For those who would never dream of getting one, a tattoo can seem like something dangerous, rebellious or even crazy. Of course, if these people would simply sit and talk with anyone who has a tattoo, they would soon realise they are just normal, everyday people.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about tattoos. Some of these myths go back hundreds of years, but others appear along with new technology or cultural watersheds. In this article, we bust a few of the most common tattoo myths.
Myth: Only gang members have tattoos
Oh please, do we even have to debunk this one? Especially here in New Zealand? We have perhaps the most tattoos per capita in the world, and obviously not everyone is a gang member! And yes, it’s true gang members are notorious for their tattoos, but that doesn’t mean everyone with a tattoo is in a gang. That’s like saying both Hitler and Stalin had moustaches, so everyone with a moustache is an evil dictator!
Myth: Tattoos only hurt if you’re a wimp
Ask any 'tough guy' if his tattoos hurt, and you’ll probably get a “Of course not!” in response. Maybe even a “I fell asleep during mine!”. Here’s the thing- pain is subjective. What hurts one person may not hurt another. People have different sensitivity, especially when it comes to skin. And of course, WHERE you get a tattoo is also a huge factor in how painful it will be. It’s true some people feel nothing, but it’s also true others scream the studio down. You just don’t know which one you’ll be until you go!
Myth: Getting a tattoo can be a health risk
Ok, let’s be clear here; anything can be dangerous if not done correctly. Tattoos are no exception, but as for the myth that you’re risking catching Hepatitis or HIV, well the statistics don’t agree. Licensed tattoo studios must undergo strict health and safety checks by the council, and for this reason, there has NEVER been a single documented case of HIV transmission from a tattoo in New Zealand.
So how many of these myths about tattoos did you believe? Check back next week for part two of our bullshit-o-meter!