angelique marie

New and Nervous

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I have spent a few years honestly paranoid of getting a tattoo. My father died when I was eighteen and was an 82nd Airborne Ranger with the US Army and since the moment he died I have wanted his Master Sargent jump wings tattooed on either my wrist, the back of my neck, or shoulder blade. My issues lies in my career choice...I am a professional ballerina, I travel to inner city and disadvantaged schools and teach integrated fine arts lessons. My contract specifically stipulates that I can have no visible tattoos. When I first saw a tattoo done in white ink I loved the delicate look the tattoo took on, it was a quiet link to my father's rather faded Army tattoos but would not be noticeable on stage. After reading so many negative comments and attitudes towards white tattoos I am now rethinking my plan. I am quite fair and have exceedingly sensitive skin (I am actually allergic to surgical steel and dust...) and I have read that both may cause issues with the white ink. While I have visited a variety of local tattoo artists I have received conflicting information, I would really like various professional and experienced opinions as to the pros and cons. The artistry of a tattoo can be quite lovely and even with such a simple design I would hate to have someone's work turn out badly due to my own stubborn ignorance.

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Hi, welcome to LST! Sounds like an awesome job you have :)

So by the sounds of it, if you are allergic to surgical steel, it is unlikely that you can be tattooed at all, at least not by any methods that use an electric tattoo machine or other tattoo methods that use surgical steel needles. I would talk to your doctor and see if that would be an issue for you. I believe that some hand-tapped tattoos use bamboo instruments, but these kinds of tattooing usually follow a certain form that you may not be looking for. Anyhow, I wish you luck and thanks for coming here with your questions. I hope you enjoy the numerous resources the website has to offer!

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Hi, welcome to LST! Sounds like an awesome job you have :)

So by the sounds of it, if you are allergic to surgical steel, it is unlikely that you can be tattooed at all, at least not by any methods that use an electric tattoo machine or other tattoo methods that use surgical steel needles. I would talk to your doctor and see if that would be an issue for you. I believe that some hand-tapped tattoos use bamboo instruments, but these kinds of tattooing usually follow a certain form that you may not be looking for. Anyhow, I wish you luck and thanks for coming here with your questions. I hope you enjoy the numerous resources the website has to offer!

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I adore my job, the program I am with also employs musicians from classical and ethnic to contemporary as well as fine artists to comic book artists. It is wonderful to witness a student who has been neglected by conventional educational standards grasp a subject when it is presented in a new medium, although now I have thoroughly digressed...Back on topic, I was pierced with a surgical steel needle but could not keep in any surgical steel body jewelry so according to my physician if I am not "exposed for too long" I should be fine. The piercing didn't heal with the steel jewelry in place and I broke out into a rather disgusting rash of hives, not good if you make a living in a leotard, haha . To be perfectly frank, I have a friend that does single needle tattoos (although not bamboo) and that seems quite uncomfortable, a bit too painful, and least importantly exceedingly time consuming. The Jump Wings would be a small piece, roughly 3 inches by 1.5 inches and aren't terribly detailed but with such a vague response from my doctor I am not sure what exactly constitutes as "too long"

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Wonder if you could get a trial tattoo, e.g. a really small star, someplace where your leotard would cover it? Say, lower back? That way, if you get a bad rash it won't be visible and means getting more could be problematic? On the other hand, if there isn't a bad reaction, it means you can get your dream tattoo?

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I have also had some really serious piercing complications that have resulted in horribly gruesome reactions to metals assumed "safe", specifically surgical steel and pure gold. It took me 6 months to even possibly heal a simple ear piercing, and I've only gotten 2 to actually work out of 6+ attempts.

BUT, I had absolutely no issue with getting tattooed at all. So, don't lose hope of getting tattooed! The idea if a small trial tattoo is a good one. I just went all in haha. But luckily it turned out fine.

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I had already explored the first thread but was unfamiliar with the second, thank you for the link. I get frustrated when photos of such examples of white tattoos are posted on sites and then I read that they will heal or age to look completely different. The scar like appearance is actually something I like, except of course for the yellowing, however the brief mention of a very light gray colouring may be an option though since the wings are actually silver...

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I have also had some really serious piercing complications that have resulted in horribly gruesome reactions to metals assumed "safe", specifically surgical steel and pure gold. It took me 6 months to even possibly heal a simple ear piercing, and I've only gotten 2 to actually work out of 6+ attempts.

BUT, I had absolutely no issue with getting tattooed at all. So, don't lose hope of getting tattooed! The idea if a small trial tattoo is a good one. I just went all in haha. But luckily it turned out fine.

You have given me hope! Although the trial tattoo is a good idea I am more inclined to your path... I knew I was sensitive before being pierced but didn't realize that gold and surgical steel were among my allergens... Gross and gruesome are the perfect adjectives...I deal with blisters, bleeding toes, and broken skin a lot from being en pointe but the healing process was still quite nasty. I am thinking that I might be like you and be okay considering the metals do not actually stay in my skin for prolonged periods.

You have all been very helpful, thank you

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Hello and welcome! Being nervous about getting your first tattoo is totally normal, and it's up to you to figure out whether you're nervous because you realise that getting tattooed is a big, life-altering thing in a lot of ways, or that you're nervous because it doesn't really feel right. I wonder about your wanting to get a white tattoo in light of this. Is a white tattoo what you really want, or is it a compromise so you can have a tattoo while not having to deal with the professional consequences of having one in a job that stipulates no visible tattoos? If it's the former, then by all means seek out the best tattooer you can find who will do tattoos like that; if it's the latter, I would suggest waiting until you're in a place where you can get the tattoos you really want.

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Hi @angelique marie!

Another option (maybe) is good old Dermablend makeup. It may depend on your performance schedule and physical contact with other dancers in your choreography but it has pretty hardy staying power. It has been around for forever and will hide a tattoo easily, especially a small one. Maybe have a consultation and try a patch test to see how it withstands the rigors of performance and to check for sensitivity.

Welcome and best of luck in all things! :D

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Hello and welcome! Being nervous about getting your first tattoo is totally normal, and it's up to you to figure out whether you're nervous because you realise that getting tattooed is a big, life-altering thing in a lot of ways, or that you're nervous because it doesn't really feel right. I wonder about your wanting to get a white tattoo in light of this. Is a white tattoo what you really want, or is it a compromise so you can have a tattoo while not having to deal with the professional consequences of having one in a job that stipulates no visible tattoos? If it's the former, then by all means seek out the best tattooer you can find who will do tattoos like that; if it's the latter, I would suggest waiting until you're in a place where you can get the tattoos you really want.

I guess to be perfectly honest ballet is sort of my life and professionally speaking the need for a white tattoo isn't a bother since I don't foresee leaving the classical ballet community. I adore things that are delicate and quite feminine. My fear with the all white is that no matter how great it looks right after it is done, the healing process and age will alter the piece into something I am not quite as thrilled with. More than anything I am nervous about my skins reaction to the ink since a local tattoo artist informed me that some inks react differently in the skin. It's so awful I had to stop using hypoallergenic baby wipes to remove my hypoallergenic dye-free stage makeup as my skin would actually blister... My father had numerous tattoos and even though they didn't age that great (they were done during his time in Vietnam) they were a history of his life, unfortunately I can't convince myself I want the words to Gory Glory in a parachute or a tiger being sexually exploited by a nude women any where on my rather diminutive frame but I have spent the last 10 years since his death wanting a tattoo of his silver Master jump wings which always, in my opinion, were beautifully simplistic.

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Hi @angelique marie!

Another option (maybe) is good old Dermablend makeup. It may depend on your performance schedule and physical contact with other dancers in your choreography but it has pretty hardy staying power. It has been around for forever and will hide a tattoo easily, especially a small one. Maybe have a consultation and try a patch test to see how it withstands the rigors of performance and to check for sensitivity.

Welcome and best of luck in all things! :D

I actually can't use Dermablend... joys of über sensitive skin!

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I also have sensitive skin, allergies, etc. and it's funny how all of those 'hypoallergenic' 'sensitive skin' wipes and products give me so much grief. Glad it's not just me!

Also, just my personal opinion... it seems like the idea of getting a tattoo is having trouble crowding into your life of ballet. Sometimes tattoos aren't for some people and the idea of having one trumps the real need to get one. Not sure if that makes sense, but I see a lot of people nowadays thinking about getting one not because everyone else is doing it, but because they want to experience it. Whereas most people on here will tell you they feel differently about getting tattooed. It is a whole lifestyle and culture, not a notch on your walking stick of life.

It sounds like you're a serious ballet dancer and that is very important to you. I would embrace that and soak it up. Getting a tattoo sounds like a hardship on many levels for you. Again, just my opinion.

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I also have sensitive skin, allergies, etc. and it's funny how all of those 'hypoallergenic' 'sensitive skin' wipes and products give me so much grief. Glad it's not just me!

Also, just my personal opinion... it seems like the idea of getting a tattoo is having trouble crowding into your life of ballet. Sometimes tattoos aren't for some people and the idea of having one trumps the real need to get one. Not sure if that makes sense, but I see a lot of people nowadays thinking about getting one not because everyone else is doing it, but because they want to experience it. Whereas most people on here will tell you they feel differently about getting tattooed. It is a whole lifestyle and culture, not a notch on your walking stick of life.

It sounds like you're a serious ballet dancer and that is very important to you. I would embrace that and soak it up. Getting a tattoo sounds like a hardship on many levels for you. Again, just my opinion.

I don't really see the world as people with tattoos or people without...that seems very wrong, personally I do not see where being a serious ballet dancer and getting a tattoo must be separated... While the experience of a needle being dug into my flesh isn't really what I would consider to be a walk in the park, to have a permanent memory of my dead father constantly with me wouldn't be done as simply a "notch." Perhaps if I was getting a tramp stamp, some random inconsequential design, or haven't spent the last ten years researching maybe the "hardship" wouldn't be worth it...

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It seems to be the impossibility of having a visible placement that's the biggest obstacle to you. Would you maybe consider your sternum? That'd allow you to have a 'proper' tattoo that you could see often but would be simple to hide away too.

- - - Updated - - -

WRT 'hardship'- do people know how 'hard', generally ball breakingly tough and motivated a chick needs to be to make it as a professional ballerina? Sheesh.

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I don't really see the world as people with tattoos or people without...that seems very wrong, personally I do not see where being a serious ballet dancer and getting a tattoo must be separated... While the experience of a needle being dug into my flesh isn't really what I would consider to be a walk in the park, to have a permanent memory of my dead father constantly with me wouldn't be done as simply a "notch." Perhaps if I was getting a tramp stamp, some random inconsequential design, or haven't spent the last ten years researching maybe the "hardship" wouldn't be worth it...

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Sorry if my post sounded hurtful. Not my intention at all. Ask and you shall receive? I wasn't describing your situation just thinking out loud. My real point was that your situation and tattooing seem like a big roadblock and maybe it's time to accept a tattoo may not be in the cards. Especially if this is the only one you intend on getting.

And a lot of people on here (myself included) get "random inconsequential design"s so.... meaning isn't always everything.

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And a lot of people on here (myself included) get "random inconsequential design"s so.... meaning isn't always everything.

that's such a good point,LA & Miami & NY Ink & Ink Masters & all the TV crap isn't what it's always about,very few of my many tattoos are not "meaningful" to me other than good art or just a cool tattoo ! not that there is anything wrong with a "meaningful tattoo",I do have a couple that are that too.

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that's such a good point,LA & Miami & NY Ink & Ink Masters & all the TV crap isn't what it's always about,very few of my many tattoos are not "meaningful" to me other than good art or just a cool tattoo ! not that there is anything wrong with a "meaningful tattoo",I do have a couple that are that too.

I guess this is a little of a derail but here goes anyway, I think those shows may be a part of it for some, but I also think a lot of people just love talking about themselves and attaching meaning to things. Before those shows existed, people attached meaning to their tattoos. It's human nature and symbols hold meaning. Some people are just a little sappier with the meanings they attach than others. And some more literal. But yeah, agreed: meaningful or devoid of meaning, or anywhere in the middle does not determine whether it's going to be a good choice in a tattoo. Just takes a good skilled artist to have a great, satisfying, and worthwhile tattoo.

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