I’ve had my first and last tattoo at 26, that’s when I finally found the answers to the never-ending questions “what” and “where”. Luckily I started to itch for one after my mind stepped into adulthood, when I realized that what I like and believe today is most certainly going to change, become obsolete or at least not worthwhile of having it on display forever. Like eating meat is murder, Offspring forever or a wise ass self reflecting inspirational phrase that sounds bold but suggests the opposite. And add a typo to the mix like the funny Lithuanian girl on the boat to Paxos – The truth make us free and you’ve secured yourself a day in the future when you’ll ask yourself What the f… was I thinking?! And besides, bold statements reach their purpose when others attribute them; when you permanently carve yourself with I was not built to break, you look exactly like a high-school girl dumped by her much cooler boyfriend.
What worked out for me is stripping the meaning off my tattoo. Everybody asks “but what does that mean?” and I can honestly reply “nothing, it’s just decoration”. In time I started to attribute meaning to it but I’m always relieved by the idea that even though I can’t change my tattoo, which by the way I still love, I can always change and adapt its story. And if one day I’ll hate it, I can simply choose not to see it thanks to its whereabouts. And I admit it, I was terrified of my mom’s reaction. In fact if all the decisions in the world would be made after first answering the question What would my mom think of it? I think our world would be a much much safer place. And mega boring too.
It’s pretty safe to say that the following quirk was triggered by a mom. Seung Shin’s mother didn’t like that her son got this tattoo, so she did what moms do best: nagged and nagged until her son regretted it. Not sure here whether Shin regretted having the tattoo because it was bad or because he couldn’t stand hearing his mom bitch about it anymore, but feeling on his own skin what it takes to remove it sparkled an idea.
What if a tattoo was not meant to be permanent? What if your tramp stamp could bear an expiration date?
Why is a tattoo permanent in the first place? The reason why lays in the ink molecules. When a foreign substance enters the human body, the antibodies work their way to break down the molecules and get them out asap. The ink molecules are too big to be assimilated by our immune system which leaves them be FOREVER. And the worst part, in time the contour and colors fade, making it look tacky and outdated. Shin’s idea was to create an ink made of molecules small enough to be naturally disposed of. The molecules of the Ephemeral Ink are protected by a membrane designed to last up to a year.
Currently the company is looking for testers to make trials for 3, 6 and 12 month ink versions and is expecting to launch the final product this August. The really cool part is that once the trial is successfully over, this ink can replace or join the permanent one available now, as the application tool remains the classic current one, giving a whole new dimension to our already twisted tattoo society