Holly Aston has a simple message for teenagers who are thinking about experimenting with tattoos: Think about the consequences.
According to The Mirror, when Aston was 17 years old, she and her friends drunkenly decided to give each other DIY tattoos with a tattoo gun they bought on the internet for $75.
“It was so easy to buy a tattoo gun off the internet for about £50 ($75),” she said. “You get the full kit of needles and ink and it’s easy to operate, though they give you no instructions about keeping it sterile. We were very lucky not to get an infection or blood poisoning.”
On some level Aston realized there would be consequences for her actions, but she never really did anything about it.
“I let my mates draw whatever they wanted,” she continued.
“I knew what they were doing and didn’t mind at the time. It was just a joke and I thought it was funny. But then I woke up the next day, looked at it and thought ‘Oh God, what have I done?’”
This is the tattoo Aston woke up with:
Aston spent two years hiding the tattoo from her parents. She also ended up having to miss fun vacations because she didn’t want to have to wear a bathing suit that would reveal the design.
“I turned down family holidays because I was hiding it from my mum and dad. I thought they’d kill me,” she said.
Ultimately, she told her parents about the tattoo and gathered the funds to have it removed. She has had several laser removal sessions and the tattoo is nearly completely gone at this point.
Still, Aston says that she hopes others will learn from her mistakes and realize that a tattoo, particularly one you stupidly get in a drunken haze, can have serious consequences.