Body art is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings, but other types includescarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of corsets),full body tattoo and body painting. –Wikipedia
Body modification is frowned upon in society and is a taboo topic in my family. I come from a strict Catholic family; however, my mom has always been aware of me not practicing the religion. I perceive myself to be a spiritual person as opposed to religious. This never posed a problem and I respect those with strong religious beliefs. I have always diverged from the norm and been dubbed as “eccentric” by individuals I’ve come across in the past. Painting runs in my family and though I have no talent in that field, I appreciate all forms of art. I decided to execute my own interpretation of art so I went ahead and designed tattoos for myself. I had a nose piercing in my younger years but due to the restrictions at work, I willingly removed it.
After receiving my first salary in 2008, I took my tattoo design to an artist who did work on a good friend of mine. It was a delayed 21st birthday gift for me. My first tattoo is located on my center of my upper back around the T3 area. It’s a floral design with my birth flowers; jonquil and violet. The stars are a representation of my siblings and mother. The pain was tolerable but the lining stung a bit. After an hour into the process, it began to feel like a massage.
Level of pain: 2/5
Healing period: 1 week
I never realized how addicting tattoos were until a few years later.
The next one was done in the summer of 2010. For my second encounter with ink, I had a simple cursive tattoo marked on my wrist. It’s basically black with a white lining that spells out “destiny”. It felt like I was being repeatedly cut. I’ve always been a staunch believer in destiny as mentioned in a previous post. To me, it’s a reminder of how I should apply actions in order to fulfill my preordained fate.
Level of pain: 3/5
Healing period: 1 ½ weeks
I got another tattoo three months ago. The tattoo extends from my ankle to the toes. The tattoo idea I had in mind was my favorite poem by Emily Dickinson entitled, “I Dwell in Possibility”. I was so uncomfortable with the pain that I had the tattoo artist stop until I gathered my breath. This is by far, the most painful tattoo I’ve gotten. There was a spot on my foot where there was relatively no pain at all. I used to call it a blob of muscle until I discovered the appropriate term for the area. The Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle spared me from a few minutes of pain. The rest of the foot area was excruciating.
Level of pain: 5/5
Healing period: 2 ½ weeks
I have a relatively high threshold for pain but despite the number of tattoos I have and considering their locations on my body, I’m not a fan of needles. I am absolutely terrified of them! Like an old saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” I’m happy with the results I got and the healing process for each tattoo differed but they all turned out great so I’ve got no complaints. Remember that there’s no way for you to anticipate the amount of pain you’ll experience so accept that beauty comes with a cost.
Right after getting inked, expect a little soreness. Apply petroleum jelly before and after showering. I chose to apply lotion towards the end of the healing process. Keep the area moisturized especially if it’s around the ankle or any other moving body part in order to avoid damaging the tattoo. Once the healing process begins, the soreness will subside and be replaced by itchiness. The most irritating part comes next, the peeling. This is a crucial stage of the healing so be sure not to pick on it. Treat the tattoo like you would a scab. Let it peel on its own. After all the peeling, be sure to limit sun exposure or at least apply sun block on the precious tattoo in order to preserve the color and quality of your art.
A few rules of thumb to go by in choosing an area to place tattoos:
1. The more nerves, the more pain.
2. It will hurt to get it in erogenous zones such as the inner arms, inner thighs, armpits, ankles, etc. (This includes the kinky parts that I’d rather not mention. mwahaha!)
3. Areas directly over the bone will cause discomfort.
4. The more muscle, the less pain you’ll experience.
5. Go to a reputable tattoo artist for some are heavy handed.
6. Consider your pain threshold because it varies from person to person.
Think twice and hard about getting a tattoo. No, wait! Think it over a gazillion times because tattoo removal hurts much more than having a tattoo done. If you’re interested in getting one in the future, try henna tattoos first and see how that works out for you. One more thing, don’t let your emotions get the best of you so clear your thoughts before you come to a decision. If you’re ready to bear the pain and flaunt the emergence of your novel artwork, visit a tattoo artist and be part of a unique experience.