Want a tattoo? Wait until you’re 30
What melanin-rich people need to know about tattoos, tattoo removal
When I was offered a tattoo as a high school graduation gift, I was elated. I was (and still am) really into painting ceramics and black art, and a silhouette of two people in the middle of a cross-armed toast seemed like a wonderful idea. I brought my favorite photograph of me and my prom date in the same pose, and I told the tattoo artist that’s what I wanted. I made a point of telling him to change the facial features and hairstyle on my prom date, but he could make the woman look like me. I loved this tattoo at the age of 17. My father hated it. My mother thought it was cute. My older brother and his girlfriend (his wife of 21 years now) also thought it was cool; of course they would, it was their idea to pay for this graduation gift.
I got back to school to finish out the last few months of my senior year and heard “oohs” and “aahs.” The only thing that kept bothering me were the amount of people who knew the guy I went to prom with (and ridiculously asked could they have a solo photograph of just him because quite a few thought he was gorgeous) and kept saying, “He doesn’t look like your prom date.” My response, “Of course he doesn’t. He’s not supposed to.” A co-worker at my after-school job asked, “So what’s the point of it? Why do you have a prom tattoo if it’s not your prom date?”