By Kelsey Pinault (University of Miami)
Follow Kelsey on Twitter
Working at a water park for five years now, my favorite way to pass the time sitting on my lifeguard stand is to look at people’s tattoos. Maybe I’m picky, but there seems to be few that I like and many that I can’t believe I’m seeing. So, since many consider summer the perfect time to add a little body art, I thought I’d share what not to permanently scar yourself with. Unless you don’t mind your grandchildren asking “Papa, what’s that mean?”
1. Curse words. Ah the tattoo from the water park that planted this list in my head – a father with his four-year-old son adorned a tattoo on his back reading “fuck you, you fucking fuck”. Seriously.
2. Mom in a heart. Some people might think this is a given, but let me assure you this tattoo is still around, complete with the banner saying “MOM” and an arrow through the heart.
3. Anything around your bellybutton. It is so tacky to have this body part as the center of a sun tattoo.
4. Your own initials. Or better… why not just tattoo your full name on your hand? You know, in case you forget.
5. A spider web. Usually placed around the elbow, these tattoos are common among inmates, so you should probably get a teardrop to go along with it.
6. Cartoon characters. Spongebob might not look as good in 10 years with some extra wrinkles.
7. Chinese symbols. Unless it’s your culture, there’s a good chance you don’t even really know what it says. But hey, it’s easy to mistake “peace” for “hamburger” right?
8. Stars. Not that this can’t make for a pretty picture, but go a little deeper and try to get a tattoo with meaning rather than one that every girl has on her foot/hip/ankle/back…
9. A face. It might seem sentimental to get the face of your baby (or baby mamma) on your arm, but trust me, the end result could be taken as an insult.
10. Anything about your pets. I am animal obsessed, but I will never tattoo my dogs face on my arm, and neither should anyone else.