When you’re young, the tattoo of from your favorite band’s logo or of that Nietzsche quote from a recent class sound like a great idea. In reality, tattoos that you come to regret later in life are a way for your present self to exert power over your future self, at least according to New York Magazine’s Dan Brooks.
“That’s what makes the ubiquity of tattoos among Americans my age so unsettling: When we all got them together, they became a symbol of youth, which is a substantially less fun symbol to have around when you are old,” Brooks writes.
He likens the crisis regrettable tattoos to the existential crisis of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
To read more of Brooks’s analysis of regrettable tattoos click here.