Why Tattoos for Under 18s Are a Bad Idea

Tattoos can be incredibly cool, but if you’re under 18 and want one, you might end up with some serious regrets in the future. Before you decide to get inked, make sure you consider the following three reasons why tattoos for under 18s are a bad idea

How the law works

While people of all ages can and do get tattoos, there are age limits that are enforced on those under 18. Each state has its own laws governing tattooing; in Texas, for example, minors can’t get tattoos or piercings without parental consent. Some states place restrictions on what part of your body you can get tattooed as well. In California, it’s illegal to get a tattoo above your neckline or below your knee. Other states require you to be 18 or older before you can even set foot in a shop. However, despite these laws and rules, some teens still manage to find shops willing to break them—which can have legal consequences if they don’t use proper precautions (some states will fine owners of shops that allow kids under 18 to enter).

The short-term consequences

For starters, tattoos are an incredibly expensive form of body art. According to Priceonomics, getting one can cost anywhere from $50 to $10,000 depending on size and intricacy. They may seem like a small price to pay for such a huge design (the human back is pictured above), but that’s just not realistic. You see, when you’re underage—under eighteen—you must get permission from your parents to get inked up; without that permission and documented proof that they’ve agreed to your going through with it, you will be breaking the law by getting inked at any age.

Boredom sets in

Don’t get me wrong, getting a tattoo is fun. But it can also be scary, especially if you go into it not knowing what you want (but definitely know what you don’t want). The problem with getting inked at age 16 or 17? You’re still in an exploratory phase when it comes to your interests and taste. This means that you may end up looking back at your ink in your 20s or 30s and think what was I thinking? Even those whose tastes never change will admit that something about their style changes with each passing decade.

It’s not as cool as you think it is

Adolescence is notoriously impressionable, so it can be very tempting to want to jump on whatever bandwagon is popular in your school. But just because your classmates are getting tattoos does not mean that’s a good idea for you. You don’t want your first tattoo to be unimpressive and pointless, so save those teenage impulses until you’re out of high school or you really have thought things through and know what kind of design and style best fits who you are as an adult. It might seem like nobody has your back when it comes to being too young for tattoos, but there are plenty of adults who would tell you differently.