Everyone's heard a story of someone going to get a tattoo only to find that the meaning of the symbol now permanently inked on their body wasn't quite what it was intended to be. Maybe your best friend's girlfriend thought she were getting the symbol for "peace" when in actuality she was labeled with having an "evil spirit." What would you do in that case? Are you forever marked as an "evil spirit" or do you look into tattoo removal methods?
Why do people still get Chinese characters tattooed on their bodies?
Put simply, Chinese characters look cool. They're intricate and elegant, yet exotic and mysterious. People choose their characters based on a word or phrase that they think best describes their personality. The characters look pretty, but unfortunately, these people rarely take the time to adequately research the symbol before they get the permanent mark. Many folks also don't realize that the artists themselves aren't educated in Chinese characters either – they just want to ink you up. Some of these stories are a bit more public than others however.
"The character on his left bicep actually stood for 'ice skating.'"
Famous celebrity tattoo disasters include former pop star queen Britney Spears, reported Chinlingo. Spears received a symbol on her hip that she thought meant "mysterious." The real translation? "Weird." In another case, movie makeup artists were at fault for not doing their homework. Albeit was a much less permanent case, the 2006 bad boy movie, "Alpha Dog", featured Justin Timberlake as a hardcore drug dealer covered in intimidating tattoos. However, how intimidating could his enemies really find him if they knew the character on his left bicep actually stood for "ice skating"? It wasn't a permanent mistake for Timberlake, thankfully, but it certainly discredits the movie.
So what are your options for getting rid of the botched tattoo? Do you go for laser tattoo removal or cover it up with a new design? Unfortunately these characters can be hard to cover up, so laser removal treatments might be your best option. Or do you just live with tattoo regret – most of the people you're around probably don't know what it means anyway right? You can live with a couple snickers from native speakers every now and then, can't you?
Of course, you could always just completely own the botch.
One woman embraces botched tattoo.
Tennessee native Holland Christensen flashed her new Chinese character tattoo to social media after a friend told her she should get a phrase tattooed on her to represent her love for languages and traveling, Christensen told Next Shark. However, what Christensen thought was a great idea, turned out to be another botched tattoo nightmare. Instead of her chosen phrasing, the tattoo artist put the needle to her skin and engraved her with three little characters that translated to the name "Jeremy Lin."
Don't know who Jeremy Lin is? Neither did Christensen.
A quick search on the Internet led her to discover that she had just tattooed the name of the Charlotte Hornet's point guard on her ankle. Instead of getting it removed, Christensen decided to become Lin's No. 1 fan. She told Next Shark that she then started to do research on the basketball star – more research than her tattoo itself – and discovered that not only did she find him attractive, but after watching several interviews she was also pleased to discover he was a "total sweetheart."
Christensen continued to learn everything she could on Lin until it finally came time to head to a basketball game and check the player out in the flesh. She wasn't able to meet the pro in person, but Lin picked up on her story via social media and decided to acknowledge her blunder. Lin replicated her tattoo on his own ankle with a marker and shot her a tweet that read, "What do you think of my new tattoo @hollyisyourstar?" The post was completed with a picture of Lin smiling and showing off his fresh "ink."
As far as botched tattoos go, it's safe to say that Christensen got fairly lucky.