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Author Topic: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?  (Read 25122 times)

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GreenEyedHawk

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S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« on: May 10, 2014, 12:15:01 PM »
This is a hypothetical; not a situation I've encountered myself (though someday I might).  I'm just curious about opinions.

If someone you knew got a tattoo that was, say, misspelled or  done very very poorly, would you say anything?  If so, what?
"After all this time?"
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mechtilde

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 12:23:07 PM »
It's a bit too late to fix anything, so I'd go with saying nothing. If someone was considering a tattoo and showed you a design with an obvious error, that would be the time to say something, but by the time it is done, it is too late.
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gramma dishes

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 01:31:03 PM »
It's a bit too late to fix anything, so I'd go with saying nothing. If someone was considering a tattoo and showed you a design with an obvious error, that would be the time to say something, but by the time it is done, it is too late.

I agree.  If the ink is already there, I'd say nothing.

But the problem is that that might not work as the person with the brand new tattoo might ask 'How do you like my new tattoo of a mother skunk giving birth in a compost container?"  In that case maybe you could say "Um...it's really unique!"


greencat

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 02:38:46 PM »
If the tattoo was bad because of a misspelling or very badly done art, I would probably ask if they needed a referral to someone who does excellent cover-up work.

If it was a well-done piece with a bizarre choice of subjects...I'd compliment the artistry and not comment on the subject.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 06:47:03 PM »
If the tattoo was bad because of a misspelling or very badly done art, I would probably ask if they needed a referral to someone who does excellent cover-up work.

If it was a well-done piece with a bizarre choice of subjects...I'd compliment the artistry and not comment on the subject.

The bolded would be good if the person sporting the tattoo asked for such a recommendation or at least expressed dismay over the way their tattoo turned out.

Carotte

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2014, 06:57:44 PM »
I think you need to take your cue from the person with the tattoo, wether they are happy with it or not.

If they are proud and very happy with it and you think it's the ugliest or weirdest thing, well "How unique"/"how interesting" is a start (and can be an end).
One of the easiest tattoo to butcher (it seems) is a portrait, so a "the subjet must be touched (to have her face inked for eternity on you)" or "It's sweet/touching to always have her as a memento" (for a tat of a deceased person for example).

If they are lamenting it can go from a simple "oh, that sucks" to trying to reassure them "I'm sure people will think the they/their mistake was intentional and so clever!"/"it doesn't look that bad, really  :o". It all depend on how close you are and how much you want to talk about it...

TeamBhakta

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 08:51:56 PM »
You don't tell them anything. It's as helpful as "Wow, your new house is ugly. Barf-o-rama. Maybe you can burn it down, collect the insurance & buy a different house."

shhh its me

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 08:55:22 PM »
IF they're sad you console them  , if they're happy you find something nice to say.

MummySweet

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2014, 12:13:38 AM »
I think you've gotten good advice. 

Now I must tell you a story.  When I was in college (1989-90) tattoo weren't as mainstream as they are today and it was a topic of great interest when any of our peers got one.  My close friend's significant other got a very large tattoo on his bicep, featuring my friend's name prominently (central within a detailed symmetrical design).  The problem?  My friend's name was spelled incorrectly. 
It's a common name with two main spellings, one which contains more letters.  Her name was the shorter of the two.  His tattoo had the additional letters.  My friend was very concerned that her long-term boyfriend hadn't noticed that her name was spelled wrong until she pointed it out.    Several of his frat brothers later told us that they recognized the mistake when he was showing off the tattoo, but were too chicken to tell him.  One actually admitted to thinking that the friend's name was being spelled wrong while the design was being tattooed, but for some reason didn't say anything!   ???

Redsoil

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2014, 08:15:17 AM »
Sometimes you can ask about the story behind the image - it indicates a level of interest without being disparaging, nor does it require you to lie about liking the image.
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lowspark

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 02:07:18 PM »
I think you've gotten good advice. 

Now I must tell you a story.  When I was in college (1989-90) tattoo weren't as mainstream as they are today and it was a topic of great interest when any of our peers got one.  My close friend's significant other got a very large tattoo on his bicep, featuring my friend's name prominently (central within a detailed symmetrical design).  The problem?  My friend's name was spelled incorrectly. 
It's a common name with two main spellings, one which contains more letters.  Her name was the shorter of the two.  His tattoo had the additional letters.  My friend was very concerned that her long-term boyfriend hadn't noticed that her name was spelled wrong until she pointed it out.    Several of his frat brothers later told us that they recognized the mistake when he was showing off the tattoo, but were too chicken to tell him.  One actually admitted to thinking that the friend's name was being spelled wrong while the design was being tattooed, but for some reason didn't say anything!   ???

I gotta ask! What happened to this couple? Did they stay together?
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

Yvaine

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 02:09:05 PM »
You don't tell them anything. It's as helpful as "Wow, your new house is ugly. Barf-o-rama. Maybe you can burn it down, collect the insurance & buy a different house."

 ;D ;D ;D

mime

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 03:41:35 PM »
Sometimes you can ask about the story behind the image - it indicates a level of interest without being disparaging, nor does it require you to lie about liking the image.

I like this response. If they're happy with it, then finding a way to let them have their enthusiastic moment is a nice thing to do.

purple

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 03:51:36 PM »
This is a perfect place for my golden piece of advice - it was given to me a few years ago and it's been invaluable.

Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 06:57:14 PM »
Sometimes you can ask about the story behind the image - it indicates a level of interest without being disparaging, nor does it require you to lie about liking the image.

I default to this whenever I see any tattoo, good or bad.  I usually just say "What made you decide on that?"
"After all this time?"
"Always."