Face tattoos have been drawing attention since Mike Tyson decided to get the left side of his face inked. However, with more and more celebrities like Post Malone and Kehlani getting their faces inked, youngsters are following suit. Professional tattoo artists are trying to ensure that people do not make the mistake of getting their faces permanently etched at a young age. By increasing the legal age of getting tattooed from 18 to 21, artists believe that young people will be prevented from ruining their careers.
British Tattoo Artist Federation (BTAF) refers to face tattoos as "job stoppers." Even though the tattoos are no longer a taboo in the United Kingdom, face tattoos are still not widely accepted. Most companies will not hire people with large facial or neck tattoos. Many organisations allow employees to have tattoos so long as they cover them up with clothing.
Facial and neck tattoos are difficult to cover. However, it is the visibility that attracts young people to get inked in the face, neck, and hands. Lee Clements, a member of the BTAF, claims that it is the hunt for the perfect aesthetic Instagram picture showcasing their ink, which influences teenagers into getting the "job stoppers." While trying to mimic professionally photographed celebrities, teenagers end up endangering their careers.
Clements, owner of a tattoo studio in Barry, South Wales says that every week he gets at least one face tattoo appointment. Clements even claims that children aged 14 have come to his studio wanting to get inked. In the UK, one must be at least 18-years-old to get inked. Inking anyone under the age of 18 is illegal.
The Daily Mail reported that teens under 18 were still getting tattooed by unprofessional artists. Clements support the claim stating that there were a number of clients who came to him with botched tattoos.
The BTAF is trying to get strict laws passed to ensure that the untrained, unprofessional "scratchers" are unable to carry on their practice. As an added measure to ensure that young people do not end up making permanent mistakes, BTAF wants to increase the legal age of getting a tattoo from 18 to 21.