7.10.12 - How young is “too young” to get a tattoo? The tattoos of Generation X and Y and even the tattoos of the Baby Boomer generation elevated the “tattoo” to a form of personal expression. Since younger generations are prone to emulate the generation ahead of them, it should be no surprise that an underage generation is craving tattoos.
There is often outrage when a minor gets a tattoo. Recently, a mother in Atlanta was criticized for allowing her young son to get a tattoo of the name of his murdered brother. Should minors be allowed to get tattoos, even with parental consent? What about if only one parent’s consent?
Though tattoos can be removed, the process is not that easy. So it’s best to treat a tattoo as if it’s “forever.” Its one thing for a parent to allow a child to dye their hair or get an extreme hair style, but a tattoo is different…it’s permanent.
If you listen to the shows I do on WWL-AM-FM, you know that I am a very progressive person, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an age limit for getting a tattoo, even with parental consent.
I have to admit that when my son was 17 years old, he wanted a tattoo. He was spending time with me when I was doing a talk show in Seattle, and I agreed to let him get a tattoo. I was surprised that even though he was with me, he was not allowed to get a tattoo in the state of Washington until he was 18. I did think I had a right to approve my son’s tattoo, but when I now think about kids as young as 10 getting tattoos with parental consent, I think it’s appropriate to ban tattoos for anyone under 18.
And for those who are critical of the prevalence of tattoos today, remember that every young generation defines its era. When the young generations today become the establishment, tattoos will be a visual sign that someone is part of the “new establishment.”