Tattoo Trends That Should Stop

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The worst trend in the 00s that has continued into the 10s was everyone, and quite literally, their mother, getting tattooed.

Tattoos should be personal. They shouldn’t be part of a trend. Seriously, when did trends in tattoos become a thing? Tattoo trends shouldn’t be a thing. Tattoos should be completely personal and completely you. You shouldn’t get one just because your favorite celebrity has one. You should get one because it means something to you. Today, I’m going to talk about my least favorite tattoo trends.

Author’s note: I’m not sure why so many of you care what I think and troll me on it. I’ve had a bunch of strangers call me out, because people should be able to get any tattoo they want. You know what? I AGREE. This post is about trends, as in people getting tattoos just because they’re trendy. I have no problem with people getting any tattoo for personal reasons. That’s pretty much what I said in the previous paragraph, but no one reads intros I guess, so I’m spelling it out here.


White guy sporting a tribal tattoo. Image from
White guy sporting a tribal tattoo.
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Otherwise known as the frat tat because it was most common among young, white college boys. Fortunately, you see less and less of this lately, but there’s still a ridiculous amount of people walking around with gigantic ugly-ass tribal tattoos. Unless you are part of an actual tribe, like Polynesian, Maori or Yakuza, don’t get a tribal tattoo.

Dream catchers

Miley Cyrus and her dumb dream catcher tattoo. Image from
Miley Cyrus and her dumb dream catcher tattoo.
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Unless you are part of the Ojibwa Nation, don’t get this tattoo. It seems most common among young, white girls. Haven’t we stolen enough from Native Americans? Must we turn their culture into dumb tattoos as well?  Thanks, Miley Cyrus.

Bows on thighs

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Otherwise known as an easy way to pick a stripper out of a crowd. There are few other tattoos that make you look as trampy as this one. The worst part of this tattoo is that women who have it feel the need to show it off all the time by wearing ultra-short shorts and skirts. This is not cute.

One word statements

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Really? You need a reminder to breathe? Your body does that automatically. Unless you are on life support, breathing is an autonomic function.

Any other statements that can be summed up with one word, e.g. love, believe, live, strength, hope, etc., should be easy enough to remember without having to tattoo them on your body. Just sayin’.


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Did this guy really get Whitesnake lyrics tattooed on him forever?

Having writing on you sucks, because people want to read it. Unless you enjoy people grabbing you and trying to read it–and they will just grab you–don’t get words tattooed on you. Besides, getting someone else’s words tattooed on you seems rather gauche, but maybe that’s just the writer in me talking.

Chinese characters

In case you can't read that, his tattoo says, "At the end of the day, this is an ugly boy."
In case you can’t read that, his tattoo says, “At the end of the day, this is an ugly boy.”

You know how many Chinese people there are? As of 2012, there were 1.351 billion Chinese people in China and that’s not counting people of Chinese descent in the rest of the world. That means that there are at least 1.351 billion people who can read your tattoo while you probably can’t.


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This is one of the oldest tattoo designs. The swallow tattoo was a symbol used historically by sailors to show off their sailing experience usually tattooed on the chest, hands or neck. According to legend, a sailor tattooed with one swallow had traveled over 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km) and a sailor with two swallows had traveled 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km).

Unless you are a sailor, this is a dumb tattoo for anyone to get since it’s got fuck all to do with anything if you’re not a sailor.


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Like the swallow tattoo, this is also a nautical tattoo showing off your sailing chops. Popeye had two anchors on his forearms, because he was a sailor. Unless you are a sailor, this is a dumb tattoo because it has fuck all to do with anything if you’re not a sailor.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a badly drawn anchor tattoo on my ankle. It was done by my boyfriend in the tattoo shop where he worked on one slow, drunken afternoon. My boyfriend was a piercer, not a tattoo artist and it shows. It’s my worst tattoo.



As Tyler Durden wisely said, “Sticking feathers up your butt doesn’t make you a chicken.” Tattooing wings on your back doesn’t make you an angel or a bird or a plane or whatever else it is that you’re trying to symbolize with wings. Those wings will not make you fly. If you’re going to get wings tattooed on you, get the rest of the animal as well.

Finger tattoos

You got a mustache tattooed between your fingers so when you hold your index finger under your nose, it looks like you have a mustache! Aren’t you so clever and original! Except not…

screenshot of image seach for "mustache finger tattoo"
screenshot of image search for “mustache finger tattoo”

Not cute, not clever and so very much not original. Is that a child with a tattoo near the bottom right?

Tattoos on children

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Speaking of child tattoos, I don’t care who you are, don’t ever tattoo a child ever. You do realize that will be there forever and they’re not done growing yet, right? Personally, I don’t think anyone under the age of, say, 30 years old is capable of getting a tattoo they’ll be happy with forever.



Portrait tattoos are awful. Even if they’re done well, they’re awful. Most of them are not done well. When they’re awful, they’re really awful, like the picture above. Skin has a tendency to move and sag as you grow old. In a few decades, that ugly baby will look like a melting ugly baby. Don’t get a person tattooed on your person. If you really want to permanently put your child on your body, tattoo their name.


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There’s no way that tattoo means anything other than decoration. Decorative tattoos are fine, but whenever I see one of these, I can’t help but think it’s sad. You could tattoo literally anything and your imagination extends only to a piece of jewelry.

Dollar signs

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Specifically tattooed on the palm of the hand. These tattoos are the gold chains and spinning rims of today. It’s not clever. It’s not original. It’s materialistic and dumb. I cannot stress this enough, people, that will be there forever.

“Funny” tattoos


Have you ever heard a joke more than once and still thought it was funny? Well, imagine having a joke tattooed on you forever.

The tramp stamp


Otherwise known as lower-back tattoos. It’s sad really, because it doesn’t matter what you tattoo there, it’s trampy. You could have “grandma” tattooed there and it will still make you seem like a ho bag. The only way having your lower back done isn’t trampy is if it’s part of a larger piece.

Face tattoos

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Otherwise known as the “I’m unemployed” tattoo. Unless you are a circus performer or a tattoo artist and it doesn’t matter whether you have crap on your face, or you are part of a culture, like the Maori, where face tattoos are a thing, don’t get your face tattooed. It’s not cute. It doesn’t make you look like a rebel. Only a small percentage of people think it makes you look more attractive and those people probably have crap on their faces, too.


I’m sure there are more trends out there I’d like to bitch about, but I think I’ve bitched enough for today. What’s your least favorite tattoo trend?