When I got my first tattoo last year, I had been thinking about what I wanted for about nine months. I was 100% sure of my choice so I went and got myself a Paramore inspired piece of art permanently etched into my skin. However, what I didn’t think about was the consequences of having something related to another person on my body forever. I’ve loved Paramore for a long time and will for the foreseeable future, I imagine. But, let’s say that hypothetically something controversial happened that would make me regret my choice…what kind of position would I be in then? I really wanted to know what other people thought about this. So, I posed the question:
“How do you feel about music related tattoos? Bad idea? Good idea? The same as getting someone’s name tattooed on you, or different?”
A lot of people seemed to agree that a music related tattoo is better than getting a tattoo of someone’s name, perhaps of a boyfriend or girlfriend. However, I received one very interesting response that was slightly different from the rest: “I think they’re a good idea. Very different from someone’s name, music can have meaning to someone for many different reasons and unlike a person, it would be hard to ‘ruin’ it.” I’m not convinced that the second half of this statement is entirely true. Let’s look at this concept of ‘ruining’ a tattoo for a second. A lot of people seemed to have this concern: “A meaningful logo can be good, but when it comes to a band logo, I think it’s risky”; “I really like the idea of them but I think I’d be super scared to get one of a living artist”; “They could be tight, but then of course you’re making a lifelong leap of faith that they’re not gonna do something awful and let you down.” I think the point that these people are trying to make is that the music industry is definitely not “scandal-free.” I’ve written about this topic before and I’m sure you’d all agree that promoting musicians that are just Bad People – whether that be by listening to their music or having a tattoo inspired by their work – probably isn’t the best thing. The second of these statements makes a good point – is it less risky to get a tattoo inspired by an artist who is no longer living and therefore can no longer do anything that would be frowned upon? I would be inclined to say yes. But I’d still have reservations… Perhaps this issue could be avoided by getting a tattoo that only you would know is related to a certain artist… something discrete… just in case.
I think most people would agree that when we get down to the bones of this issue, it really is a subjective and personal matter: “As long as it has significance to you and has meaning, any tattoo is okay and worth it.” I know when I was getting my tattoo last year, a couple of my family members tried to dissuade me from getting it with the classic “You know you won’t like that band forever…” Well, I think that’s my business, and a lot of people seem to agree with me: “To me they’re timeless because even if you grow out of an artist it represents a part of your life.”; “Even if you don’t like the band a few years down the road, it is still a memory of your former self…A nostalgic reminder that makes you reminisce.”
One person summed it up very well: “If you wanna get it tattooed then you get it tattooed. You might regret it, you might not, but at the end of the day it’s yours to deal with, not anyone else’s.” I very much agree with this. As long as you like it or it has meaning to you and it’s not harmful or offensive to anyone else, I’d say go for it. Live your tattooed dreams.