Self expression comes in a variety of forms but one of the most personal is tattooing.
To have something inscribed onto your skin for the rest of your life is a deeply personal choice.
What happens, though, when someone in your life gets a tattoo that isn’t quite up to your standards?
This was the problem facing Redittor and Original Poster (OP) BilboSoggins when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for reacting terribly to my wife’s new tattoo?”
He wasted no time in getting to the problem at hand.
“My wife got a new tattoo today while I was at work.”
“She told me she was getting a small Harry Potter one but she wasn’t quite sure where yet.”
“While not a big fan of it I told her to go ahead and do whatever made her happy.”
“Well, when I got home she showed me a little heart tattoo that she got on her wrist.”
“I thought that was cute but I was a bit confused as to why she changed her mind as I thought we had a veto rule for tattoos, seeing as we may have to see these things the rest of our lives.”
“After that, she says ‘Wait… There’s more.’ She lifts her shirt and shows me a poorly drawn vertical line style flower tattoo with a script below that, that has some lyrics from our wedding song.”
“The first thing out of my mouth was, ‘honey, that looks terrible.’ I know it was a bad thing to say but, I have very strong opinions, especially when it comes to tattoos and she knows this.”
“I think the idea of this tattoo is incredibly sweet and I love that she is willing to put a memory of our wedding on her body permanently, but why would she not consult me about this first???”
“I would have gladly paid 3X the price for her to get a beautifully done tattoo.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for a ruling.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some pointed out OP’s lack of empathy.
” ‘I have very strong opinions.’ “
” ‘I’m just brutally honest.’ “
” ‘I just tell it like it is.’ “
” ‘I’m just an honest person, and if people can’t handle that, then too bad.’ “
“These are just different ways for people to say that they lack tact, empathy, and the desire to be civil even when stating something that they know will hurt the other person.”
“I agree with the above comment.”
“OP, YTA. Having an opinion doesnt mean that you get to be an AH about it (or that you have yo blurt out said opinion the minute it pops into your head.” ~ Electrical-Date-3951
“You have really got to work on thinking before you talk.”
“You don’t have to be overjoyed about it, but certainly you could have found a nicer way to put it.”
“So for that, YTA.” ~ 0biterdicta
Others felt that there was plenty of blame to go around.
“You’re reaction to her tattoo of course.” However, you guys did have an agreement that she went against.”
“My Fiancé and I talk about what tattoos would turn us off on each other.”
“We tell each other everything and make decisions together.”
“There was a Reddit post about a lady asking for advice on her husband’s tattoo idea.”
“His idea was to get a picture of his (don’t quote me) son/nephew tattooed on his chest.”
“She, however, did not like that idea because she would be the one staring at it while they’re being intimate.”
“She feels like she won’t be able to get turned on by staring at a baby’s face.”
“Imagine staring at something you don’t like forever.”
“I understand people have autonomy, but people should also take their partner’s opinion into consideration especially if it’s going to be permanent.”
“It’s a partnership. There’s going to be comprises made.”
“I feel that tattoo falls under that category. I don’t blame OP for feeling that way.” ~ pixieboba
Many had a problem with the veto rule in general.
“Imagine thinking you have a say over someone else’s body.”
“You could be supportive and tell her it looks fantastic and you’re happy for her, but you have ‘strong opinions’ (read I’m an AH and I know it)
“Obviously YTA” ~ fatheryeg
Responses offered a more balanced view on the situation.
“I am honestly surprised by all the YTAs here, but maybe I see this a bit too nuanced.”
“To my understanding:”
“You had a poor gut reaction to her showing you a poor quality tattoo.”
“You know you should NOT have said what you said so slight YTA.”
“The reason for slight here is that, as another commenter mentioned, it very much depends on the tone and delivery. – I also tend to be honest with my partner but never in a hurtful way, this works best for us both ways.”
“Nevertheless, an apology for the poor choice of words is in order – but I think OP knows that.”
“That being said, it seems there has been a mutual agreement for veto (whether we like it or not it seems to have been an agreement between the two that both committed to) which your partner omitted.”
“For this, she is TA IMO.”
“Then, the tricky part:”
“I agree that ‘veto’ rights in general are not truly in the mind of bodily autonomy.”
“But a) from a passage in the post it seems OP would not even have vetoed the tattoo. He seemed to have liked the idea and would have been happy to support his partner realizing it in good quality).”
“And b) it appears to me OP is honestly just disappointed in the quality of the tattoo.”
“I can understand that. I find tattoos appealing, definitely, but not necessarily poor-quality ones.”
“Overall a tricky situation; but I feel it is unjustified to blast OP as a controlling AH.” ~ KillByBeingKind
Self-expression is a tricky thing.
What is expressive art to one person can be a disaster to someone else.
Tastes vary, but kindness is always important—remember that not liking a choice does not give you the right to be mean.
Regardless of how strong your opinions are.