There’s No Excuse for Baby Tattoos

You wouldn’t have a picture of your tongue tattooed on your arm, would you?

Aren’t we talking about something 80 days shy of looking like someone’s tongue?

Well, this non-parent certainly is.

The faces of most newborns don’t have nearly enough character to justify placement under your Mötorhead tattoo. Fresh babies are rapidly evolving and for all intents and purposes, under cooked. You wouldn’t want to look at it in a bowl, would you?  C’mon, even highly stylized baby tattoos are not an improvement.

Don’t kid yourself – when a child is breathing for the first time, he or she doesn’t want to be there. He or she could care less about your discount at Creeper Ink on 30th and Piedmont, or your penchant for over-sentimentalizing mushy disruptions.

SPAWN OF THE DEAD_Where Excuses Go to Die

Let’s get one thing clear: if anyone feels insulted in by this, it should be narcissistic parents, not babies. Babies don’t have the mental capacity to weigh in on whether they might be best represented by tattoo shop portraiture. So I’ll just say it: people who get tattoos of infants and toddlers on their bodies only to watch them mutate into Medusa do so because they have mistaken the birth of a child with self-expression. A big mistake in child rearing is child worship.

Babies and children are not a form of expression. Now take that Ramones t-shirt off your kid at once!

AFTERGLOOM_Where Excuses Go to DieI certainly understand the affection behind such a woeful decision as trusting a tattoo artist with both your skin and the likeness of your as yet fully formed child, but that’s where my acceptance runs aground. If you think about it, as a friend of mine pointed out, you’re really just capturing the moment when your kid has the least identity as an individual that he or she will ever have, and what does that say?

THEY NEVER WORK_WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU_Where Excuses Go to DieMaybe tattoos are very personal, blah blah blah. Great. Naturally, any criticism of them will be taken poorly, which is why cousins, fathers, sisters, and friends flat out lie to those seeking praise by showing off a picture of a frog and insisting it’s actually little Jimmy.

Joker Smiles_Where Excuses Go to DieSaid entitled parents will continue to insist it’s Jimmy, too, long past the point where they themselves believe the similarities they paid good money still apply. They’ll endlessly proclaim their love for these often frightening ink jobs even as the perversity of deformation resulting from poor placement, injury, old age, botched ink-work, and personal blubber takes over.

No, I’ve never seen a toddler tattoo that I wanted to look at twice, let alone help aggrandize.

A Nightmare on Asshole Street_Where Excuses Go to DieI’d rather look at a third degree burn scar, and frankly I find discussions of burn injuries more interesting thanks to the spirit of survival and personal fortitude required to live with them.

I’ve also never been afraid to ask about a burn scar, and I have never offended a burn victim by inquiring. I will never ask about a baby tattoo. I already know the delusion behind it, so just shut up. I’m on the kid’s team, not yours.

Ornamental Carnage Mommy_Where Excuses Go to DieAgain, I get how you can be so overwhelmed with adoration for your newborn as to have a needle jockey puncture its little monster face onto your back or bicep; I just can’t see any excuse for the lack of foresight, or the daffy expectation that others won’t be secretly disgusted.

No amount of rationalization or denial will ever eliminate the fact that you’ve deliberately created a platform on which people will repeatedly lie to your face. Even grandparents, blindly supportive and smothering as they can be, will always walk away thinking, “I’m so glad I never inked a loaf of bread on my arm.”

When family members get a load of your Picasso and explain with a loving grin as they pick up your child that they “prefer the real thing,” what they’re really expressing is, “You got ripped off, Champ.”

You didn’t think about stretch-marks did you? Nope! Like I said, I’m on the kid’s team, not yours. You’re the one who will eventually Nosferatu – Phantom der Nacht_Where Excuses Go to Diehave to explain that your baby’s faceshroom is no longer on your arm, but on your elbow. Talk about Nightmare on Asshole Street.

In the meantime, do us a favor: cover the troll at swap meets and sporting events during the summer. The need to have us non-parents co-sign your weirdo self-indulgence is offensive.