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This is the best PSA against tattoos. Parents think they need to tell their kids about possible diseases and infections to ward them off wanting to get a tattoo. But seeing the face of Marilyn Monroe as if she’s had a stroke on someone’s arm can be way scarier. I definitely wouldn’t want to walk around with such a design for the rest of my life, would you?

Mispronunciations, visuals that make no sense, or just poor artistry – we’ve got all these covered. We picked the best of the worst tattoos for you, Pandas. Some of them might make you cringe, and others might elicit a laugh out of you. Whatever it is – let us know in the comments and by upvoting your favorites.

Bored Panda spoke to Alice Snape, editor & founder of Things & Ink magazine. She told us more about what she would consider a bad tattoo and how people can avoid getting it.

More info: Alice Snape | Things & Ink

Getting a tattoo can be a very personal thing. Of course, just like babies, they're not always planned. They can be the result of a drunken night, a dare, or a bet between friends. But the fact that they're permanent still remains. None of us want our friends to shame us for a bad tattoo job. Worse yet – we definitely wouldn't want strangers to scoff at an 'Everthing is fine' on our skin.

How can we avoid such mistakes? Is there even such a thing as an ugly tattoo? We spoke about all this and more with the editor and founder of Things & Ink, an independent tattoo magazine that discusses the rich history of tattoo culture and its newest trends. Alice Snape is the creative mind behind it and has lots of experience with tattoos as a tattoo collector.

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When talking about whether or not something looks pleasing to the eye, we go by the ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ rule. Can we apply this same logic to decide whether a tattoo is good or not? What do people actually consider to be tattoo fails?

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Alice Snape, the author of Tattoo Street Style, says there's only one type of tattoo we should consider a failure. It's spelling mistakes. "[That] would be my worst nightmare," she says. "Surely, a tattoo can only really be a fail if the person who has the tattoo on their skin hates it." Other than that – it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

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Eric C.
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one is tough. The artist is really talented. The tattoo is just a terrible concept.

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Because personal preferences definitely play a part here, Snape says she finds tattoo-shaming distasteful. "If I personally don't like someone's tattoo because I don't think it's very well done or I don't like the subject matter or it doesn't like it's supposed to, it doesn't mean it's 'failed.'"

"I kinda feel a bit sad if someone has a deeply personal tattoo, say a portrait of their baby, and someone's out there shaming the tattoo because it's so rubbish," the founder of the tattoo magazine adds. "Although, maybe the tattoo owner might be laughing along too.

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Satan Laughs
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson… you guys!!!! What am I looking at?

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Alice says that for her, the 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' rule definitely applies here. "Isn't everything subjective? It's art, after all. I hate to be a judgey type of person. Like when someone whips out their tattoo to show because they know I have loads and write about them, I'd probably just be polite and say I liked it," Snape adds with a laugh. "Same as I might not like the painting they have hanging in their living room."

Say you're looking to get your first tattoo. But you're terrified the artist might do a bad job or that the tattoo is going to age terribly. What do you do? "If you're worried about getting your first tattoo, the best thing you can do is research, research, research," Alice says.

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"Look at tattooists' portfolios and always ask to see healed work alongside fresh tattoos," Alice Snape advises. "Once they settle into your skin, they'll look a little bit different – the lines might soften, and the color will be less bright. Also, chat to the potential tattooist. Make sure you like them if you're going to be spending a big chunk of time with them."

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More than anything, this process is about learning to relinquish at least a little bit of control. "I always like the experience of getting tattooed to be a magical one," Alice shares with Bored Panda. "I stress I've learned this from making mistakes, though – so don't be too harsh on yourself. Nothing's perfect."

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I mentioned in the beginning that the problem with a bad tattoo is that it's going to be permanent. However, that's not entirely true. If you are a victim of a bad tattoo, you might want to consider a coverup. "I have a cover-up," Alice says. "My first tattoo could, I guess, be classed by someone as a 'fail,' although I don't regard it that way."

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BoredPossum
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When it's full moon and you have to see if there was someone at the door.

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Alice shares her personal story with covering up a tattoo. "It was a little Alice in Wonderland on my back, in the prime 'tramp stamp' position," Alice adds. How fitting! "I later decided I wanted a back piece – it's prime canvas – so the Alice is now hidden underneath it."

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"The thing is, tattoos don't have to be permanent," Alice disproves my previous statement. "They can be covered over with another design, lasered off so they disappear almost completely, or blacked out with solid black ink. Also, as your collection grows, you might like to see the journey rather than just get stuff covered."

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Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

So as long as there's no terrible spelling mistake, there should be a big fat question mark in front of the statement 'tattoo fails.' "The choice is yours. It's your body. And your tattoos are only as permanent as you want them to be," the editor of Things & Ink concludes. And we agree! Check out our selection of masterful tattoo cover-ups if you're not convinced.

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