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One question which turns up regularly in the Body Art forum and in email to the editor is "Where should I put my new tattoo?" I feel that what to get tattooed and where to get it on your body are two things that no one else should ever tell you. However, here are a few things to consider when contemplating the question of tattoo placement.
One of the first things to think about is whether your tattoo is a personal and private mark, or something which you want to show off. Many people concerned about appearances or whether a tattoo might effect anything in their future prefer to get tattoos in places that can be easily hidden. One of the reasons that so many women get tattoos on their hips or lower backs is that these areas are most often covered by day-to-day clothing and it's very easy to not reveal these areas to anyone. Thighs, shoulders and upper arms are also areas that aren't left uncovered as much. Tattooing can be made even more subtle in appearance if the designs are located in places such as the inside of the upper arm, or along the ribs, however, these areas are extremely sensitive and getting tattoos in these locations are going to be more painful.
If you want to get tattooed in an area where you the tattoo wearer can easily see the design, you might consider areas such as the arms (upper or lower), the front of the thigh or lower leg. Areas that really show off tattoos and still carry some social taboos include the hands, the neck and the face. If you get tattooed in any of these areas, you should be aware that many people will take one look at you and make judgments based purely on appearances and pre-conceived notions. Heavy tattooing in these areas will lead many people to presume you have unsavory connections or gang associations.
For people who have concerns about the long-term appearance of tattoos in regard to the body aging or weight gain, there are a few places that don't change as much or as quickly when you put on the pounds. These include the upper and lower back (along the ribs can get "love handles"), the lower arms and the lower legs. Ankles and feet are one of the trendiest places to get tattooed currently, however the lack of body fat and high percentage of bones and nerves in these locations make them among some of the more painful places to get tattooed on the body.
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