So, you want to pay someone to stitch ink onto your skin permanently to commemorate a friendship? Terrific.
I absolutely get why you would want to. We have things like weddings and engagement rings and registry gifts and honeymoons to mark the occasion of falling in romantic love with another human being, but we have so few official ways to celebrate the platonic love we have in our lives.
Friendship bracelets? The ones with half a heart on a piece of string? I understand if that’s not enough.
In the absence of some kind of friendship consolidation ceremony, probably the thing that feels about as monumental as your love for your BFF is getting some ink on your skin.
It’s a (painful) little ceremony, a way of saying: ‘I intend to have this person around for the rest of my life’. It’s a visceral commitment to a relationship that means something to you and I think it could be incredible
I’m here for it, I really am. And so are a lot of celebrities, as it turns out.
If you’re really keen on getting inked with your mate, have a little peak at what some famous besties have done to mark their friendship. They actually have some ideas worth checking out, to be honest.
They’re thoughtful and cute and meaningful, which friendships tattoos should be.
For example, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner got the date 07.08.09 tattooed on their forearms because that’s the day they found out they were both cast in Game of Thrones – the show that would define the beginnings of their careers and, probably even more importantly, where they met.
They’re not going to regret that ever, because that date will always mean something to them.
Same for the main cast members of the TV show Pretty Little Liars, all of whom got the first initial of their character’s name tattooed on the inside of their index finger to commemorate their time on the show as well as their real-life friendship.
Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne got matching smiley face tattoos on their toes while they were filming Suicide Squad together. Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson got matching bus tattoos to signify where they stayed while on tour with One Direction together.
Kendall Jenner and Hayley Baldwin got broken hearts on the inside of their fingers – one in red and one in white ink. To be honest, I’m not sure what the significance of that is… maybe how they’d feel if they weren’t in one another’s lives?
Whatever, they’re all adorable. I suspect Zayn and Louis may be the only ones who might regret their permanent decision (they allegedly don’t get on anymore) but they’ve got so many other tattoos on their bods, it’s probably not too tragic for them.
Tattoos have a long, important history for a lot of cultures and it can be an extremely significant, moving and emotional thing to do.
It is technically possible to draw over or erase a tattoo, but I believe that’s expensive and painful, so before you book your ink, have a little think. Here’s a few things to ponder.
Think about it first
Don’t do this on a whim. Don’t do this drunk and don’t do this high.
Don’t do this on a dare from someone else. Don’t do this because you want to annoy your parents.
Don’t do this because you’ve been peer-pressured into it because tattoos are cool. Have a real, serious, private think about whether you feel comfortable getting permanently inked and whether it feels right for you.
Talk about it a lot first, do some sketches and make sure you like and trust the artist who is going to do it. Think about the cost and the pain and the permanency. Don’t rush into this.
You do you, but I probably wouldn’t recommend getting your best friend’s life-size face tattooed on your own. Maybe go small when you get your first tattoo – like all the celebrities I just mentioned.
Tiny tattoos on the inside of a finger, on your wrist or on your hip are fashionable and also very sweet. Especially if this is your first time getting inked, I reckon you could probably start out a bit modest.
Plus, it’s quite nice to have a secret little memento of a friendship that you can hide or show when you like. That said, if you want to get two enormous red lobsters or a giant heart to signify how much you adore this person, who am I to stop you?
Just as long as you feel like you’ve thought it all through.
Remember that friendships end
Sometimes, life happens and friendships end – even the ones we swear we’d never let go. You will be able to heal your heart but what about the great big emblem you have on your skin? There reminding you of that person forever more?
To protect yourself in the case of a friendship breakup, you could go with something you like anyway: a symbol or an animal or an initial that you could co-opt and make your own if the love between you and your mate fades.
It could be something that means something to you. Or, really, just something you wouldn’t mind having even if things don’t work out.
It’s a rough thing to think about, I know, but I don’t want you out there at 80 years old, staring sadly at the little tattoo of your mate’s full name on your wrist, wondering why you committed so hardcore to a friendship that’s gone.
If you’ve thought about it and you feel as though you still want something that marks your friendship forever, then go forth and get inked.
May you and your best friend be as hardy and as enduring as that picture on your skin.