There was a photo making the rounds on the internet a while back that showed a woman with a very elaborate tattoo on her chest. She’d survived breast cancer, but had to have a mastectomy. Instead of having reconstruction, she chose to get the area tattooed: a way for her to turn an “ugly” experience into a beautiful piece of art.
But tattoos can’t cover everything. We posted a blog previously discussing how tattoos can be affected by stretch marks. The blog discussed how stretch marks compromise the integrity of the skin, which might lead to a tattoo that “bleeds” (ink, not blood – though actual bleeding may be more likely as well), or skin that just won’t take the ink.
Which brings us to cellulite. After reading some forums and talking to a relative who is a tattoo artist, it seems that most tattoo artists (the good ones, anyway) will try to steer you away from tattooing skin that has cellulite, or even skin that is highly likely to develop cellulite.
Before a tattoo artist begins actually applying the ink, a stencil is applied. Obviously, a stencil will work best on a flat “canvas.” If skin is “dimpled” from cellulite, the stencil won’t be flat, and the design is likely to be askew once the ink is applied. Alternatively, the tattoo artist can “pull” the skin flat and taut to apply the stencil – and even to work on the tattoo. But once the work is done, the skin will still be dimpled – and the design will be distorted, making the tattoo look “bumpy.” So you may want to re-think getting a tattoo to “cover up” your cellulite. Not only may the tattoo be distorted, but it may actually draw attention to the area you’re trying to cover.
Many people get tattoos when they are young – when the thought of stretch marks, cellulite, and weight gain are probably not even a thought in their minds. While our bodies change constantly as we age, there are parts of our bodies that are more likely to change significantly – and those are the parts where it might not be such a good idea to get a tattoo.
It is estimated that 80-90% of women will develop cellulite somewhere on their bodies. The most common areas are the thighs and buttocks. So if you’re a woman, you may want to avoid getting that cute butterfly tattoo on your thigh – it might not look so cute in 10-15 years.