Why Minors Shouldn't Get Tattoos Or Piercings

17 Year-old Site Member Shares Her Tattoo "Horror Story"

Make sure your teen thinks twice about getting a tattoo.
Sara Sanger / Photolibrary / Getty Images

The more popular and mainstream tattoos and piercings become, the more teenagers want them. The problem is, it's not legal for minors to get tattoos in many states. The other problem is, most parents don't go for the idea at all. This puts teens in a position where they feel they have to make a decision for themselves, and they go seeking someone to tattoo and/or pierce them without the consent of their parents. This is where things can go terribly wrong.

The fact is, any tattoo or piercing "artist" (I use that term very loosely) who is willing to break the law and disregard the wishes of parents in order to tattoo or pierce a minor is already proving they have no concern for their "client". How can you trust someone with your health and safety who is already a criminal? Do you really want to get a tattoo by some scum with a "gun" and some ink just because he'll do it ​cheaply and not tell your parents?

If you don't want to listen to us, listen to one of your own peers. "Lucky Star" is 17, and she felt compelled to share her story and explain why she has decided to wait until she is of legal age to get a tattoo.

Lucky Star's Story

Before I begin my tale of horror I have one thing to say. Wait until your 18, because it'll be so much greater if you do. That's going to be your right of passage. Trust me.

I’m going to be 17 next Friday and it is killing me that I'll have to wait just one more year to get a tat. I've been wanting tattoos since I was 10 - no joke. And I've already planned out the ones I want and where they’re going to be on my body. But I know when I'm finally able to have a professional put that beautiful piece of artwork on my body that I've craved for so long, the feeling will be so sweet. Ok enough of that on to my scary story.

At the beginning of June my friend met this guy at work who said he would tattoo us at his home because he was an apprentice and he had the tools to do so at his house. I was so excited and so was my friend. So that weekend while we were driving over to his house I started thinking about all the things that have been said about tattoo artists who are willing to tattoo minors. I became torn...the "should I or shouldn't I?" began a battle in my head 'til we pulled into the guy's driveway. My friend turned to me and said "are you ready?" and I was like "No, I'm not. I'm not going to go through with this. I'm just going to wait till I'm 18." My friend then called me a pussy and we went to the guy’s house.

The house was disgusting and the bathroom was even worse, and that’s where the dude tattooed a hibiscus flower on my friend’s pelvic bone. I sat on the couch and cried my eyes out because I thought I blew my chance to get inked. Boy, was I wrong.

After not seeing my friend for 6 days I went to her place to return some clothes I borrowed from her. As soon as I walked into the house she grabbed me and ran to the bathroom and showed me this disgusting blob that was once her hibiscus flower tattoo. It had become infected and patchy.

She ended up having to go to the hospital because the infection got really bad and she didn't want to fess up to her mom that she had gotten a tat underage in some dude's bathroom. I had to explain to her mom at the hospital about what went down. My friend is doing much better now and we've both learned a good lesson.

This hasn't scared either of us from getting tattoos. It just taught us to wait till we're of legal age. Well, to all of you who are still reading I say thank you (lol)...and hope that you learned something from my experience.

The Result

Lucky Star's experience is just one of many where young people find themselves in a dangerous situation simply because they can't wait a few months or years to get tattooed or pierced legally. Is it really worth risking your life for? Is a piece of jewelry or a picture on your skin worth dying for? If you think it is, that is exactly why you are not mature enough to get it. Grow up and come back later.