When asked what her stance on tattoos is, Kim Kardashian never hides the fact that she is not a fan of ink.

And you probably know her "you don't put a bumper sticker on a Bentley" quote, which pretty much implies that she deems her body far too valuable to add any "tacky" permanent accessories to it.

But of course, there is nothing "tacky" about tattoos. They're merely a personal expression of whatever you love or feel really passionate about, people you love, painful memories, favourite song lyrics or daily mantras.

What happens when the tattoo outlives the passion that inspired it?

More importantly tattoos are no longer seen as a social signifier of rebellion, criminal activity or something more sinister.

They've become more recognised as sentimental art forms over the past two decades or so. And they're being used by breast cancer survivors post mastectomy. Find out how and why here.  

Yep, for about as long as I've been considering getting inked, toying with the "I'll get one this year," thought every year.

Anyway, back to the sentimental aspect of skin art.

So Jhené Aiko recently got Big Sean's face etched on her arm who she's been dating for about a year now, giving true meaning to wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Image: Getty

A year is not a big enough milestone some may say but Billboard.com reports that this was as much of a declaration of love as it was a celebration of the next chapter in her life after finally concluding her divorce from producer Dot Da Genius in September. 

Art is ??thanks Jhene for allowing me to share this moment.

A post shared by The Witchdoctor™ ?? Los Angeles (@miryamlumpini) on

Some call it foolhardy, while others see it as the ultimate romantic gesture. Either way, as a fan of their union I just hope they last as long as that ink.

Which brings me to my main and obvious concern about tats - what happens when the tattoo outlives the passion that inspired it?

This is part of the reason why I never end up getting inked each year. I'm still waiting for something permanent enough in my life to have carved into my arm.

Yes, laser tattoo removal is readily available for those who require it but it is neither cheap nor a once off appointment. Not to mention painful.

If you visit Cape M.A.C in Cape Town, you'll find that you need to make a 6 - 18 months committment to laser treatments, allowing for 2 - 6 week intervals between treatments before your regret has been completely erased.

I think a lot of people (or sensible people) put thought into certain tattoos - some can have a significant meaning, others don’t.

What this means is that you may still have to walk around with a dolphin on your ankle or some ex-lover memorabilia while you're still saving up for laser as well as during the waiting periods in between treatments. 

But I guess a little dolphin is a First World problem compared to the former Cape Town gangster David Williams, whose inked face was reminiscent of his prison sentence for murder.

In 2014, Health24 took us through Williams' painful journey from prison to homelessness and the company which raised over R20 000 for the laser removal of his chilling prison story told through various symbols and scribbles on his face.

Read more: Ex-gangster's painful journey to a tattoo-free face

The reason David Williams wanted to remove the tattoos was because he needed a job and to build a new life. His is a story of regret and reform while for some it may be for less cathartic reasons.

There seems to be a small degree of regret attached to body art. So I asked our editor Zanele Kumalo to share a few thoughts about hers.

This is what she told me:

"I got my first and currently only tattoo during a sabbatical in Spain when I was 34. It represented a huge shift in my life and I wanted to mark it.

It reads estoy in casa which means I am home as a reminder that I will be okay wherever I am in the world and whatever space I find myself. Like a compass.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t find it aesthetically pleasing in 10 years time. It’s about the message. I know though that it will never be something I regret having done."

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Lynn Butler of Sport24 shares similar sentiments, as she said the following:

"I got my tattoo in August 2015 when I was 20 turning 21. It’s a semi-quaver and it was done in Long Street. 

Side bar: I actually asked Lili (my then editor) for permission because I was an intern and I didn’t know if it was appropriate.

I don’t think I'll ever regret my tattoo. Apart from it being small, it means a lot to me. I think a lot of people (or sensible people) put thought into certain tattoos - some can have a significant meaning, others don’t.

For me, I doubt I’ll regret it because music is a big part of my life and even though I can’t imagine how weird it’ll look when I’m old and wrinkly one day, I think I’ll be content with the decision.

My tattoo has almost become part of my skin and I hardly notice it unless someone points it out, I almost forget that I have it because it’s become part of who I am already. Sounds quite cheesy."

Given these two thoughts from people who have added permanent accessories to their bodies, I think perhaps I have been overthinking the whole decision.

But will I be heading to Wildfire anytime soon? Probably not.

Do you currently have any tattoos you regret or do you just consider it a lesson learnt? Tell us on Twitter or on our Facebook page.