Why many now want them removed
Tattoos are still
popular with some teens, although many others are now trying to get
rid of them. A newspaper survey in March 2006 found that a quarter
of tattooed people over 25 wish they didn't have them.
Tattoo specialists say demand for removals and modifications is
booming, and will continue to rise.
Tattoo removal laser operator Samantha Massey told The Sunday
Mail (March 5, 2006), “A few years ago it was fashionable
to be tattooed, and some people decided to get one before they were
ready to accept responsibility for something so
Many showbiz idols now suffer from tattoo regret. (We are not
implying that Wentworth Miller, pictured, does. His character,
Michael Scofield, had a plan to save his brother hidden in the
pattern of his tattoos.)
Actress Angelina Jolie had her left arm tattooed with ex-husband
Billy Bob Thornton's name on it. She had it removed when she met
Rocker Pete Doherty slashed his arm to try to remove his tattoo
tribute to supermodel Kate Moss, and heavily tattooed popster
Robbie Williams said: “I wish it was like an Etch-a-Sketch
where I can wipe them all out … it would be nice to have a
pure, clean body again.”
Soccer superstar David Beckham had his wife's name tattooed in
Hindi on his arm. After it was finished, he found her name was
spelt wrong. Oops! Johnny Depp had a Winona Forever tattoo
while he was with Winona Ryder. But Forever didn't last, and he had
surgery to change it. It now reads Wino Forever.
Rapper Pharrell Williams announced in July 2008 that he was
willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars growing new skin
in a test tube so he could get it stitched over his tattoos.
Britney Spears had Hebrew letters removed from her neck, and
Tommy Lee had a tattoo of a swastika removed in the early
Best way to remove them
Tattoo removalist Dr. Gavin Chan told mX news (October
3, 2007) that the most effective removal technique at present is
“Green, white, yellow, and fluorescent colors are the most
challenging to remove,” Dr. Chan said.
And it takes several sessions of laser treatment to get rid of a
tattoo. Professional tattoos can take 10 sessions of treatment, with a local anaesthetic administered each time, and
may cost $200 to $800 per session. And removal is painful!
The Bible’s view
The Old Testament view of tattoos is simple: Don't have them!
Among the laws of social order given to the Israelites in Leviticus
19 is the instruction not to “print any marks upon
you” (verse 28). The Hebrew words mean simply: Don't get a
We know Christians who have tattoos, and think no less of them
for this. The Mount Sinai law doesn't apply to Christians, and
there is no compulsion for Christians to either have or not have
tattoos. Tattooing has no bearing on salvation either.
Even so, the biblical advice is wise, we believe, because
tattooing has allegedly contributed to skyrocketing rates of
hepatitis, and to disorders such as skin cancer.
In fact, news reports in May 2008 said that health experts in
Australia have become alarmed over the surge in hepatitis cases
since the tattoo and body-piercing craze caught hold.
Cases of Hepatitis B and C in Australia had jumped alarmingly to
277,000 in the past year, a health promotions officer said.
“The rate of hepatitis is rising and that is because we have
a high incidence of young people fooling around with tattoos and
piercings,” Jodie Walton said
Health authorities in December 2011 warned that anyone who had had a
tattoo or body piercing in Bali to urgently seek medical advice after a
traveller contracted incurable HIV after getting a tattoo on a recent visit.
At one time, the New York City government severely restricted
tattooing because tattoo equipment was spreading hepatitis. And
some people are allergic to the dye used in tattoos, so their body
fights to reject the tattoo.
Skin specialists are even warning against temporary tattoos.
They say that many people develop severe reactions days or weeks
after getting henna tattoos. The problem is not the henna; it is
adding the chemical paraphenylene diamine (PPD) to the henna to
make the tattoo darker. It can cause dermatitis that may last for
Tattooing has never been popular with many groups, including
Jews and Christians. In recent history, people have associated
tattoos with US convicts, British Army deserters, antisocial
groups, prisoners, motorcycle and street gangs, and Nazi
concentration camps during the Second World War. At right is the
tattoo on the arm of lesbian tennis player Amelie Mauresmo.
Another strong negative is that tattoos are difficult and costly
to remove, and they may leave a permanent ugly mark on your skin.
Getting a tattoo today may mean you will be stuck with it as
tattoos go out of fashion again.
When we asked some Christian teens whether they would ever wear
a tattoo, one said, “No. I don't want to look ugly.”
Another said tattoos were just “skin graffiti” that
made you look like a dirty wall.
Tattoos can be a disadvantage when you are at a job interview.
It depends what job you are applying for, of course. But a
newspaper interview with recruitment companies in 2001 found that
in a choice between an applicant with visible tattoos and one
without, up to 70 per cent of employers will choose the applicant
It is hard to think of an advantage that a Christian could gain
from having tattoos, and that is why so many Christian teens would
rather remain cool and clean — with no
Photo credit: Top photo of Wentworth Miller by
Irina Slutsky, used under Creative Commons license. You are free to
share or remix the photo provided you attribute Irina Slutsky as
the owner. See Creative Commons license.
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