I’ve been watching TLC’s Miami Ink a fair bit recently. It’s a good show, but there’s a serious problem with it: It really makes you want to get a tattoo, but also shows you that your reason for getting one isn’t good enough.

The first time I saw it was probably about two years ago, when there was a marathon playing. Though I knew the show existed, it had never occurred to me to watch it because, seriously, who wants to watch a show about a tattoo parlor? But my sister claimed it was good, at the same time warning me about what she had noticed, which is the first part of the problem I already mentioned. It kind of makes you want to get a tattoo. All these other people are getting tattoos. The tattoo artists talk about how great tattoos are. And they often just look cool.

The other part of the problem comes from the narratives that the customers tell about why they’re getting the tattoos. A large proportion of them are getting memorial tattoos, commemorating a lost family member or best friend. Some of them are recovering from drug addiction and want to mark a new phase of their life. Parents get tattoos of their kids’ names. Stuff like that.

And here I am thinking I want to get a tattoo just because I saw it on TV. Why do you have to torment me like that, Miami Ink? I suppose it is just as well, though, since if I were to get a tattoo I’d want my reason to be at least because I actually want one rather than TV told me to. Considering I start to crave a Big Mac every time a MacDonald’s commercial comes on the air, I think I need to stay far away from television before making a decision about anything more permanent than lunch.

Random FAQ Comments (3)

3 Responses to “The problem with Miami Ink”

  1. bandit says:

    if you think its bad then dont watch the show. alot of people love tattoos and as a tattoo artist i can say that alot of people love to give tattoos. alot of people get tattoos for the wrong reason but if its the right one then get it. but dont put down the tv show just cause it makes you want one.

  2. GP says:

    I wasn’t putting the show down at all. It’s great. They do great tattoos. It makes me want to have a great tattoo. It makes me want to have a great reason for getting a great tattoo, and that’s the part I’m still missing. The problem with Miami Ink is that it makes me want something that I don’t have, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it.

  3. The most vital thing i think when having ink done is to go to a reputable tattooist. It’s well worth spending some time finding out who is good and who isn’t and which parlour has a good reputation – it’s worth spending a few euro more to have faith that your tatt is going to be excellent

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