The Guardian has some great little ‘Experience’ features on its website, where people from all backgrounds tell varied stories. Recently they featured one from a man called Sam Piper, who is currently removing a face tattoo he got a couple of years ago.
Face tattoos are a dumb idea for most people. Personally, I think that only tattooers should have them, and there’s a good reason why so many will never do it for anyone else. I’m not saying they look terrible, I just think that most people don’t have the knowledge or experience to know what will actually look good, or to anticipate the reaction you will get when you walk down the street. Face tattoos aren’t something you can cover up very well, after all.
Sam’s story deals with his regret after getting the tattoo. From the article:
Within a year I wanted the tattoo off my face, because of the way strangers were treating me. Initially I didn’t notice people’s reactions or I shrugged them off. Then I moved to Bognor Regis, where things became rough. People judged me and made me feel uncomfortable; strangers would call me names, saying I was a mug for getting it done.
I began to get into a lot of trouble because I found it hard to take. I would stick up for myself, but situations would quickly escalate. The police were sympathetic, but told me I had to learn to control my anger.
I feel vulnerable and exposed, and I don’t go out much, especially in the evenings. People stereotype me as a thug, or someone who thinks they’re a big deal. I’m not like that at all – I’m humble and my friends know I’m quite soft, really. I’ve been brought up very well and I have a lot of respect for others.
If you know anyone who is considering a face tattoo, I’d recommend they read something like this. I’m not trying to scare people into reconsidering, but how can you change your face without an idea of what may happen afterwards? Knowledge is power, after all. You can read the whole story here.