I Know It Sounds Shallow, But My Attraction To Him Died When I Saw His Crappy Tattoo

Tattoos can make guys look so sexy, but they have to be high-quality, interesting ink, not crappy things that look like one of his friends did them for him after one too many tequila shots. I once dated a guy who seemed cool… until he showed me the awful tatt of a half-naked woman on his arm and I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. It sounds superficial, but the reasons for it go much deeper.

  1. The story behind it was a bit alarming. Okay, so not only did the tattoo look bad, but the story behind it was about how he and his friends had been so high that they dared each other to get tattoos. Yup. No “life-changing” event or spiritual awakening that caused him to want a tattoo. Not even some long-held love for a work of art. It was just a childish dare.
  2. It was huge. The tattoo of the busty woman covered his shoulder and upper arm. I hated having to look at it all the time. I hate to sound nasty, but I was also a bit embarrassed by it when we were out in public because it looked so disrespectful. Yikes.
  3. It wasn’t classy. Okay, so I admit that I’m a tattoo snob. I’ve wanted to get a tattoo of my own a few times but I always knew that it would have to look really classy and timeless. This guy’s tattoo was tacky and made him seem trashy. I know it’s unfair to judge someone based on their appearance, but this wasn’t something he was born with — it was something he’d decided to put on his body, with no thought about how his impulsive decision made him look cheap.
  4. One tattoo often leads to more. Many inked people have told me how they couldn’t stop after one tattoo, the guy I was dating included. He had these “great visions” of adding more half-naked women tatts to his chest and back. Great.
  5. He just wanted attention. It’s not just about the trashy-looking tattoo. It’s how he walked around flaunting it to everyone and wanting loads of attention for it. Dude, it’s just a tattoo, FFS. Talking about it doesn’t make him more interesting and it’s sad that he felt like he needed ink to make him seem appealing.
  6. Tattoos are supposed to have energy. Tattoos have been associated with art and rebellion. This guy’s tattoo accomplished neither of those things. It felt like he was just using the tattoo to give off those qualities and feelings but they simply weren’t there. I’m not saying he had to be some artist or bad boy, but he should’ve at least got a tattoo that accentuated who he was or that had meaning and personality. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  7. Tattoos shouldn’t be spontaneous. The guy got this tattoo impulsively. It’s not something he planned to get and really thought long and hard about before going to his tattoo artist. When people choose meaningful tattoos that are highly personal to them, I totally respect that. However, this guy was so proud of his tattoo and yet it meant nothing to him. I don’t like that he could be so reckless with something that would stay on his body for life.
  8. It felt like he was trying too hard. Not only was he keen on getting attention for his tattoo, but it often felt that he was trying too hard to be seen as this edgy, bad boy. He wasn’t that kind of guy. If he’d just skipped getting the tattoo and displayed his other great qualities, it would have made him so much more attractive. It felt like he was trying to be liked for something that just wasn’t him, like he was trying too hard to express himself, be funny or create a stir. Ugh.
  9. I couldn’t force myself to like it. Friends were telling me to forget about the tattoo, to sit on his left so I wouldn’t have to look at it, but I just couldn’t seem to get over it. Yes, it makes me sound really fussy, but why should I feel bad about that? I shouldn’t have to force myself to like something. His tattoo had become a part of his overall look and it just wasn’t something I found hot. It’s like when men wear crocs or pierce their penises. At least they can take those off. A tattoo is here to stay.
  10. It was a wakeup call for me. In the past, when I had blue and violet hair that I loved, a guy I was dating said he just couldn’t see himself with me because of that hair. I’d thought he was such an jerk, but now I totally get it. There are some things that we just can’t accept in a partner, even though they might sound superficial or cruel. This tattoo guy made me see that it might seem unfair, but we all have things we want or don’t in a partner. As much as he had a right to get that tattoo, I had a right not to date him because of it.
  11. We had different tastes. At the end of the day, I wasn’t upset about us going our separate ways because we clearly had different tastes and preferences. I didn’t hate him for his tattoo and respected that it was his choice to do whatever he wanted with his body, but it was just something I didn’t want in a partner. I’m sure he’ll find someone who really loves him and his tattoo, but it just wouldn’t be me.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.