Tattoo dilemmas with Blue |

When Things&Ink was in print, we asked shop mama at (now closed) Into You in London, Blue, to answer your tattoo woes and problems. We are posting some of our faves here as an ode to Blue and her wisdom. Blue now runs The Blue Tattoo in west London. 

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Dear Blue,
I’m writing to you as I am having a little tattoo dilemma. I have just turned 60 and I have two daughters who are huge tattoo collectors. Every time they come to visit me, they have new tattoos – which seem to keep getting bigger and covering more of their bodies. At first, I was apprehensive about it all, but I am becoming increasingly drawn to the world of tattoos.

So, for my birthday, my daughters have treated me to a voucher to go under the needle for the first time. This fills me with both excitement and trepidation. I have so many questions, will it hurt? What if I don’t like it? Will it be a scary experience. But, and most pressingly, I don’t know what I want to get.

I have had a few ideas, but my youngest daughter always puts me off them. How can I come up with an idea that really means something to me?

Thanks, Jenni, 60, midlands

Blue: These are questions all first timers ask. Getting your first  tattoo will fill you with all sorts of anxieties. My advice on thisL  take the plunge, no going back, no regrets. Don’t worry about the pain, it will hurt a little but it’s not so bad. Make sure you go to a studio you feel comfortable in. Getting tattooed is not scary at all – in fact it can be a very nice and pleasant  experience. A tattoo does not necessarily  have to have a meaning behind it, if you and your daughters find a design you like, then that is meaning in itself.

Dear Blue,

I’ve met a guy and am thinking of asking him out. He only has one tattoo, which doesn’t bother me, but it’s a quote from a book I really hate. Is this a deal breaker? How can I be expected to get past first base if I couldn’t even get past the first chapter?

Bethany, 32, London

Blue: Oh, that’s only a minor detail, if you like this guy don’t let  a silly quote get in the way. We can’t, and don’t, always like everyone’s tattoos. I say, go for it and just ask him out. If it works out for you, you can always get him to get more tattoos! So get past the first chapter and enjoy getting to first base.

Dear Blue,

My boyfriend insists that I cover my tattoos whenever we meet his parents, who he believes wouldn’t approve. Aside from the fact that I think they’re probably less conservative than he imagines, should I take the easy route to family harmony and keep them hidden, or be both more honest to myself and them by showing them if I feel like it? I don’t feel ashamed of them, so why should  I act as if I am?

Sophie, 25, Kent

Blue: I say keep the harmony and respect his wishes for now. Start up a conversation with his parents about tattoos to gauge their reaction. If they seem cool with the whole tattoo thing, let them know you that you like tattoos and have some yourself, then eventually you may not feel obliged to hide them any more. Good luck.

Dear Blue,

Do you think I should pay attention to people who tell me getting my partner’s name tattooed on me is  a bad idea? We’re thinking of getting ‘bro tats’ and while I do understand the cons, I feel that even if this relationship ends and turns out to be a mistake, it’s still one I’d like to remember. Am I being naïve?

Danielle, 32, Wales

Blue: No you’re not being naïve at all. I think you should listen to yourself, don’t worry about what other people think. Sure the relationship may not last forever, but you will always have the memory of that moment. You can always tattoo an X over the top, or
a line through it. Then there’s always a cover-up, if you decide it really needs to go! I’m actually a big fan of the X over a name! It’s always a funny story to tell…

What do you reckon, shall we revive our problem page? Do you have problems you would like Blue to answer, email

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