The main argument supporting laws against tattooing minors is that they often don't make good long-term decisions in regards to choice of design and placement. On June 17, 2009 a story broke out of Belgium that rather perfectly illustrated a situation of bad teenage tattoo decision-making.
Eighteeen-year-old Kimberley Vlaeminck contacted news agencies in Belgium, reporting that she had fallen asleep while being tattooed and that instead of getting three small stars on her face as she had requested, she woke up to find that the artist had put fifty-six tattooed stars on her instead. A young housewife, the girl claimed she had fallen asleep as a way of avoiding the pain and not woken up as the series of stars were tattooed across her temple, down the side of her face, along her jaw and across her left cheek and onto her nose. Vlaeminck said she would sue the tattoo parlor and planned to have laser removal to get rid of the bold designs.
Tattoo artist Rouslan Toumaniant refuted any wrongdoing. He claimed the girl had not only specifically requested the fifty-six star pattern she received, but that she had been awake for the entire procedure. He also denied the girl's claims that he had not understood her request, which she presented in both French and English.
Just a week later, on June 23rd, Vlaeminck chose to recant her story and admit that she had lied. She did indeed request the large facial tattoo, and was even happy with it until her father saw it and became upset with her. She then decided to lie to him and put the blame on the tattoo artist trying to make it seem as though she had not gotten the tattoo willingly.
Prior to her confession, Toumaniant had said that he was willing to pay to have half the stars lasered off, but after her admission, he withdrew his offer. Having gotten lots of press over the last week, Toumaniant's only change in how his tattoo shop operates will be to have all clients sign a consent form before receiving any tattoos.