Tattoos are a wonderful way to express yourself and to show the world who you are as a person. You’re wearing your heart on your sleeve in all of its inky glory. There is a big ‘however’ lurking here…
However, not all tattoos are inked equally well. It takes a skilled tattoo artist to bring your idea to fruition. And that only works if your idea works in the first place! You might be the most charismatic, athletic, and kind person on Planet Earth, but if you’ve got a misspelled word inked on your arm or a wolf tattoo with crossed eyes and a “fat weird face” on your chest, you probably won’t have too many fans. If you love it, then great! But don't expect everyone else's jaws to drop from admiration.
Those two examples are just the tip of the iceberg of the ‘tattoo turn-offs’ that internet users shared in a popular r/AskReddit thread, created by u/Flowerlock. Scroll down to read the most candid answers people gave, dear Pandas.
Bored Panda reached out to the author of the thread, u/Flowerlock, and he was kind enough to answer our questions. We had a chat about the inspiration behind the thread and why it caught so many people's attention, how people feel after getting a bad tattoo, and what the redditor thinks some of the coolest design ideas are. He also shared a couple of awesome tips on how to prevent any future ink-related regrets. Check out our full interview below!
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#2Live. Laugh. Love.
Image credits: In_Need_Of_Milk
#3Random Chinese words on someone who has no idea what they even say.
Image credits: chickadeedeedee_
Redditor u/Flowerlock shared his thoughts about his thread and why it resonated with so many redditors in the first place. "What inspired me to create the thread was in all honesty to see some of the terrible tattoos that people have either seen in public, on the internet or when they’ve gone on a date with somebody. It's always amusing to hear anecdotes and ideas of randomers on the internet!" he told Bored Panda.
"I think it resonated with so many people because tattoos are so popular these days (especially with the demographic of Reddit) and everyone has their own idea on what makes a good tattoo," he said.
"So when somebody gets a tattoo which goes against your own taste, beliefs or opinions it can be amusing at best or downright cringeworthy or offensive at worst, so a lot of people have strong opinions on the subject matter."
#4That dude’s Wednesday tattoo.
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#5Property of (NOT YOUR NAME).
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#6An anchor that says "Can't sink me"
THATS THE F*****G FUNCTION OF A DAMN ANCHOR!
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Meanwhile, we were interested to get the OP's take on how someone might deal with feeling regret if their tattoo doesn't come out exactly how they imagined it would.
"I think in all honesty most people would politely say to the tattoo artist that everything is fine and that they’re happy with it, almost try to fool themselves that this design that they have for life is okay and that they’re happy with it, but deep down you’re embarrassed to show it off to your friends and you become self-conscious of it," redditor u/Flowerlock explained how people tend to shy away from dealing with the truth. At least, initially!
"After they’ve gotten over the initial stage of denying it and time has moved on I think most people would either laugh it off as a bad idea or try to cover it up with a better design as laser removal, I have heard, is excruciatingly painful."
It takes a very emotionally mature individual to recognize that they've made a mistake. Not everyone is able to embrace their embarrassment. However, doing so has its upsides. For one, you're preventing your feelings from shifting into deeply rooted shame. What's more, people actually tend to respect others when they demonstrate that they're mildly embarrassed. Generally, very few people like someone who tries to hide that they've messed up.
#7Anything poorly drawn. My ex was a hot guy. He got a wolf tattoo on his chest. Omg, it had crossed eyes and a fat weird face and for some reason pine trees embedded in the fur. Ugh. Just, whyyy.
Image credits: EdgeMiserable4381
#8Those tattoos that look like someone ripped your skin and underneath is the American flag. I swear I've only seen Americans do this and it's so weird. The Rips but it's like a robot part underneath is cool though. The flag is just weird.
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#9Only God can judge me.
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The author of the thread gave some spot-on advice that should help pretty much anyone avoid future tattoo regrets. "I have tattoos myself and I find the best way to not regret them is have them as your phone's wallpaper for at least six months and if you get sick of it after that time period then you are definitely going to get sick of it when it is on you for life," he shared with Bored Panda.
"And if you’re not happy with the design a tattoo artist has created, say it beforehand! Don’t wait until it’s too late, a moment of politeness could be a lifetime of regret if you don’t just speak your mind then and there!"
Meanwhile, u/Flowerlock said that, in his opinion, "the coolest designs are the ones which somebody has thought of by themselves or a design thought up by the tattoo artist and is unique to them."
He added: "I think it’s best not to follow trends as they are not permanent but your tattoo is!"
#10A tattoo of your husband Kevin and your dog cheddar blended into one horrific aberration instead of individually, as I thought was clearly implied.
#12Some cheeky a*s quotes like, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".
Image credits: hunglabungla
Typos are fine in a digital document. They’re harder to fix when they’re on a billboard. And you’d best be prepared to shell out a large wad of cash if you want to fix a grammar mistake on your skin or remove it altogether.
That’s why it’s vital to know for certain what kind of design you want ahead of time. Run the design past a few of your friends (bonus points if they’re artists!). See what they think about the font and the phrasing. You never know, you might have accidentally mixed some letters up in your sketch.
The other half of the equation is finding a tattoo artist you can trust. Just like in any other creative space or job industry niche, not everyone’s the expert they might claim to be. Some stylists are masters of their craft and will give you the care and attention that you deserve. Some others might cut corners and work sloppily because they’ve fallen out of love with their jobs or they simply don’t have the skills to back up their boasts just yet.
#13Lion clock rose.
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#15Tattoos of Jesus. His sad face is such a bummer at the dinner table.
Image credits: SuicidalLemur
Whatever the case might be, don’t be afraid to do a bit of research beforehand. Check out the artist or their studio’s website and social media pages. Take a peek at their designs. Be honest with yourself if this is the level of quality you want for the price you’re willing to pay. Don’t be scared to postpone your giant chest wolf tattoo if you can’t find a specialist you’re comfortable with.
If you have a bit of spare time on your hands and if the stylists are friendly, consider dropping by the studio to ask them a few questions about how they work and what your expectations are. So long as you’re polite, genuinely curious, and aren’t disturbing them, then everything should go smoothly. True professionals are willing to share a bit of their wisdom with other artists and customers alike. They know the value of teaching others.
#16When I was changing with my boyfriend for the first time, he took off his pants and his entire upper left leg was covered with giant leopard spots.
I almost screamed.
Image credits: TheBIackened
#17Those 2000s tribal tattoos on people with no tribal connections.
Image credits: curiously-peculiar
#18I once saw this guys tinder profile who had a tattoo of a cat on his stomach and his belly button was the cats b******e.
Image credits: toastonavocados
Moreover, if you have any friends who have tattoos, talk to them about the process. Ask around for some reputable artists. Try to be realistic with your expectations, but don’t settle for something you wouldn’t enjoy, either. And you know what? If you want a derpy wolf tat, go for it! So long as it’s intentional and you love it, there’s no problem. Just don’t expect everyone to melt when they see it.
What tattoos instantly make you cringe, dear Pandas? What ink designs do you love the most? Are there any tats that you regret getting? Be sure to share your thoughts.
Are you in the mood for some more tattoo red flags? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! When you’re done with this list, take a peek at Bored Panda’s earlier post about tattoo tragedies right over here.
#19A Marijuana plant .
I like smoking weed myself and do often but I wouldn’t go as far as to tattoo it on me. Those I’ve seen get it tatted on them normally revolve their whole personality around weed which is very dull.
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#20A tramp stamp of boxing gloves and the phrase "hit it like a champ".
#21Letters on your fingers. It just makes you look like a child who's drawn on themselves while bored in class with whatever angsty teen mantra they have on their mind at the time.
#22Anything that has faded so much that you cant tell if its a tattoo or a skin condition.
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#23Those giant last names ones in the ugly font on the forearm.
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#24Portraits of family members.
#25Tear drops under the eyes. Never has and never will intimidate me.
#26I know everyone has different standards of quality and art is subjective but I think (within reason of course) the worst tattoo is just a badly done one. Lacking a basic understanding of anatomy, bad shading, terrible line quality, patchy colour, etc. I'm not a fan of certain tattoo styles but if they're done well I can respect them.
#27I have a tattoo on my wrist that says "rot in hell". I think that is probably the worst tattoo ever.
#28I'm gonna be real; I'm really tired of seeing women with dream-catcher tattoos.
All I ever hear is how "unique" this girls tattoo is when I can not even move my head and see two more sheilas with the same damn tattoo.