Tattoos are en vogue. Nearly every celeb, ball player, actor, and homie around the way has one. I have one and hope to add another, so it’s only normal for teens to want what they think everyone else has.

But should they get it?

Recently 50 Cent gushed via Twitter about taking his pal’s 13-year-old son to get tatted up. All over his arms.

Although the tats look a little fake to me (fresh tattoos are raised and usually red), I wouldn’t put it past 50 to get the kid inked.

But how young is too young?

Most states  have laws stating that tattoos are for those 18 and over, unless a parent consents (except Georgia), but I’ve seen several teens walking around with freshly inked arms and I’m always caught off guard.

When I was teaching, one of my students tattooed a bomb on his bicep that looked more like a happy pumpkin (of course, I told him so), while another inked his grandmother’s name on his forearm. Although child tatted her initials on her neck, and yet another had a Tupac-esque stomach tat.

I was undone.

Who were these parents? (Yes, I asked this too). And why did they allow these children to make permanent impressions on their bodies when they were so young?

Although I can appreciate a well-done tattoo and see them as art, I also know that our culture’s rush to allow kids to act like adults is extremely problematic.

So, how young is too young to get inked? 

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  • notonfb

    If my son’s 13 year old friend had tattoos it would make me question whether or not they should associate with each other. I would question the parent’s lack of ability to make proper decisions. I think we have to inform our children that certain actions (including inking themselves up) can hinder their future plans. 13 is too young. And the thug look is played for 2012.

  • CD86

    I think the current legal age of 18 is young enough.

  • gmarie

    Those are FAKE. 50 just recently had all of his own tattoos removed since moving more from the rapping to the business aspect of the industry. He’s talked about it numerous times and he understands how they can hamper opportunities to make REAL money. He would not encourage a 13 year old with a future ahead of him to trash all of his opportunities with 300 tattoos. also, this kid would have passed out from pain after the first, there arent many adults who can stand to have that many tattoos done in one sitting let alone a child.