A Jacksonville Dad on Tattoos, Regret & Removal

We recently commissioned a survey with our friends at Acupoll asking dads across the country about their tattoos. Here are the most interesting stats:

  • 1-in-6 dads with tattoos go out of their way to hide their tattoos from their children, which is almost 2x moms!
  • 1-in-4 dads have covered or hidden their tattoo – most frequently for a job interview.
  • 1-in-3 dads with tattoos express some form of embarrassment , with more than half saying they wish they could remove their tattoo!
  • 52% of dads with tattoos express interest in receiving a tattoo removal service as a gift.

Steven Cathey, one of our clients from Jacksonville, is one of those dads… He started getting tattooed at age 16 and while he enjoys tattoos and tattoo culture, he regrets some of the more visible ones he got in his youth. Many of his tattoos have made it more difficult for him to advance in his career.

We sat down with Steven to get his take on tattoos and tattoo removal. Read his story below.

Steven with his daughter.
Q: How many tattoos do you have?

I have too many to count!

Q: How has having a tattoo or tattoos impacted your life?

The stigma behind tattoos has made it more difficult for me to get a job and/or be promoted. Especially in my current line of work as a firefighter/paramedic.

When I got tattoos on my hands and knuckles in my early twenties I assumed I would be a punk rock skater for the rest of my life, but we all know how that turned out!

Q: Did becoming a father change the way you view tattoos?

Yes and no. They have affected my ability to provide for my family, so going forward I will make wiser choices with my artwork and placement, but I do not plan to stop getting ink.

Q: Based on a recent survey that we commissioned, nearly 2-in-3 dads with tattoos would not encourage their kids to get a tattoo, and 1-in-4 actively discourage them from doing so. Would you encourage your child to get a tattoo?

No, but if they did come to me and ask to get inked I would use it as an opportunity to educate them on the importance of their decisions early in life and how they can impact their future.

Steven’s two children.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue tattoo removal?

To open up more opportunities in my career. As a new father, I need to be free to pursue better career opportunities to be a better provider for my children!

Q: What is/are the tattoos that you are having removed?

The tattoos on my hands and knuckles. 

A few more of the hand tattoos Steven is having removed. He has had 4 total treatments.
Q: How far into the process are you?

About 10 months!

Q: What will it mean to you once your tattoo is fully removed?

More job opportunities and less judgment at work.

Steven holding his son.
Q: What has been the most surprising part of removing your tattoo?

The support and curiosity from the guys at work – almost everyone I meet that asks about it has a tattoo they want to remove too! It is not as “hush hush” as I originally thought.

Q: What would you say to other dads out there who are second guessing old ink?

Don’t hesitate – suck it up and start the removal process – the sooner you start the quicker you are FREE!

You heard the man! Dads, if you’re ready to make a change, come see us! Moms, if you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift, come see us too!

*For full survey results click here.


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