The ways tattoos can get you into trouble


The Sri Lankan authorities have ordered the deportation of a British tourist because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm. Here are some other ways tattoos can get you into trouble, writes Vanessa Barford.

The authorities in Sri Lanka are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism, the religion of the island’s majority Sinhalese, and particularly sensitive about images of Buddha. In March, another tourist was denied entry because officials said he had spoken “disrespectfully” about a similar tattoo. He insisted he followed Buddhist teachings and thought a tattoo was an apt tribute.

Thailand has threatened to crackdown on tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while on holiday, saying the trend is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion. Tattoos have also caused problems in Malaysia. In 2012, the country cancelled a concert by US singer Erykah Badu after a publicity photo showed her with the “Allah” in Arabic tattooed on her upper body, saying it was “an insult to Islam”.


A more appropriate title:

Re: The way religious tattoos can get you in trouble

Had me worried there for a minute. :wink:


When I hand my hand and wrist surgery, there was a guy there complaining about his upcoming surgery. He had, I think, the name of his ex on a tattoo. Now, he had a new girlfriend/wife who didn’t appreciate it. So, he had to pay for this operation, himself, since it’d fall into the category of “cosmetic”, not covered by his health insurance.

With tattoos, they are permanent, and they don’t allow you to ever change your mind for any reason. If you age and suddenly you get wrinkles and the tattoo doesn’t look as good as it once did or if you change your belief, you’re stuck.


I haven’t any tattoos but I wanted one very badly in my 20s. All my friends were having flower sprays, dolphins and koi fish tattooed on their lower backs. I demurred, since I’m not a midriff-baring kinda gal. Fast forward a decade or so and any tattoo on that particular part of a girl’s back is known as a ‘tramp stamp’. :frowning:

I’m reliably informed by two dear friends that it costs far more to remove a tattoo that to have one made! I’m grateful that I’m so unfashionable and boring! :blush:


In my area, an accused murderer has the word MURDER tattooed on the front of his neck, mirror image, and now wants it to be removed, because it will unfairly prejudice the jury in his murder trial.

That’s a bit of trouble.


I heard about this. We all have the right to express ourselves but who really wants those kinds of tattoos?


Well, everyone should know not to go flashing ink in third world countries. You never know how many extremists are around just waiting to be offended and take to violence. Same goes for any country under certain circumstances, its a matter of common sense really. Always know what you are getting yourself into. I’d rather cover up than take the risk.

Example: Going into a dive bar showing off your tattoo representing the rivals to the local sports team…

When Im covered in wrinkles I won’t care if i look good or not… :wink:


With tattoos its important to think hard about what you are getting, not get something because its a trend or fad; get something that is meaningful for you. Additionally all of my tattoos are in places that are easily covered. I am not ashamed of them as they have meaning and are tastefully done however, I have no control about how a supervisor, clergy, or someone else in a position of authority will respond to them.


Gosh! “Unfairly” prejudice the jury?


I have several tattoos and now am old and wrinkled. Have never been sorry I got them, taught me a lot about the people I meet. Their first reactions lets you know what kind of person they are!


Eh, I just can’t manage to really care.




Also important to remember, the tattoo removal industry is growing and there are lots of things out there now that will remove them, some work better than others, but just recently walmart started selling some kind of cream that does actually lighten tattoos, and if used over a long period of time, it will lighten them so much you can barely see them.

I know this for a fact as a store mgr at one of stores has been using this cream for 16 months now and his tattoo is barely visible anymore, it is expensive though, but I guess if you want a tattoo gone, its worth it. I believe there also a fairly cheap DIY home laser that is not that powerful, but strong enough to remove a tattoo, it sells for under $500.

I have no doubt eventually, probably fairly soon, someone will create a cream or other method that works quickly and is not too expensive, there is alot of money to be made this industry, especially now, and in future decades, I imagine alot of gen Xers will regret their tattoos, so the rush is on to be the first to create something that actually removes them.


I remember one bloke we helped a couple of times through our Vinnies work. He was absolutely covered in tattoos. But he couldn’t get a job, and I have no doubt the all over tattoooing was partly responsible (besides attitude).

Yet he must have spent thousands of dollars getting the tattoos in the first place. I’d hate to think what it would cost to remove them.

When I was a kid, the teachers used to warn against tattoos saying they were often used in criminal trials for identification etc. How true that was I don’t know, but these days every second Tom, Dick and Mary has one, so that’s probably no longer relevant.


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