adoration vs adornment

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Here’s a question of body art from Kristian from Sunderland:

My girlfriend really wants to get a tattoo. Problem is that I hate tattoos and find them extremely unattractive. We got in a fight when I told her this and she said I should be ‘more open minded’ and ‘trust her with her body’.

I still disagree. We are pretty serious as a couple and I would like to think if the scenario was the other way around and she didn’t want me getting a tattoo I wanted, I wouldn’t hesitate not to get it.

Do I have right as the boyfriend to tell her not to get a tattoo? Or do I let her graffiti her body as she pleases and then regret it in years to come?

Well Kristian, you don’t have the right to tell her what to do with her own body. But you ARE right that she might regret it. The important thing is how you frame your reservations about her plan: of course she’ll object if it’s just your personal taste being offended; but she might be more amenable if you are the voice of caution, because so many tattoos are whims that you’re then stuck with forever.

Even so, you can’t expect her never to get a tattoo. But you can recite to her the oft-repeated AMT guide to sensible tattooing:

1. When you come up with a design you want, draw it upon yourself in marker pen for at least six months before getting a permanent inking.
2. Do not get a tattoo on any part of the body that would still be visible if you were dressed as a monk.
3. If your tattoo design contains words, always check the spelling before the needle meets your flesh.

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