As a 37-year-old with tattoos, I was disappointed in "The Dangerous Art of the Tattoo" [August 4-11].
It is the responsibility of the person getting tattooed to make sure that the studio doing the work follows state laws and that it follows the necessary cleanliness procedures, which can be read about online. It is also the responsibility of the potential customer to not make rash decisions about getting tattooed. Like other commitments, I spent several years considering what I wanted and what would always hold deep meaning to me. I was very cautious about getting my tattoos and have no regrets. The bottom line is if you are thoughtful when it comes to tattooing, then you can come out of the experience with something that gives you lifelong joy. Tattooing is not for everyone, and anyone considering it should avoid rushing into it.
I have a tattooed mark that I had added to my skin to always remind me of a certain time in my life. Might I regret it? If the ink is shown to have harmed my health, yes, of course. Do I regret the symbol and the permanence of the mark? Only if society continues to buy into the myth that body art depicts a certain kind of woman or man. People love a stereotype, especially if it helps them feel superior.
Ann Arbor, Michigan.