One situation that I've never found a good response to is when someone tells me how unhappy they are with their body art. As a person who has been tattooed and pierced for over twenty years, and who is still happy that way, I've had conversations over the years with people who were unhappy with their body art. And it always makes me wonder just how they got to be so dissatisfied and if there's more that can be done to avoid that.
The most awkward encounters are when I'm talking to someone in person and they show me their tattoos and say how much they don't like them anymore. There's nothing you can really say at that moment that is supportive or positive. But just what is it that people don't like about tattoo after a while or after many years? Sometimes it's because the person chose an image or symbol that was very important to a small portion of their life, but now that the particular time is past the design doesn't have meaning for them anymore. Often when people no longer like how a tattoo they have looks it's because they chose it to mark an impulsive time in their lives or to signify belonging to a group of friends or an activity that is no longer relevant to how they live or what they do.
Sometimes people grow unhappy with the technical appearance of their body art. Tattoos soften in appearance with age, lines become less crisp, colors grow muted and they look less solid as the skin changes over time. If you didn't take care of your tattoos, like letting them get a lot of sun over the years, it can speed up the deterioration of their appearance. A tattoo that lined up precisely over taut muscles and a flat stomach in your early twenties will most likely be sitting on a slightly saggy and looser torso after twenty years. A few people who were sticklers for trying to find a cheaper tattoo artist when they were young learn that you get what you paid for as you get older.
Piercings are more forgiving over time, and many more people have successfully just taken out their nose or eyebrow piercings when they tired of them or felt they didn't fit anymore. The one situation that doesn't just reverse is when people stretch or gauge their ears. More often than not, these don't just tighten up and go back to small holes, especially if they've been stretched to very large sizes or had heavy jewelry worn for many years.
No matter what you do, it's important to realize that certain types of body art are very temporary (hair cuts and coloring) and that others are more likely to leave changes on your body for the rest of your life. No matter form of body art you choose to pursue, it's always important to think about the long-term, and look deep inside yourself before, during and after doing anything.