They say you’re gonna regret it, you’ll get bored with it, it will look bad when you age, and so and so on. Although we know it’s not true, the prejudice against tattoos still exists, but it usually comes from people whose skin is a blank page.
Sometimes, however, tattoos do indeed turn out not quite as cool and beautiful as you imagined. And it’s fine. In fact, they may end up on this entertaining corner of Reddit which goes by the all-telling title “Shitty Tattoos.”
The community gather ink art aficionados to ‘celebrate’ (and not just mock!) their not-so-perfect tattoos, share some inspirational cover ups, and have a good laugh. Scroll down to see the funniest and the best of the worst ones!
To find out more about the community behind the Shitty Tattoos subreddit, Bored Panda spoke with its moderator Xnerdyxrealistx who said that he inherited the subreddit when it was much more inactive. “It originated due to the ‘shitty x, y, and z subreddits’ that all sprung up around 2015. I’ve always been into tattoos and art in general so I joined the subreddit when it was young. Since it was so small, there was only 1 real active moderator who wanted to give it up so they reached out to me and gave me the moderation activity,” Xnerdyxrealistx recounted.
Now the community of Shitty Tattoos is very varied, the mod argues. “I would say a vast majority are tattoo enthusiasts who either have friends who are artists or watch a lot of Inkmaster. Seeing the best tattoos in the world does make one curious to what the other side looks like.”
Meanwhile, another side of the community has its own shitty tattoos that want a sense of community. “Having a bad tattoo can be quite an experience that many don’t want to take alone so it is good to have a community that is willing to show off their mistakes.”
Xnerdyxrealistx said that despite the permanent nature of tattoos, he actually finds having a bad one to be a sign of honor. “It is a display of our reckless youth and how we all thought we were invincible.”
However, the Shitty Tattoos community tries to exclude well-done tattoos that are tasteless and refers them to /r/ATBGE for that. “So recurring trends in shitty tattoos that appear here are bad lines, smudges, blowouts, ugly coloring, bad placement, and amateurish looks. Many shitty tattoos still have their charm, like turning our bodies into a doodle page.”
In a community like this, having a shitty tattoo is a bit of a bonding experience. Those who have them definitely love to share them with each other. “Being able to laugh at yourself and your own mistakes is a big lesson in maturity, so I think posting on our subreddit helps people deal with that,” the mod told Bored Panda.
“Some people come to try and validate that their tattoo isn’t as shitty as they think it is, but overall the majority want to poke fun at themselves. It helps people come to terms with what it is like to have a shitty tattoo when you can share it among a community,” Xnerdyxrealistx concluded.
According to Bored Panda‘s previous interview with tattoo artist Alex Alvarado from the Santo Cuervo studio, a lot can be said about a person just by looking at their tattoos. “I’d venture to say you could even guess nationality based on what style of tattoos they have, but the most obvious answer to me would be how much they have (or haven’t) invested in their tattoos,” he said.
According to Alvarado, tattoos aren’t simply a monetary investment; they also show the amount of research, time, and dedication that it took to make a particular piece of ink art. “Getting a good tattoo is sometimes a very multi-faceted process that could even include travelling to see a specific artist. Things like this can tell you how knowledgeable, patient and committed a tattooed person can be.”
Alvarado also told us that there are many tattoo trends going around, but what is popular really depends on where you live. “Custom lettering seems really popular at the moment. I’ve seen a lot of very delicate, very intricate Korean-style tattoos lately, and on the opposite end of that, there’s a lot of heavy blackouts going on as well, but it seems all styles seem to be flourishing and being taken to the next level all over the world.”
For some people, the excitement and satisfaction never wears off, and they cherish their tattoos forever. For others, regret can begin as soon as the next day. One way to avoid post-tattoo blues is to carefully think through all the details of your ink art. From style to body placement, little details make the final result, so it’s best to be prepared. Consulting a couple of tattoo artists to make sure they get your vision well is the best and safest way to not have your tattoo end up on the Shitty Tattoos subreddit.
Other time-proven tips may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people forget them before having their skin inked. First, you have to know what you want and that you are 100% sure about it. It will be nearly impossible for an artist to guess your vision without you knowing it yourself.
Secondly, finding a reputable and talented artist is key. The professionals will ensure that your tattoo turns out exactly how you want it and they will be able to answer any questions that pop into your mind.
Thirdly, listening to your artist is as important as listening to yourself. They know what they are doing and will be able to advise you on what will or won’t work. If want a bold tattoo but the artist advises against it, or against its placement, make sure you take their advice into account.
Not getting a tattoo on an impulse, especially if it’s your first one and you’re still new to the ink world, is very important. And lastly, don’t forget to keep your tattoo well maintained. This will help it to look its best and prevent any regret down the road.