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Teen Trend: Inner Lip Tattoos

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When we were in Texas for our Momlogic Investigates: Spring Break Confessions expose, we encountered a guy who alerted us to a disturbing new trend...inner lip tattoos. Yes, we're serious. Check out our video to see for yourself!

We asked teen expert and psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky what Moms should do if your teen wants one. Here, her top 5 tips:

• If your teen is under 18, the answer is no. If you're deadset against an inner lip tattoo, simply don't give parental consent. Communicate that, at 18, your teen can make decisions about his own body, but for now, you have the final say. Make your teen aware of the very harsh consequences if he gets a tattoo behind your back.

• Discuss location, location, location. If the tattoo is definitely happening, there might be room for negotiation about placement. An eagle over the whole back is definitely a bigger deal than a tiny butterfly on the ankle. I like to remind girls their "tramp stamp" (lower back tattoo) will some day turn into a "gram-stamp"--for their granny years.

• Bring in reinforcements. If you are open to the idea of your teen getting a tattoo, make sure you talk to their pediatrician and dentist first. The dangers of tattoos and piercing are many--in fact, there have been a number of recent deaths as a result of infections stemming from tattoos. You definitely want to consult a professional so your teen fully understands the dangers.

If you agree to the tattoo or piercing...

Check out the tattoo parlor for yourself. It's imperative they go to a professional with a good reputation for quality, cleanliness and a sterile environment. Parents need to research appropriate places, then go and visit. You wouldn't let your teen have surgery or go to a new dentist without checking it out first, right? Have a good sense the professional has your teen's best interest (instead of pocketbook) at heart.

Would you let your teen get an inner lip tattoo?

next: Adoption's Not for Sissies
28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dena Carpenter May 21, 2008, 12:59 PM

Just thought I would give you a heads up to ask Justin if you can see the inside of his lip. Seems our youth of today are getting more and more creative.

Jennifer November 15, 2008, 7:05 PM

Tramp Stamp is a pretty offensive term. Maybe the “adults of today” need to relax a little and respect the decisions of the “youth of today”

tatted-mom November 15, 2008, 7:44 PM

I got my first tattoo at age 34. That was 3 year ago and I’ll be getting another one soon. My husband got his first at age 13 and had it covered with a new one at 28. We tell our kids that they cannot get any tattoos or piercings until age 18 at the youngest and if they get anything from the collar bone up they won’t be getting any money for college. Now granted I would never cut off money to pay for my kids’ college tuition, but, they don’t know that and it has stopped the discussions of them wanting tattoos, at least for now. As for the “tramp-stamp” comment, to say that because a woman gets a tattoo on her lower back that makes her a tramp is a harsh and judgmental thing to say, and just another example of women criticizing other women. Have you ever thought of the fact that a tattoo on the lower back is a good place for a woman as it can be hidden when needed, such as on school field trips and at work, or shown when appropriate, like at the beach or while wearing sexy lingerie for your husband… By the way this tramp-stamped mom is the one volunteering in her kids’ classes more than any other mom of any of the other kids in the classrooms. So don’t be so quick to judge!!

carrie November 19, 2008, 1:37 PM

How are tattoos disturbing? especially inner lip tattoos, since its actually a far better idea than to get maybe your arm or back tattooed, no one sees this tattoo unless you want to show it. you dont have to go the extra mile to hide it.

I agree with the researching where to get it done part. you should definitely see what their work looks like and materials. ask how long they’ve been doing it for.

i would let my child get one if they’re mature about it. if you’re not pressuring them not to do it then they aren’t going to go behind your back and get something awful. this way if you agree you can go with them and make sure they dont get a bull dog on they’re upper arm.

oh and make your kid pay for it him/herself. that way they wont get a huge one. since tattoos are pretty pricey.

Diane  December 10, 2008, 12:31 AM

I am a single mom of 5 great kids. 3 of my kids have tatoos and piercings and I have many. It doesn’t make me a bad person or scary. Mine are startegically placed and unless I am in a small bikini, most people wouldn’t be able to tell any of them except for the ‘normal’ ear piercings. As for the ‘tramp stamp’, yes, I have one but I prefer to call it a ‘butt hat’. Also, as far as the inner lip thing goes, my best friend has been a tatoo artist for many years and the inner lip does not stay forever. Just make sure for first timers that tatoos are placed so that potential employers, judges,police etc., will not stereotype them…it does happen all to frequently.

bitter, dry pussied mother. January 2, 2009, 9:23 PM

these spring breakers are certainly up to no good.
Thanks for the alert momologic investigators! I will now proceed to carefully inspect the inner lip of every teen I encounter and call a PTA meeting to notify parents of this “disturbing new trend”.

Dr.Larry  January 3, 2009, 3:29 PM

well, “teen expert and psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky” obviously you are as much of an expert on teens as i would be an expert on the way cows think… there isn’t going to always be a set on rule about what is right or what is wrong. or what is “trampy” or what isn’t.. because there will always be different opinions.. if anything that’s what EVERYONE shoudl think of.. everyone will have different opinons about something but that’s why they are opinions and shoudl be kept to one’s self or to telll a person they truley know.. instead of judging people as a “tramp” and for future tatted people.. they should take in fact that people will have their opinions and will make their actions for it.. they might not be so imature and blunt minded to call you a tramp.. but you might not get your dream job because of a simple tattoo.. you might get stopped a couple of times by a cop because of suspiciousness toward gang related tattoos.. and some poeple might even loose respect toward you.. so if you are going to get a tattoo, get it because you truley want it.. because of art, because of somethign or someone you love, not just because you want to show it off.. so when making your decision know that there will be reactions to your actions.. and always remember.. the only thing in life that matters is happiness.. so live life for what makes you happy.. for the people that make you happy.. dont be too rushed to do something with out thought. but also dont be too scared to go for something because of fear of being misjudged.. you cant please everyone. so just make sure you always please your self. ;) lol yeah im sixteen.. stereotype me me “expert lisa” you may have read a couple of things.. you may have seen some videos.. you may have watched some “teens” but then im positive that when you were a teen the “teen experts” were wrong about you.. you will never stop learning. if you dont fall in life your pretty much dead.. so lol this was a pretty stupid fall of yours.. but its okay. make up for it. stand up and don’t make the same mistake twice. hope you enjoyed making a fool of yourself.. adios. if you were truley an expert. you would know to let teens be teens. to learn on their own.. but to advice parents to talk to them.. to guide them but not push them into something they might just reject.. to keep them happy.. but also to keep them safe..

Mike Hawk January 6, 2009, 1:22 PM

weres the breast feeding on mom logic, lets see some boobiessss!

Ashley Anthrax January 12, 2009, 8:44 PM

I don’t see why adults find tattoos and piercings disturbing and “trashy” on teenagers. I AM a teenager and I find it absolutely rediculous that some people think this way. Lip tattoos are many steps up from tattoos on visible flesh for the fact that nobody can see them. As for the going behind your parents back thing, because if your parents have their reasons for you not being pierced and tattooed as a kid, you should respect that, and atleast talk to your parents. Strike deals or something. And parents: don’t be so quick to judge other peoples decisions for tattoos and peircings, they don’t mean they’re a bad seed. Furthermore, “tramp stamp” is a harsh word, yo. Dont throw it around.
Yeah I’m fourteen, but I have my views on things too.
Just remember that without free will, there’s no difference between submission and rebellion.

HUE G. RECTION January 25, 2009, 7:01 AM

HAHa nice one mike hawk

Jess March 3, 2009, 4:46 AM

The term “tramp stamp” is just that. A term. It doesn’t mean whomever has a tat on their lower back is a tramp. I know many women who have a lower back tat and they are not tramps. It’s just a nick-name for the tattoo on that particular region. Many women and men call it a “tramp stamp” without any insinuation that the woman or man with the tat is an actual tramp. Why do people always take things so literally? Lighten up.

Brittany March 10, 2009, 7:31 PM

Ok, so, the inner lip tat should be the least of any parents’ worries. Yes, I do understand that if they do it behind your back, it isn’t right. And that its a way for kids to “hide” the tat. But, the inner lip tattoos fade nine times out of ten, and in most cases don’t just fade but disappear completely. What you should worry about most isn’t what they get, but where (and I don’t just mean on their body) they get it. If anything, if I had a kid that wanted a tattoo, I would ENCOURAGE it on their inner lip. Simply because it fades/disappears (the skin in your mouth regenerates way faster than anywhere else, so they disappear usually within a year or so). Plus, it is hidden. Nobody can see it unless it’s being shown to them, which is a plus for careers in the future. I am now 19, have 9 tattoos, and got my first one when I was 16. All of mine have meaning (which is also an important thing to discuss…I had to know exactly what I wanted for at least a year, have it drawn for at least a year, and when the time came, that drawing had to have no changes. Basically, I still had to want it bad enough. Plus, I had to tell my parent exactly what the meaning to it was. It was for my siblings and included their birthstone colors, so it was “approved”). Make sure that if your child is considering a tattoo, you look up a reputable artist. It’s best to make sure they have at least ten years experience (6 at absolute minimum) and are in a shop that is clean, has all the necessary equipment and sanitary products, and maybe even check with somewhere like the BBB or health department. See if they have any complaints or violations through either. The longer the artist/shop has been around, the better. And just because the shop has been their 10 years, doesn’t mean all the artists have. You can even “interview” the artists before hand. Most don’t mind.
If you have concerns about tattoos, or questions, you can contact a local shop. Or post them on here. I am not only a teen, but my cousin is a tattoo artist and has owned his shop, in one location, for 11+ years. He has taught me alot about what to look for, and I have written numerous papers about tattoos, their culture, their history, and shops in general.
Also, “tramp stamp” is a term used for the tattoo on the lower back. It has been for YEARS. The only reason they named it that is because lower back tattoos can’t be seen unless a girl’s shirt is too short, or pants too low, or both, in which case they are “dressing like a tramp” (thats how it was defined on a tattoo webpage of tattoo definitions that I found). Hope I helped at least a little. I know I’m young and probably the age of some of your kids, but I know what I’m talking about. I’m not saying “let your kids get a tatoo” at all. I’m only saying if you are facing a situation where they want one, give them the facts, maybe “test” them to see if they would keep the exact same idea in mind (like I did for my first tattoo). Sometimes they will surprise you. For me, ALL of my tattoos have meanings close to me, mainly family related.

And the only reason so many deaths are caused by tattoo infections is because people either get a tattoo by someone that isn’t professional, the shop is “dirty”, or they didn’t follow care instructions.
As far as piercings go, at least they can be taken out, and don’t always leave scars (especially if they aren’t gauged).

Oh, and please, for the love of tattoos, do not let your kids get a tattoo of a band or band symbol. It’s the number two most regretted tattoo that people get….the first? someone’s name. :)

Jessica  March 23, 2009, 9:41 AM

I think that is the most stupists thing that I have ever heard. Why in the world would a teen like me get there inner lip tattooed. There are things that could go wrong when you have this done. Plus what if it dosent last long, then what? Are you going back to the same place that you got it done and have them do it again. Yeah it might be your body but just think about it for a second, would your girlfriend or boyfriend want to kiss you after you get that done aahahaa yeah I dont think so! I know my mom would deffiantly tell me no to that one. Even my own boyfriend. Its not worth getting my lip infected.

Jerilyn March 25, 2009, 10:30 PM

Hi, I’m 21 years old and I have an inner lip tattoo. I got it a year ago and it still looks as good as it did on day one. Jessica, my boyfriend was glad to kiss me, why wouldn’t he? It’s on my inner lip, he doesn’t go anywhere near my inner lip. I’m sure it will eventually fade but it is easy to conceal and not many people know I have it, it adds an element of surprise.

Anonymous April 6, 2009, 2:47 PM

Jessica, how old are you? And why is it the stupidest thing you have ever heard? People, not only teens, get an inner lip tattoo. It is probably one of the best places to get a tattoo. You decide who gets to see it. How many inner lips do you see on a daily basis?
- Riley

anonymous May 11, 2009, 8:37 PM

I am 17 and I have two tattoos. I have one on my hip and one of my lower back. Both of my tattoos have meaning to me, and I got them for a reason. I know people judge me all the time for my lower back tattoo. I can’t stop people for having their own opinions. However, I don’t appreciate being referred to as a tramp. I chose to place the tattoo on my lower back because I didn’t want people to see it all the time especially when I go for job/college interviews in the future. So I’m sorry if caring about my future makes me a “tramp”. I view tattoos as a permanent expression of who I am. I plan on getting more tattoos in the next few years as well, possibly one on my inner lip.

Scott August 14, 2009, 4:50 PM

Nowhere in the article is she saying that tattoos are bad, nor is she saying that teens should not get them. If you are going to comment, at least bother to read the article.

Her advice is sound. As a parent, you do have the right to deny your child a tattoo until they turn 18. That’s the law.

And if you let your teen get a tattoo (again, she didn’t have any judgment statement, it is YOUR choice as a parent) just make sure it is from a clean and sanitary place. Good advice.

As far as the term “tramp stamp”, she didn’t coin the term. It simply is a term used today.

Get off your high horse. If you want to cover your body, that’s great. If you want your kid to cover it with those things he/she is into at age 15, it is your call. Scary thought, but your call.

Marie August 20, 2009, 10:26 PM

As a mother if any of my kids were to get a tattoo I would prefer them getting it somewhere like on the inner lip or lower back because they are more private and arn’t visible to everyone including employers and judges. Give them the pleasure of feeling mature and edgy without it being so public. I’d prefer an inner lip tattoo over tattoo right on their arm or something anyday.

molly August 30, 2009, 12:43 AM

I have an inner lip tattoo, I just got it a few days ago. It barely even hurt, but that also depends on how well or not you can take pain. I can take pain fairly well. I don’t get why people ask why I would get a tattoo in such a bizarre location. I got it simply because it means a lot to me. And, Marie, that’s pretty much how my mother was, because people can’t see it, unless I show it. Oh and by the way, I’m only 16. But please know that I did not get this because it is a so called “trend”. In fact, I did not know it was a trend. I was / am the first kid in my school / district / only person I know of with a tattoo on their inner lip.
Parents, please just make sure the tattoo has meaning, don’t let your child make a huge mistake.

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