Well- all of the above seems to be true. Tattoos can be dirty if you choose a tattooist who do it without the basic hygiene required by the trade. Hepatitis, HIV and other diseases can be passed on through used needles. GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) still applies on our choices. If you are cheap, then you deserve it.
Tattoos are truly painful. So going to the tattooist is a test of will and perseverance. Having a tattoo is only for the manly, I should say hahahaha. I laughed at someone who wanted to have a very small tattoo but he wanted an anesthetic injected on him.
Some sectors of the populace also treat tattoos as abomination! Why would you change what God has given you, they would ask. That is of course sooooo medieval! If you die ugly, that is your fault. Familiar? The idea may have come from relatives who came back from prisons, so tattoos became stigmas.
My love for tattoos ( I am a collector of two both in my biceps) may have its roots with my readings in younger days. I used to dream of meeting real Indians with tattoos. Historically too, Visayans were called Pintados because of the tattoos they sport when the invaders landed in our country.
Tattoos are tests of manhood, a rite of passage. This is true to almost all tribes. Maori-Samoan tattoos are extremely ritualistic and expensive.
"The tufuga is a great chief and tattooing is a very expensive affair, attended with great ceremony. To the Samoan man, it is the crucial event in a lifetime, from which all other happenings are dated. Until he is tattooed, no matter how old he may be, the Samoan man is still considered and treated as a boy... Tattooing is the beautification of the body by a race who, without metals, without clay, express their feelings for beauty in the perfection of their own glorious bodies. Deeper than that, however, is its spring in a common human need, the need for struggle and for some test of endurance, some supreme mark of individual worth and proof of the quality of the man... What is it that can keep alive the spirit of man but his own respect for what he is - the God that is within him? And so it is that tattooing stands for valor and courage and all those qualities in which man takes pride."
When I have the money, I would get another tattoo I can afford.
Quote on Samoan tattooing is from http://www.choohoo.com/tattoos.php
Photo from http://free-tattoodesign.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html