In this month's issue of Total Tattoo
magazine, writer Mel Noir discusses the popularity of laser tattoo removal and what this means for the tattoo industry. Mel admits that she has a few poorly done tattoos from her younger days when she wasn't terribly picky in her designs. Up until recently, she just accepted these tattoos and never considered removing them or covering them up. However, with the increasingly popularity of establishments offering tattoo removal, sometimes in the tattoo shop itself, she began to weigh the pros and cons. In its long history, tattoos were known for being permanent. Even now, people still walk around with tattoos they regret, whether it be the name of someone they'd rather forget or a design that was once unique but is now inked on the body of many others. Laser tattoo removal has been an option for awhile but many people stayed away because of the cost and additional pain associated with it. Now, there are new procedures that claim to be less painful and take less time.
In her article, Mel writes that she thinks tattoo removal removes the whole point of tattooing. Even the "ugliest of 90's barbed wire armbands are OK" because they represent a specific time and place in that person's life. You obviously liked the design at some point in your life, so why not acknowledge that? On the other hand, some people remove tattoos to make room for larger or better pieces. She states, "I think it's pretty cool that we can destroy older tattoos to make room for something more beautiful." These smaller, poorly done tattoos may have been done on impulse, without much thought on the different styles that are available. As those who acquire more tattoos, they may decide to get rid of these older tattoos in favor of a larger piece that has more thought.
Regardless of how many people are removing their tattoos, they will likely never outnumber those getting tattoos. More people might choose to get tattoos, knowing they can always remove them in the future. Many may scoff at this idea but they can always look to those who choose removal only to add more art.
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