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I want to get a tattoo but I know my mother won't understand. How can I explain to her how important it is to me?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 March 2013) 8 Answers - (Newest, 8 March 2013)
A female Mexico age 36-40, anonymous writes:

I'm at this point in life where I have a lot of things on my heart and mind. In spite of that I really need advice about one of the ''little'' things.

I want very badly to get a tattoo, even though I am well above the age of consent I am upset because my mother won't give me her blessing.

I'm a TEFL teacher here in Mexico and would like to get one here in Mexico before I return to USA. I know you're thinking it would be bad for my career... but I have seen that they don't seem to be a big deal and much more accepted in society. Furthermore I really don't want to work for someone who would judge a book by its cover... and I don't want it anywhere conspicuous.

Last year, my German Shepherd that I loved more than life passed away and I wrote for advice... I got some exceptionally kind answers and it is refreshing there are nice people out there... but I still have this crushing grief in my heart, I cry for her all the time. She was in USA when it happened and I feel overcome with guilt because I was in Mexico. I'll never know the unconditional love of a dog again. The love of my TRUE friends usually gets me through but the sadness never really goes away.

WHere am I going with this, you may ask? Well I want to have her name tattood on me in Chinese letters or something. I need to have a piece of her forever.

I love my mother and feel very torn because I feel like I have the right to make decisions about my body but I feel guilty because she'll be upset. In Mexico you are an adult at 18, I know... but I feel a twinge of guilt about angering my mom. But I'm frustrated and sad because I've explained to my mother why I want a tattoo so bad and she won't support me.

I am fairly sure my dad would be okay with it, but I'm not completely sure.

It upsets me that Mom won't let go and let me make my own decisions. I don't understand what she has against tattoos and sometimes I feel my mom has a closed mind. I have many friends with tattoos from various countries who are lovely people.

Why do you have to wear boring suits and ties to be a good person?

What can I do to make my mom understand how I feel and persuade her to give me her blessing? Would it be wrong of me just to get the tattoo and not tell her?

Thanks if you can help me with your replies.

View related questions: crush, tattoo

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (8 March 2013):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI love shoulder tattoos... that was my first one...

if you have thought about it for over a year well then I think you should do it... it's not a rash decision.

Mom's have a huge capacity to forgive things that made them angry....

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A female reader, oldbag United Kingdom +, writes (8 March 2013):

oldbag agony auntHi

My daughter surprised me by booking me in for a tattoo on my 45th b'day. It's discreet,hidden when dressed and I usually forget its there.

If you want one,do it, it can be various places where it doesn't show,what your Mother thinks is neither here nor there your not 13,worry more about an employer.

Unless you strip naked and show people, they will never know - if it's in the right place.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2013):

Thanks for your answers... and no!! Definitely not a forehead tattoo. I think that a shoulder tattoo would be great. It could easily be hidden. I've thought about it for over a year and I really want it. I want it bad.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (8 March 2013):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI got my first tattoo after I was 40. I have three one big one small and one medium.

ALL are covered by business clothing. (the tiny one is on my wrist but covered by bracelets or such... and I can actually have tattoos at work... I just think that ladies should have discreet tattoos...

I did not tell my father (my mom was dead already) or my kids

My father is not happy but he does not have to see them. We don't talk about it.

My one son was upset because it's so blatantly against our religion. HE got over it too.

At your age OP, do not live your life to please others.

If you want/need this tattoo go for it. I strongly suggest somewhere however, that's covered by clothing or a bracelet or something... there will be times that it's easier to cover than it is to explain or confront.

And I hope after you heal and grieve you can find the love of another dog.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2013):

OP it depends where you want this tattoo. Your forehead or anywhere visible is not a good idea. OP I'm a teacher and while you may feel you only want an employer who doesn't judge a book by its cover have fun trying to get a permanent teaching job with a visible tattoo.

You may feel at your age you're taking a stance for some kind of social justice or freedom of expression but tattoos in a world were the jobs market is so competitive, jobs are scarce and you give yourself a pretty big disadvantage.

Now some of my colleagues have tattoos, but they're easily hidden even in a t-shirt and shorts and no OP, a bandage to hide is not going to cut it.

You say you don't want it anywhere conspicuous, so you're fine. Just get it. If it's not going to be anywhere visible in regular clothing or even a t-shirt then your mother is probably never going to see it anyway.

Honestly though OP, make sure it's a place that's easily hidden by clothing. Even teaching TEFL you have to look the part of a professional teacher. In lots of cultures tattoos are still very much the domain of gangsters and the criminal sub-culture.

Plus if you have it nicely hidden then your mom will never find out.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (8 March 2013):

CindyCares agony auntIt's nice that you care about your mom's feelings, but, really, you don't need your mom's blessing on every menial mundane detail of your life. If it is something big , like, I don't know, moving abroad , getting married, adopting a child, ... yes, it 's better if mom is fully on board and supportive of your decisions, not just reluctantly resigned, or furiously contrary. But for the rest, really, mom does not need to approve your haircut or make up or tattoos, for you to have a good relationship and basically get along. You don't have to be "perfect " to her eyes in any detail, and you don't need to consult her.

Mother have big shoulders :),- and, in general, big hearts too. They surely can handle a tattoed daughter even if they personally dislike tattoes.

If it can be of any comfort to you , I got my tattoo when I was already 40 - and a string-of-pearls ,tailored-suit type. I liked exactly the idea of being "classic ", traditional outside,- with a badass, rock chick tattoo just underneath, LOL, because basically this is how I am - the outside is unexceptional,but underneath there are surprises .

I thought my mother was going to faint when she noticed, but she recovered beautifully . And I paved the way for the new generations, now my mom and my niece ( 16 ) are choosing together what her first tattoo should be , in a couple of years, if a butterfly, or a dolphin, etc.

Go get your tattoo, don't tell anything , when she notices brush it off very casually, as it's no big deal (it IS no big deal ), and if she really makes a fuss, say , calmly and firmly," I am sorry you don't like it ,mom, I felt it was important to me to honour the memory of my dog and have it somehow closer to my heart ". and refuse to discuss it furtherly. It will blow over quite soon.

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A female reader, llifton United States +, writes (8 March 2013):

llifton agony aunthey there.

i can actually relate to where you're coming from. i'm 29 and have a bunch of tattoos myself, that i don't want my parents to know about. i'm completely self-sufficient and on my own and completely responsible, yet for some reason, i'm afraid of telling them about them. i don't want their disapproval. it hurts.

logically, you can do what you want and you have nothing to feel bad for. as you said, you're an adult who is completely capable of making decisions for yourself. on the other hand, like i said, you don't want to upset your parents. but i think ultimately, you have to make the decision for yourself. your mom may not love it and she may be angry at you, but if it's what you want, then do it. your mom will eventually learn to get over it. especially since this tattoo means so much to you.

does your mom even have to know about this tattoo? just a thought.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2013):

Your 30+, just go get a damn tattoo, you don't need your parents approval,if it's not across your forehead nobody will even know you have one.

Your adult enough to leave home,to work away from home,you make your life choices,large and small, nobody else does.

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