Tattooing your lover’s name? Think again

Deepika's tattoo
Deepika’s tattoo

The trend stared with Saif getting Kareena’s name etched on his arm and then Deepika got an RK tattoo on her neck. Though Saif and Kareena got hitched Ranbir and Deepika split but the tattoo remains.

Recently, we have witnessed the beginning of a trend of getting their loved one’s name tattooed as an expression of commitment. The young generation is drawn to this trend, primarily due to peer pressure and direct imitation of the celebrities.

In the early stage of a relationship, couples try to impress each other through all means. Buying flowers, buying expensive gifts and sometimes they even go beyond their bank balance in the quest to impress and express.

But getting your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s name tattooed for life is an idea that I, as a tattoo artist, do not endorse. We should try being creative and innovative in love, instead of blindly immolating the celebrities.

Saif Tattoo
Saif Tattoo

Love is a very personal affair, so why not do it your own way?  Every love story is unique in its own beautiful manner. So why imitate celebrities around us to express our feelings? If you are a romantic person, or if you are in love, you can never run out of ideas and ways to express yourself.

Oscar winning Hollywood actress Halle Berry was quoted saying, “Tattooing someone else’s name on my body was a dumb thing to do. Now that tattoo is covered up with a bigger one, but if I had to do it again, I would never have gotten any!”

Tattoos give us a vast scope to express our personal feelings. Art, like our thoughts, has the ability to flow effortlessly, free of any limitations. Instead of limiting our creativity by just tattooing your loved one’s name, we can resort to designs and symbols like a beautiful heart, a cupid, a phrase or a quote and what not. An even better idea would be to express your idea and concepts to your artist can work around a suitable design together.

This never ending scope of creating designs and art to express your feelings will not only be original and unique, but aesthetically appealing to the beholders as well.

One should remember that tattoo is a permanent art on your body, so we must think through all aspects and carefully decide on the design or motif. Otherwise the tattoo might also turn into a lifelong reminder of pain and hurt. People and names change, just like time. We are not sure of the future. So try being a smart tattoo lover. I would also add that unless you or the artist can write and read Chinese, Japanese or any other script please avoid tattooing them on your skin.

Many of the translating software found online provide wrong results. Also a person’s name is a proper noun, which if used in a foreign language, might not sound exactly the way you speak it. Say for example, David Beckham carries a tattoo of his wife’s name “Victoria”, but unfortunately it was misspelled in Hindi as “Vhictoria”.

David Beckham Sleeve Tattoos
David Beckham Sleeve Tattoos

Rihanna has two Sanskrit prayer tattoos- her latest one is misspelled, once again due to ignorance of the language. The world is turning towards tattoos done in our Indian languages; and we have a host of beautiful scripts like the Bengali, Manipuri, Devnagari etc. Tattoos made in Indian scripts are becoming the hottest trend now.

In my eight years of tattooing experience, I have seen that most of those who tattoo their lover’s name have to regret in the later part of life. I have also seen break ups in my studio for the same reason. If you really want to tattoo a name, please tattoo the names of your parents or your pet. I say this specifically to the youngsters in schools and colleges. Please note that tattoo as an art of self expression and not just a fashion statement. Remember that fashion is a fad in itself.

Before you let that ink “mark” you for life you’d better think very carefully about the possible health, spiritual and social consequences. Most people later regret, and even hate, their tattoo. Besides, there are numerous emotional risks involved too, like getting negative feelings for a particular tattoo or piercing. There are various social risks too that could damage your relationship with others, including friends, parents, teachers, and employers.

Depending on the size of the tattoo and colors used, the laser tattoo removal surgery can be very painful and very expensive. It normally takes between 10 and 15 laser surgery sessions to remove the average tattoo, but 25-30 sessions are not uncommon, depending on the complexity of the tattoo.

If people realized how difficult it is to remove a tattoo, understood how costly and how painful tattoo removal sessions are, and understood that society as a whole still views tattoos as a stigma, maybe they would think seriously before even getting one. The fact that so many people change their minds should lead you to think carefully whether you want to lock yourself into a fashion statement that might cause you a lot of aggravation and heartache later in life.

Choose and decide carefully, for the mark you bear can either make you smile throughout your life or serve as a painful reminder of upsetting memories…

Mo Naga is an internationally acclaimed tattoo artist, and he makes incredible tribal tattoos of the northeastern region. He is the founder of Mo Tattoos New Delhi, and Headhunter’s Ink Tattoo School, Guwahati.