Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tattoo Issue

Did ya'll read the Maia Lee article?

Well y'know i do understand how she feels about being heavily tattoo-ed and judged. IT SUCKS.

I love my tattoos. I love them all and i don't regret anyone in particular. However, i do regret placing it on my arm because ever since i did, i should've thought about the consequences... :( Well, a lot of people ask if "Will you laser them one day?" and finally....i'm going to answer this....


Only the one on my forearm though. Unlike Maia, who dislikes her tattoos, I do not dislike mine! I love all of my tattoos but ive a lot of reasons why i want to get it removed. Here's two of it...
1. Up till today, i've been living in my boyfriend's place in long sleeves because his parents will NEVER accept my tattoos.

2. I want to have kids and don't want my kids' friends to make fun of him and say things like "Your mother is a gangster!" and what if the friend's parent sees me and makes his/her kid stop hanging out with mine cus he/she thinks i'm bad?

I read something she wrote "It is ridiculous of his teacher to announce to the whole class that Tyrese's mom looks like a 'bad person because she has so many tattoos, it's not good'. What sort of stupid 1800-era teachers do we have?" - wah, i don't want my child to have to face such a thing...:( I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE SEE ME AS "BAD". Like i REEEEALLY HATE IT. Like if someone thinks i'm a bad influence and should be avoided (just because of my tattoos) - i get super affected by it cus deep down i know i'm not a bad kid!!!!

The thought of getting it removed makes me feel really sad though....cus I LOVE IT :'( but i'm doing it mainly because i really want to be accepted by my boyfriend's parents. And also, i hate how Singaporeans have a tattoo = you're gangster. IT'S DAMN ANNOYING - THE LOOK PEOPLE ALWAYS GIVE ME.

I love tattoos, i find tattoos cool....but i learn that you should place it at places you can hide easily. Like your thigh, back, tummy? I wish i did my cupcake, little pony, owl tattoos on my back :( it's just soooo sad to see them go.

I fear the pain though. And also the $ i've to pay for it :( BUT FOR MY FUTURE....IT'S WORTH THE PAIN AND $. Anyone did tattoo removal before? Know where i can go for consultation? Also, I was talking to a tattoo friend one day and he suggesting "Skin Grafting", don't know much about it, i wonder if you guys know anyone who did Skin Grafting before?

I know there'll be some who'll be like "haha, stupid, see! now you regret" well...yeah i guess i didn't put much thought into it when i did it on my arm. I really wish i can just shift my tattoos to my sticker hehe.

I don't know why people are hating it and hating her for posting her views on it. I actually can relate to it and really understand how she feels! Only part i'm not happy about is the part where she blames her tattoos for her failed relationships? I really dont think it's the tattoos? Doesn't mean if you don't have tattoos your boyfriend will be "decent" and "holy" what? You can have a boyfriend who's "decent" and "holy" even with tattoos! Take me for an example! Most of my ex-boyfriends are pretty decent and don't have a single tattoo?

Anyway here's the Maia Lee article...

REGRET. Regret. Regret. Regret. Regret.

It was a word local singer-actress Maia Lee used no less than five times throughout our hour-long interview.

The 27-year-old former Singapore Idol finalist, whose wild-child reputation is entrenched in many minds, told The New Paper yesterday that she wants to remove every single tattooon her body.

And the petite artiste has lots of them - on her back, her arms, her legs (and some in places we can't reveal).

By her own count, she has 30 tattoos, collected over the years since she was 16.

So the big question: Why?

Especially since she has been living well with them for so long.

Looking solemn, Lee insisted she was sincere and that there were several reasons behind her decision.

They collectively boil them to the fact that she is "past the old, rebellious phase of my life".

"When I was younger, I didn't care what people thought of me," said Lee.

"To me then, tattoos were extremely addictive. After getting one, you'd feel shiok and satisfied, then you'd quickly want to get another."

The single mother of two - son Tyrese is eight and daughter Julka is two - said she was now a changed woman.

"I am sick and tired of people judging me," she said. "Once, when I sent my girl to her church nursery, a staff member told me bluntly to cover up my tattoos as other parents disliked the sight of them.

"The old me would have ignored such comments and simply retort, 'This is me, like it or not.'

"But now, I really want to move on. I know things would be a lot easier if I didn't have all these tattoos on me."

It was a similar situation whenever she picked up Tyrese at his school, Lee added with a sigh.

"When his friends see me, they'd tell him things such as, 'Wah, your mum got tattoo' or 'your mum is a gangster'.

"The reality is, there is still a social stigma against tattoos - people just look at me differently."

So she slowly grew to hate all the ink on her body as it impacted her personal life and desire for a long-term relationship, she said.

"Seriously, it's very hard for most decent guys to take a gal like me home to meet their folks," said Lee, whose last boyfriend - and the father of Julka - was professional fighter Zidov Dominik of reality show The Contender Asia fame.

Her older son Tyrese was from a previous failed relationship.

"I've had exes who didn't dare let their parents know of our romance because of my tattoos.

"Also, there were those who eventually found me a disappointment...they look at my tattoos and conclude that I'm the partying, fun-loving sort. But I am the opposite because I don't club."

Now, she hopes to find a "holy" man who can "look beyond the superficial".

Lee converted to Christianity in 2008 after a group of Christian friends supported her through her second pregnancy.

A member of New Creation Church, she especially yearns to get rid of two visible tattoos, one on her right arm and one on her back, both pictures of Thai Buddhist temples.

On impulse

"I got them on impulse in 2007, when I was very into Thai Buddhism," she recalled. So is she acting on impulse again in wanting to remove her tattoos?

No, Lee insisted. She had thought about it for 11/2 years and is also thinking of her career.

"They inevitably restrict the roles I can take on," said Lee, who signed with film production company Kelvin Sng Productions in December2009.

"I don't want to be stereotyped as the bad girl any more." Lee had previously played a leader of all-girl gang Red Butterfly in a local short film, The Gang.

Mr Kelvin Sng, 36, Lee's manager, said: "Over the past 11/2 years , it has been really difficult for us to cast her, be it for films or advertisements."

"There were times when she fitted the bill perfectly, but alas, there was only one problem, her multiple tattoos."

Mr Sng added that the company fully supported Lee's decision and would even "partially finance" her tattoo removal sessions.

Lee is now looking for a suitable aesthetic doctor to execute the laser treatment.

Is she aware that it would be a long, painful and costly process. And even then, she may not be able to remove all her tattoos.

"Yes, I know that not all of my tattoos can be removed," she said. "I'll accept what my doctor advises."

Lee insisted that she was mentally - and physically - prepared for the pain.

"I actually tried laser removal five years ago when I wanted a small tattoo removed," she said.

"For just a single tattoo, you'd need five to six sessions. The pain was excruciating - it was like someone holding a hot metal rod against my skin."

With a chuckle, she said that she "chickened out" after one session.

"Instead of going back for the rest of the laser sessions, guess what? I went to get another tattoo over the same spot to cover the original one!"

Again, she insisted that she had changed.

"The desire to remove (my tattoo) wasn't strong back then, I was quite half-hearted," she said.

"Now, I'm truly determined. I'm prepared to do it over three to four years, or as long as it takes, so it wouldn't be so financially taxing." She even hopes her story would be a cautionary tale to youngsters who see tattoos as "an act of coolness".

"Don't start on it, that's what I'd advise them," said Lee.

"Tattoo artists aside, I haven't met anyone who does not regret being tattooed."

She added that she used to love tattoos due to "a lack of self-confidence" and "having no outlet to express myself".

"Most people, myself included, got our tattoos because we had major issues.

"We felt empty inside and there seemed to be no other way other than tattooing our skin. I needed the pain to feel alive."

After a pause, she added: "That was the old me. I know I don't need that kind of pain any more."

Feelings can be kept inside

MAIA Lee said of the sailboat and nautical star tattoo: "This was done in early 2007 and dedicated specially to my dad as he used to be a sailor.

"I love him very much and I knew he wouldn't approve of me getting a tattoo for him, but I went ahead anyway.

"On the sailboat, I also tattooed the birth dates of my son Tyrese and I."

Lee decided to remove this tattoo also as she now knows she doesn't need to express herself by inking her skin. Instead, "feelings can be kept inside".

Removal painful & costly: docs

TO REMOVE 30 tattoos from one's body is a long-drawn, painful and costly process, doctors told The New Paper.

"I've had heavily tattooed patients in the past, but none who wanted all of them removed.

Most just wanted (to get rid of) one or two," said Dr Chow Yuen Ho from TCS@ Central Clinic, a clinic specialising in aesthetic treatments.

However, removing up to 30 tattoos is "possible", but the patient has to be "well-informed".

"If I have a patient like Maia, I'd make sure she is absolutely certain she wants to do it before I start any sessions," he said.

"She has to know that tattoo removal is a very painful process, a lot more painful than putting a tattoo onto one's skin. It is also very time-consuming and she has to stay committed."

As part of the communication with Lee, he would also tell her frankly if a tattoo can or cannot be removed.

Light pulses

Laser treatment works by producing short pulses of intense light that pass through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment.

This laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system.

Dermatologist Dr Cheong Lai Leng, who works at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, said that while black tattoos respond well to laser therapy, green ones are slower to react.

"As for yellow and orange tattoos, they are virtually impossible to remove."

There is also the risk of scarring, added Dr Cheong.

Dr Kevin Chua, who owns Drs. Chua & Partners at Alexandra Village, said that a single tattoo that was tattooed eight to 10 years ago would need an average of 12 laser sessions to be removed safely.

Each laser session takes minutes, but sessions should be a month apart.

"If the patient does his or her sessions too agressively, there might be consequences, such as the permanent whitening of the skin.

Patients like Lee have to be prepared to fork out a big sum of money, should they want to remove all their tattoos.

"One laser session ranges from $200 to $1,000, depending on the size of the tattoo," said Dr Chua.



  1. Oh well, I'm getting my tats removed too. Chickened out on my first appointment, but I'll definitely be strong for the next.

    Hard for the people around me to accept my tats although I love 'em. Removing them is a small price to pay to make the people I love happy. Cannot be so calculative.

    Good luck, if you ever remove yours babe.:)

  2. Maybe you should go to a dermatologist! (I think it would be safer and cleaner? Plus spending more $$ is better than permanent scarring of skin right??) My dermatologist at paragon offers laser treatment for tattoo removal too!

  3. it's weird how you were one of my inspirations to get a nice tattoo done on my arms but now to read that you want to remove it...

    i don't know what to say... i don't think there is a right or wrong perspective to this but i hope it is all worth it for you and that things will be better from then on...


  4. Wow you're lucky to be able to hid the truth from your boyfriend's parents for so long! Aren't they suspicious or anything....? Since its quite weird to be wearing long sleeves all day long! (Sorry just really curious)

    Good luck tams! :>

  5. No matter what you think or how hard you try to cover up the fact that your tattoos don't define your does. And if you want to be accepted in the society and your boyfriend's parents, tattoos are definitely OUT. One or two is fine, but yours is just...bad. I support your idea of removing it. Totally.

  6. But if you wna laser off your tatt you must have a reallly high pain tolerance, it'll hurt even worst than when you're getting yourself inked.

  7. My boyfriend is going through tattoo removal now. He went to polyclinic for a referal letter to get it removed at the specialist clinic at changi hospital.

    Hmm he says the first session doesn't hurt much, but it gets worse and his tattoo looks pretty gross cos it scabs and bleeds for days after each session :/

    If you wanna remove it, maybe do it soon so the tattoo won't be so difficult to remove as compared to a few years later?

  8. I love your tattoos!
    In fact, I admire your courage to do them. They all look pretty in colours. (:
    & partly, bec I love Audrey Hepburn & Twiggy. :D

    However, I didn't really get to see a close up photo of your tattoo on your blog. Hope you can blog about it one day. (:

    Can uds how upset you will be to remove them. Sometimes I doodle on my hand, and I feel kind of upset to even wash them away!

  9. @Anonymous

    Hopefully all goes well for you! I totally agree that 's worth it to remove them happy:)

  10. @Anonymous OK babe! Shall go make an appointment with one soon :)

  11. @Anonymous Well for me, my ex-bf could accept it and so can his parents - i was too confident the rship would last so i went ahead with it. Then now, my current bf's parents are against it! I do love tattoos but thing is, please think before you do it! Choose the area you wanna get it done at carefully :)

  12. @Anonymous im sure they suspect! but like i think they just dont wanna say anything YET?

  13. @Anonymous Yup yup i kow! Im just really scared i wouldnt be able to handle the pain :( cus it's quite a lot of stuff to remove on my forearm sigh.

  14. @Anonymous yeah i heard. but o well it's fo the best!

  15. @Anonymous Intending to do it soon! However i'm trying to find if there's any painless removal? hahaha.

  16. @xueni ; Thank you sweet heart. I love my tattoos too! The portraits are my fav!

  17. I bet your bf parents know abt it, they just dun want to say, another thing that makes me wonder, does his parents questioned y are you always staying over at their place??? My parents are very against the idea of my bro's gf staying over even for just a night! They always tell us from young, never stay at your gf/bf house, cus that's give other's parents a very bad impression, e.g your parents never teach or bother ma?? moreover we are ya!!! it's a big no no no!!!!!
    and now with your tattoos, education level, the lifestyle you lead.......Can they accept ???? o well...anyhow..still all the best!!!:)

  18. Considering to get a tattoo too but will heed your advice to get it at somewhere more discreet..
    All the best, hopefully there wouldn't be any adverse effect for you and i really really hope your bf is touched that you're doing it for both of you and your future :)

  19. So do your bf's parents know you have tattoos? How did you know they won't accept it?
    Good luck! :) And sorry to hear abt it

  20. I like your tattoos, and I think they look fab on you... they're what makes you unique to me.

    Though I understand your plight, i think it's also a pity that you're thinking of removing them! : ) Good luck to you, whatever decision you want to go with!

  21. honestly, if you're gonna be serious with your current bf, i suggest you be open about it to his parents as soon as you can. You dont want them to find out a year later and them calling you a liar and stuff, trust me, ive been through that. with another set of parents, they're the more well-brought up kind where tattoos are a big no-no, especially when their son and i were only 19. well, i didn't bother to cover it up and i showed them what package i was coming with. they appreciated my honesty and just requested me to cover up when relatives are over to show due respect.

    all i can say is, you live for yourself, not anyone else. unlike maia, your tattoos can still be covered. hers are all over her fingers even. she can wear a glove to cover that is. plus, she's a mom of two, for goodness sake, wear decently to your children's schools.

  22. I think your boyfriend's parents should know about it? Cos maybe they've seen the photos of you & him or they found out about your blog/webstore? Or like, your bf's cousin/relatives may have told them about you (and your tattoos)? Afterall you're quite famous online...!

    No matter what, good luck Tammy! Maybe they're just waiting for you to be honest with them! I'd rather you be honest with them too. I think you should really discuss this with your bf (like what will be their reactions/ should you really laser it/etc)!

  23. sigh. this just goes to show that at the end of the day, society still rules and everyone has to conform to its rules in the end. whether u like it or not. those that remain stubborn and continue to wade against the tide get tired and die eventually.

    its sad to hear that u wna remove ur tats. i have mine and they mean alot to me. i know how it feels. i hate it my when bf tells me to cover up whenever i go his place. i dont hate my tats. i hate the others for not accepting it.

    well times are changing, there might be hope for the futre ( as stupid as this sounds). do think abt lasering it off carefully. tts smth major.


  24. I think that once you make the decision to go through with a tattoo, you should be able to go through it (and into your future). I mean, you thought of having it, but did you did about your future when you got it done? Be proud of your tattoos and the reason WHY you had it done in the first place.

    If you have children you should tell them that tattoo's are a symbol of life experiences (and what they mean). And that you shouldn't be afraid of them.

  25. I love your tatoos too. I used to think people with tatoos aren't good influence. I still do to a certain extent (can't help it) but I really think you work those tattoos. You look a good kind'of bad if you know what I mean haha. But your concerns about the future are definitely valid. 

  26. It sucks to have read Maia's article. But that's her point of view of her life and yeah Singapore is still not having good impression of tattoos and having it in obvious places cause a lot of trouble. Personally I like tattoos and I liked yours. Hope you find a good solution to your problems. And I heard pain during removal is worse. Good luck, cheers!

  27. I am proud and i love it. But in order for me to be accepted by my bf parents, it's definitely not gonna work w my tattoos. They alr saw a few (those that can be covered) and have alr asked my bf to ask me to laser it. Imagine seeing the one on my arm?

  28. Why thank you dear. :)

  29. Yeah i know it's gonna hurt like crap :( But if it makes my bf happier, i guess it's worth it? Plus i will no longer have "those stares" (ok sometimes i get the "WOW" stares but most of the time it's the "SHE'S A BAD GIRL" stare.) when i walk down the street!

  30. Hey babe, I actually think your tattoos are super mine lasered for the same reason you want to, and the lasering is really not going to be easy for the size of your tattoos! I had a tattoo the size of a 50 cent coin on my wrist, and after almost 1k worth of sessions with a plastic surgeon, not only has the tattoo not completely come off, it scarred really badly. There is a keloid now :( my tattoo was particularly diff to remove bec it was done w black ink. Not only was it excruciatingly painful, it took 6 months to heal bec of an infection. Just one tiny tattoo. Will probably end up covering up the scar with another tattoo in future..
    I know how it's like to want to cover up your tattoos, but even after lasering sessions with a reknown plastic surgeon a keloid still formed. Must consider carefully before going through horh. Best of luck!

  31. there's another option where you can get skin colored ink tattoo-ed over your tattoos so that they "disappear". ive got a friend who had to do that cos her parents found out and were so against it. she didnt want to go through the pain of laser so her tattoo artist suggested that to her. it turned out ok! (: maybe you could consider that, cos the pain of tattoo-ing isnt half as bad as lasering.

  32. Oh my....sounds bad :(

    Im sooooo scared lahhhh. sigh.

  33. As long as you feel it's worth it. But "those stares" kinda look goes more to guys than girls! Have more confidence in your tattoos and yourself!

  34. Nope nope.....girls w tattoos on arms are more rare than boys, so more ppl tend to stare!!

  35. Haha! They're just jealous. Who wouldn't want a tattoo on their sleeves!

  36. Hi tammy, i'm glad to hear that you are trying to seek help to remove your tattoo.

    my personal thoughts; (sorry if this cause trouble to you)
    I always envy of you because you have beautiful face. you might not think you have a good figure, but at least it's presentable :D but i dislike you showing your tattoo when you pose for your own blogshop. at times i think you're spoiling those fashions that are really "in" because I can see all your tattoo everywhere. Take for example, the dress you wore ob V'day with your bf. it looks beautiful on you but due to low cut and your tattoo.. it doesn't look nice.

    whatever it is, if you have the mentality to do so, don't give up. even if it's damn pain, for your future 50years down the road, hang on there :D

  37. Hi tammy! I've just read this post after browsing your blog but then got interested with this post. I'm a big fan of yours and especially your tattoo. I'm even planning to get one but then my parents won't allow me *as what most parents do* and it's really hard looking for a job when you have a tattoo but it depends on what job you would like to have.

    In my own opinion, if your tattoo makes you happy then so be it. If people really love you then <span>they should accept you for who you are, what you are or where you came from</span>. You shouldn't change anything about yourself just for the fact that people don't like it. It's who you are. They only see your outward appearance but they didn't really know your beauty inside. I don't know you personally but I can see the realness/goodness in you. Don't mind the people around you who stares at you differently. In the end you have your loved ones and friends who accepted you for you are. 

    If you really want your tattoos to be remove, then do it. If that makes you happy.

    Wish you all the best and all the happiness in life!

    God bless you, Tammy! :)

  38. Thank you babe. Makes me feel better! But yknw, i dont wish to make things difficult for my bf and his parents. I dont want them to look at me differently just cus ive tattoos - which they would if they see it :(

  39. Hi Tammy,  if I would ever meet you on the street I would stare at your arm to see your tattoo, and would take a glimse of your beautiful, innocent face, too.  And I hope that you would never misunderstand that, and feel that I see you like a "gangster" just from how I looked at you.  I love your tattoos!  And I love the locations that you have selected, and I hope you will change your mind and NOT remove your arm-tattoos.  I believe "visible" tattoos (near hands or the neck) are the most exciting tattoos.  They show your strong personality - which impresses me very much!  dont' worry about your in-laws so much, they will always find something to nag on if they want, or they will just respect you the way you are...  Best wishes, Oliver