don't have any tattoos myself, but my brother has a few. Never heard that about the odd numbers.
Amber Gehring September 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I have three tattoos, and people are usually surprised when they realize that I have them. I think for me that's part of the draw - I was always pretty much a "good girl" and this is the tiny bit of "bad girl" that I have in me. I also lost an uncle who loved his tattoos, and mine remind me of him. I have had my first one now for over 8 years, and I have no regrets. My one year old certainly doesn't realize yet that I have permanent artwork, and once he does I'm happy to tell him he can make that decision once he is 18 like I did.
Kris Janisch September 11, 2012 at 03:03 PM
My buddy, who was in the Navy, has a bunch. "Pennies a day," he used to say. But if you ask him now, he says he'd rather have the money. They get pretty spendy, right?
Amber Gehring September 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
They definitely get spendy! Plus it's appropriate to tip your tattoo artist, so that's always something to take into consideration. But make sure to talk with the artist about what it will cost - you would hate to walk away with the outline and have to wait months before you have the money to pay for the colors!
Kris Janisch September 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Good to know Amber, thanks for the info!
Stephen John Henninger September 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Why should I have to keep think about how you may have to explain things to your kids?
Kris Janisch September 11, 2012 at 05:04 PM
You don't think tats require an explanation for children? Not necessarily disagreeing, just making sure I get you.
Kim September 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I got a tattoo at age 36. It is a butterfly (me) a flower above it (my mom whom is deceased), then 3 more flowers under the butterfly. Each one represents someone close to me. My husband, and my 2 wonderful daughters. I wouldn't get a tatoo just to get one. It has to have meaning for me. It is on the side of my calf and is quite large. I got my tattoo at Rose Of No Man's Land by Marx. He is awesome.
Kris Janisch September 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
That's part of the reason I haven't Kim. Maybe if I had a family crest or something. Good to hear you dug the local artists.
Angela Johnson September 11, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I suppose nobody is obligated to care about my children or anyone else's. But that would be unfortunate. I guess I view a publicly displayed tattoo that is vulgar to be no different than using vulgar language in front of children. It seems unnecessary. Not all tattoos are vulgar. I'm not saying that. I'm just suggesting people consider being tasteful. But, whatever. Free country. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the tribalness of tattoos. It's like some people are marking themselves as part of a particular "tribe" and are discouraging discourse with anyone that doesn't belong. I didn't get that feeling at Rose Of No Man's Land. They were very cool. Anyway, good discussion.
Joe Thornton September 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM
If something is important enough to someone, I say "have at it." I recently got a tattoo at Rose of No Man's Land and I'm quite pleased with it. It was done to commemorate something of extraordinary importance for my family and it wound up being a really effective way for my kids to see that this particular topic is of lifelong importance. But I really thought it through before proceeding. To Angela's point, it is a permanent mark on you. But Marx and the crew at Rose are top-notch!
Angela Johnson September 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Should have linked this into the story. Useful information. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpsc/hop/tattoo/brochure.html
ShankRiley September 11, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I love my ink but I have to cover it up at work with two Ink Armor sleeves: http://www.tat2x.com/ They work great and I don't regret my tattoos but I do wish I had them somewhere else on my body. I would never remove them but if you are young think about being able to conceal your ink easily in the future.
Stephen John Henninger September 12, 2012 at 01:53 AM
The explanation is for the parent, and I not going to live my live g-rated for other peoples children.
Stephen John Henninger September 12, 2012 at 01:56 AM
the article said tasteful not vulgar.
Kris Janisch September 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
That settles it, I'm getting a Patch tattoo.
Susan September 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
So funny this story appears now. This past Wednesday my son turned 18 and guess what the first thing he did? Not register to vote like I was hoping would be the first thing. No, he visited Jay at Rose of No Man's Land. For the last 3 years it has been a HUGE debate in our home about his desire to get a tattoo. When it finally dawned on me about six months ago that once he is 18 he will get one with or without my blessing I decided to let him make this choice. After all, that is part of being an adult, right? This is not to say it wasn't something that weighed heavy on my mind but I had to trust him to make the right decision, for him, not me . Times have changed since I was his age. Having a tattoo isn't for just bikers anymore and I had to come to that understanding. The last six months I have given him all the important information he needed such as making sure it is in an appropriate area, (easy to cover up if needed), standards of the place doing the work, what type of tattoo, the health risks, how he will feel about it in 10 years, all the information I could think of. I also did not pay for it. Well, his tattoo turned out BEAUTIFUL and all my concerns were put to rest. The work done by Jay can only be described as a true work of art. As for my son, well he couldn't be more proud of the work of art he now has to remind him of his first decision as an adult.
Kris Janisch September 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Thanks for sharing Susan. What did he get? (And did he have to save up to pay for it?) And what the heck, the election is a couple months off still.
Susan September 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM
It was actually something inspired by a CD cover and it is so appropriate to his turning 18. He did save for it also. Jay did such good work that I have to admit, I'm kind of thinking now! lol! hmmm... maybe an elephant or donkey?
Kris Janisch September 14, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Uh oh! They say they are addicting!


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