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How to deal with annoying meaning of tattoo question


2bacanvas
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maybe there is another thread about this already but im just putting this question out there. I have 2 full sleeves, a small leg piece and a big chest piece. My arms are both fish related as i love aquariums and sea life. The piece on my leg is for my wife and kid. But my recent lion head chest piece is just cause i feel it just looks badass and i love lion tattoos. But people keep asking me where i got the idea for a lion tattoo. They want to find a meaning behind it and find it weird to get such a huge piece with no story behind it. I know i dont care what they say but whats a good response? I know most tattooed people get this dumb question and statements so what are some of your responses to this. Thanks

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maybe there is another thread about this already but im just putting this question out there. I have 2 full sleeves, a small leg piece and a big chest piece. My arms are both fish related as i love aquariums and sea life. The piece on my leg is for my wife and kid. But my recent lion head chest piece is just cause i feel it just looks badass and i love lion tattoos. But people keep asking me where i got the idea for a lion tattoo. They want to find a meaning behind it and find it weird to get such a huge piece with no story behind it. I know i dont care what they say but whats a good response? I know most tattooed people get this dumb question and statements so what are some of your responses to this. Thanks

well,I guess I'm weird then,I like the attention and questions I get about my tattoos,I just am nice to people and enjoy talking to them,especially plainskins,but then I like to talk to strangers,I am pretty outgoing that way,I love talking to people about my tattoos and tattoos in general and artists I have been to,etc,etc

none of mine have any really deep meanings,I will explain to people that ask or I talk to maybe what the art is and where,when,I got my cool art/designs.

as for you,my advice is,when you get questions about the lion tattoo,you already answered your own question,just tell them "i feel it just looks badass and i love lion tattoos".

just my .02

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I actually have something of a meaning for the tattoos on my arms, though for some I assigned that meaning later to a tattoo I got because I thought it would be cool.

I don't find questions annoying, I like seeing what people will say back. For tattoos that have actual meaning, my favorite is "It's a funeral urn. It reminds me I'm going to die."

And there's always, "It's a panther and a giant sword. I got it because it's awesome."

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I'm technically not a tattoo person, and the one that I got isn't somewhere that's visible; but "Why did you want that permanently etched on your skin?" honestly doesn't seem like an unreasonable question. Even if the answer IS just "because it's badass."

I've only asked this question once, because I was stuck in a small room with four other people and had to make small talk about SOMETHING. Personally, my format was "so, is there some signifance to your sleeve, or do you just think skulls and medieval knights are badass?" Of course, then the person I was talking to said something about Knights Templar and we segued neatly into an argument about the differences in symbolism associated with the Teutonic and Templar orders. So, that was fun.

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Most of my tattoos are birds, Japanese theme (I am part Japanese), and jewelry work (pearls, chains, and pendants).

Strangers always notice the birds. I tell them I like birds. Lol. Most of the tattoos I am planning for are animal designs. I am an animal lover! It is true...I love my dog and my 4 birds.

Do you live in Japan? I've heard that in Japan they're very prejudice against tattoos and are banned from certain places if they're showing. Sorry if it's too personal a question.

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I visit family there every few years. It is really weird to hear about the stigma, but my family there were always accepting about my tattoos. I didn't know the tattoo stigma still existed there since there is a huge counter culture trend. I see many young and older adults looking punk, goth, emo, club kid, hipster, or just an oddball look.

Many of my tattoos are concealed though, except for 1 small one. I never had an issue with it over there. Some of my family members over there have tattoos, too. Lol. The tattoos they have are Western traditional looking and concealed, though. I guess my family is very liberal compared to the standard citizen.

I will say there are some unsaid rules in society, like I should not eat/drink at a noodle shop or bar alone. I would be consider a lady of ill repute. :rolleyes: I mentioned I am racial mixed somewhere in another thread. My family said never say I am Japanese or have some Japanese to strangers there. The average Japanese citizen, that is not influenced by Western thinking, take that shit literally. To a Japanese citizen, I am not Japanese and I don't have a right to say it, even though I can trace my family roots there. They will insult me and say I am an unwelcomed half breed freak. Lol:rolleyes:

Everyone there knows that if you look yakuza-like, you are not permitted to use public transportation like the bus or train or eat at many "respectable" places.

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I visit family there every few years. It is really weird to hear about the stigma, but my family there were always accepting about my tattoos. I didn't know the tattoo stigma still existed there since there is a huge counter culture trend. I see many young and older adults looking punk, goth, emo, club kid, hipster, or just an oddball look.

Many of my tattoos are concealed though, except for 1 small one. I never had an issue with it over there. Some of my family members over there have tattoos, too. Lol. The tattoos they have are Western traditional looking and concealed, though. I guess my family is very liberal compared to the standard citizen.

I will say there are some unsaid rules in society, like I should not eat/drink at a noodle shop or bar alone. I would be consider a lady of ill repute. :rolleyes: I mentioned I am racial mixed somewhere in another thread. My family said never say I am Japanese or have some Japanese to strangers there. The average Japanese citizen, that is not influenced by Western thinking, take that shit literally. To a Japanese citizen, I am not Japanese and I don't have a right to say it, even though I can trace my family roots there. They will insult me and say I am an unwelcomed half breed freak. Lol:rolleyes:

Everyone there knows that if you look yakuza-like, you are not permitted to use public transportation like the bus or train or eat at many "respectable" places.

Thank you for your response. I saw the press meeting where Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Shigeto Kubo was saying that with the 2020 Olypmics coming up that the Japanese people should try to understand that many cultures have tattoos for fashion and ethic reasons. I hope that this stigma is changing. I had a friend go over to Japan and go into a hot spring and the people inside were asking him what his tattoos mean and why he got them. The people asking him were the younger ones, the older people stayed away from him he said.

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Couple choices in how to respond to this re-occuring question:

1. Be unfriendly about it.

2. Share the meaning. Like, the most obvious meaning of what the tattoo appears to be.

3. Share the meaning. Like, the most personal meaning from the depths of your soul.

Example, case study: I got a dragon tattoo last week. It's on my hand, out in the open.

1. "What does it mean? Fuck off or feel the wrath of my dragon fist!"

2. "What does it mean? It's a dragon, obviously. And dragons are fucking awesome!"

3. "What does it mean? It's a reminder! 'Wake up and be happy, everyday'"

There are very few people that will actually care what the tattoo means. It's usually just an conversation opener so that the person asking you can followup with talking about their tattoo and themselves. At least this has been my experience.

It's your tattoo. You don't need to justify why you got it or the meaning of it to anybody but yourself :)

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I don't get asked these questions. I recommend you start giving off unfriendlier vibes.

ahahahahahaha sorry, for a minute there I coulda swore you were my husband.

- - - Updated - - -

My Tigger is the only thing that I could say has any sort of "meaning". He reminds me of being a kid, and he is happy, so he has always made me happy. But really...I just love Tigger. And I love Snoopy and Kermit so hopefully will one day have them tattooed. I would like to get the Doll from The Island of Misfit Toys..b/c I have always been a misfit and that's not always so bad. But no super insightful deep meanings..nothing soul shattering. I feel like people who want to know the meanings, or assume that you only get tattoos b/c they mean something, want or need to have some sort of meaning attached to things in their lives. They would be the ones that would buy a piece of artwork b/c of some "deep meaning", they found some random painting on their honeymoon and it will remind them of it forever, rather than they happened to see a painting that made their hands sweat or their chest constrict and they had a reaction to it that they can't explain, they just enjoy it so they had to have it. I just like flowers and color. And frogs. I love water..and I wish I could fly..just things I like, and they make me feel pretty.

So...all that to say, when people ask me I reply "I just like them"

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You could always try the halt-the-conversation-with TMI approach if it gets really uncomfortable. "This Hot Stuff represents my struggle with irritable bowel syndrome." This was a super fun way of dealing with annoying questions about whether I was pregnant when I gained weight a few years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find people who don't know tattoos always ask this question. I hate it lol. But I always try to explain that tattoos don't always have to have a special inner meaning. If it looks awesome, then it's awesome. It's art and not meant to be a poem.

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