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AIBU?

I don’t like my daughter’s homemade tattoos

81 replies

strugglingsingle · 21/01/2024 20:12

My DD (19) has a substantial amount of small tattoos that she has been collecting over the past SEVEN YEARS. Before you slate me for being a bad mother, I have NEVER taken her to a tattoo shop, nor have I taken her to any backalley hooligan tattoo artists who work on underage children. Instead, DD has been doing these tattoos herself using sewing needles and pen ink without my knowledge (for first few years) or permission.

I am not against tattoos in general on 18/19 year olds, but since DD did these herself, they are awful. Not to insult her, but she has zero artistic skill which has left her with illustrations similar to what a toddler might scribble on the wall. I am of course exaggerating but these are not professional level tattoos by any means and I fear that she will regret having them permanently on her body VERY SOON.

I expressed this fear to her this afternoon and the conversation ended in a screaming match. I was only trying to persuade her into ending this little hobby but she told me she had no plans in doing that as she is just trying to express herself creatively and has no funds to spend on professional. AIBU?

(PS. When DH and I first discovered these tattoos, we took her to GP and asked about potential ink poisoning. GP said she was fine but never to tattoo herself again, which obviously she didn’t listen to.)

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

231 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
18%
You are NOT being unreasonable
82%
edissa · 21/01/2024 20:14

Dear god is that a thing? Tattooing oneself with a sewing needle?! 😳 that's made me feel a bit queasy. Id be very unhappy too OP.

Dotchange · 21/01/2024 20:14

If they are really horrible, I’m the future perhaps she could go to a professional to get them covered with nice tattoos

XelaM · 21/01/2024 20:15

Pay for her to go to a professional studio and cover them with something nicer

Uricon2 · 21/01/2024 20:15

Not a great idea outside a Russian prison. Not a great idea in a Russian prison either, TBH.

She's 19 now, grown up, let her sort it out.

Lammveg · 21/01/2024 20:17

I'm sure she knows you don't like them. Not much you can do now though and bringing it up will probably just cause further arguments. I'd just let her know you're worried for her health rather than that you don't like them. Could you/her save for an actual tattoo? Might at least stop her doing them herself in the meantime.

EffieGraysDisappointingWeddingNight · 21/01/2024 20:17

She's been giving herself prison tattoos since she was 12?

I wouldn't mess with that gal.

strugglingsingle · 21/01/2024 20:17

Uricon2 · 21/01/2024 20:15

Not a great idea outside a Russian prison. Not a great idea in a Russian prison either, TBH.

She's 19 now, grown up, let her sort it out.

Haha, ExDH and I always refer to them as her “prison tattoos”. I agree with letting her sort it out herself, this is too much stress for me 🤣

OP posts:
LondonQueen · 21/01/2024 20:19

She's ready for prison, doing them since she was 12 is crazy! I'd take her to a well-regarded local tattoo artist and see if they can cover it up with something nicer.

strugglingsingle · 21/01/2024 20:20

EffieGraysDisappointingWeddingNight · 21/01/2024 20:17

She's been giving herself prison tattoos since she was 12?

I wouldn't mess with that gal.

She is a very strong-willed girl, I’ll tell you that for free 🤣. But yes, since 12. We only found out about them when she was 15 though as she used to do them in discreet areas (ankles, hip etc.) to hide them from us and school.

OP posts:
Northernsouloldies · 21/01/2024 20:22

I remember the kids with the Indian ink tatts they always looked shit. I remember one boy with the west ham hammers, they looked like crossed cotton buds. 😁

Toetouchingtitties · 21/01/2024 20:25

Could this be a cover for self harming? It can become addictive and very hard to stop.

5128gap · 21/01/2024 20:28

I think the learning here is no point trying to shut the stable door now the horse has bolted. If you'd have known when she was a child you could have taken steps, but you didn't, and its done now, so there's not much point in expressing dislike or concern over something she can't change. You don't want her doing any more, but she's too old now for you to stop her, so if I were you I'd just leave the subject alone now. If the time comes that she regrets it, then you can look at options.

JarvisRocker · 21/01/2024 20:35

I don’t understand how you could have allowed this to happen!! I have a 12 year old DD and she’s too busy volunteering, doing homework, playing hockey and reading to give herself tattoos! How come you didn’t notice? Why wasn’t she being supervised more closely at 12??

gamerchick · 21/01/2024 20:37

She'll get them covered at some point. They all usually do.

treath · 21/01/2024 20:37

JarvisRocker · 21/01/2024 20:35

I don’t understand how you could have allowed this to happen!! I have a 12 year old DD and she’s too busy volunteering, doing homework, playing hockey and reading to give herself tattoos! How come you didn’t notice? Why wasn’t she being supervised more closely at 12??

It's worrying that your 12 year old has no downtime or privacy.

TigerJoy · 21/01/2024 20:40

You can't win with this. Perhaps between ages 12-16 you could have intervened, but she's an adult now and it's her body.

My mum raged and cried about my sister's (perfectly nice, professionally done) tattoo and all it did was make my sister angry with my mum and feel bad about herself.

If you want to help start discreetly saving for tattoo removal or cover up - if it's ever needed or requested.

But for now, just leave her to it. People have to make their own mistakes.

GTsundaydriver · 21/01/2024 20:44

A girl in my school tattooed herself with a needle and pen ink, that was about 14 years ago, they have faded now and just look like a smudge so I wouldn't panic too much. I will admit I'm impressed at her perseverance though, I've had a few tattoos done by a professional and they hurt! Can't imagine doing it myself. Ultimately you can't stop her, however I would gently remind her of the risks of infection and skin damage, perhaps offer to get her a professional tattoo for her birthday or Christmas if that's something you'd be happy to do. I wouldn't ask her to cover them up though, if she's happy with them, leave them be.

PonyPatter44 · 21/01/2024 20:44

I would stop mentioning them. She is looking for a reaction, and has been for seven years, so just stop. Has she gone through any significant trauma or harm, that you know of?

At some point, she will want to cover up her pig-ugly prison tattoos and then perhaps you'll be able to talk to her to find out why she was doing them.

Justcallmebebes · 21/01/2024 20:48

XelaM · 21/01/2024 20:15

Pay for her to go to a professional studio and cover them with something nicer

Er why? Her balls up, let her learn from it

Hankunamatata · 21/01/2024 20:49

I'd pay to get her a proper tattoo in a reputable studio. Perhaps if she sees what can be achieved art work on her body it might persuade her to at least enrol on a course to do them properly

Mumof2NDers · 21/01/2024 20:50

Northernsouloldies · 21/01/2024 20:22

I remember the kids with the Indian ink tatts they always looked shit. I remember one boy with the west ham hammers, they looked like crossed cotton buds. 😁

My DH did one when he was in school. He loves the band Blue Oyster Cult. B. O. C
His tattoo looked like BOG! 😂. He’s had it covered over now.
DS (14 at the time) came home with his initials on his hand. He couldn’t understand why I went mad! He thought I’d find it funny?
Fortunately whoever did it didn’t scratch deep enough so it faded!
I knew from when he was little he was the one likely to come home with purple hair and tattoos 😳

Crazycatlady79 · 21/01/2024 20:51

@JarvisRocker well, that's great that you're such an amazing Mother with such an amazing daughter, but we can't all paragons of virtue.
My Mum didn't see my self-harm or DIY tattoos (I started SH-ing when I was 12), as I did it/them in places she didn't see.
At 12, I didn't strut round the house naked like I did when I was 6 and I was able to conceal them until my mid to late teens.

greasypolemonkeyman · 21/01/2024 20:57

XelaM · 21/01/2024 20:15

Pay for her to go to a professional studio and cover them with something nicer

This.

It's get body not yours. She clearly likes them. If they offend you so much then you can pay to make them more attractive to you.

I'm a 45yo woman. I got my first tattoo at 14 from a back alley scratcher and now I have lots, both arms, my back and a leg. Everybody told me how much of regret them and how silly I was..... I'm still waiting for that to happen. I know it's never going to, I see my tapes everyday and they are all tied up in hair memories and I love them. I don't c CARE if I get old and wrinkly or somebody eye doesn't like them.

This body is my home and I'll decorate it how I like without other people controlling the decorative I chose.

KarenNotAKaren · 21/01/2024 20:58

Jesus wept OP she’s frankly exceptionally lucky that after 7 years self-given tattoos with probably NO decent sterilisation or hygiene, that she hasn’t contracted sepsis!!

Thehamsterthatcametotea · 21/01/2024 20:59

You are angry about the wrong part. She gets to choose shit tattoos but it’s incredibly risky to do it herself. Although you can express your worry but because she’s now 19 she gets to do what she wants. Bit late to be loosing it now.

Could it be a form of self harm?

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