For some, the decision to go under the needle is inspired by love. For others, it's an impulsive choice that has little significance. Meanwhile, other people use ink to declare a certain level of individuality and independence. That's exactly the motive behind a new trend: divorce tatts. As women prepare to embark on life beyond their marriage, many are opting to get words or designs etched on their skin to make a statement, which is "I've moved on." As more of these inked individuals post photos of their body art on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, it has become apparent that this is not a passing phenomenon, but a fueling trend.
The question remains, however: Is this an effective way to accelerate the healing process post-divorce? Or, is it a permanent reminder of a painful process that these women will change their minds about in the future? Considering how common it is for people to experience tattoo regret, many experts are advising people to think before they ink a divorce-themed design on their skin.
Dealing with heartbreak
Nerve magazine recently highlighted the popularity of divorce tattoos, explaining that the proof can be found everywhere from Tumblr to Reddit. What's interesting about this trend is that typically, people are more likely to be weighing their tattoo removal options after a breakup to get a clean slate – especially for those designs that remind them of their former lover. However, Vocativ explained that some women are responding to heartbreak in a different and far more extreme way, and in fact, seem to view the inking process as a sort of catharsis.
According to the source, Joelle Caputa, a PR executive and author of the upcoming book "Trash the Dress," is currently documenting some of these tatts. Caputa told Vocativ that these women are aiming to turn their status change from something shameful or painful into something empowering, and proposed that the tattoos are a natural part of that process – to "symbolize the person they have become."
Caution: Potential regret ahead
Still, a lot of people insist that going under the needle may not be the best idea with wounds from a divorce still fresh. CBC News reported that many online communities have openly vocalized their opposition to the movement.
"Twenty years from now I'm not sure I would want an inked memory of my state of mind during divorce," wrote divorce blogger Lisa Thomson, according to the source. "It might trigger sad memories. Also, because we go through emotional highs and lows during divorce it might be kind of dangerous to make a permanent decision like getting a tattoo."
Anthony Selden was also critical of the trend. Writing for Elite Daily, he explained:
"You're just giving yourself something to endlessly argue about throughout your next relationship. Just because you feel like you might have won an emotional war with your ex-boyfriend doesn't mean you need to go get a tattoo commemorating yourself for moving on."
Of course, there is always the option of laser tattoo removal if a woman decides their divorce tatt is an undesirable or irrelevant reminder of a different time in life down the road.
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* Source: Harris Interactive, 2013