Part of the appeal is that I keep toying with the notion of getting a discreet tattoo. Perhaps, cherry blossoms with branches and names, a dove with an olive leaf or a bouquet of flowers, an idea that I got from the show.
So many people on the show get memorial tattoos. There was this one woman who got a sleeve of her friend who died of breast cancer. The friend was a fellow surfer fascinated by mermaids and dolphins and such. So, the tattoo is of her friend as a mermaid surrounded by all of things she loved.
There was a woman who got the symbol for the National Eating Disorders Association on her back so that she can remember where she's been and how for she's come.
On the flip side of an eating disorder is the father who got a tattoo of his daughter (with words My Angel and Ecle 3:4) who has Mitochondrial disease which I hadn't heard of. The father describes it as an inability to produce fuel from food that we eat.
A young lady comes in wanting a life preserver, the symbol for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, to honor her brother who committed suicide.
One guy got a It's called Vitiligo tattoo.
Yet another woman got a series of tattoos on her back of a bird tentatively leaving a bird cage, then another bird in the middle and, finally, a bird soaring. Recently divorced, she also had an eating disorder and wanted to document her flight so to speak.
There were a number of phoenix tattoos done, including one on a man who saved his friend from a fire but ended up being burned himself.
The comedian Margaret Cho comes in to get another peacock tattoo because it represents beauty for her. Cho said that it took her a long time to get to the point where she thought of herself as beautiful.
In Vol 2, Epi 2, Hannah Aitchison, an LA Ink artist said:
One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got is the idea of the responsibility when someone gives you their body and wants you to do something on them that they will die with, it's a tremendous amount of trust...I was completely moved by the woman who got a Japanese crane on her rib cage to honor her friend Mary Crane who was going through a second bout of lymphoma. About her friendship, she said:
I don't know how much farther I can go but I will continue going as far as I can to validate how much I love that girl. Wherever we are in the world, I will always looks at this tattoo and think of good memories -- hugging her, her smile and just always think about friendship and how magical it is. (Vol. 2, Epi 5, Novelty Girls)