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Mark Wahlberg Tried to Scare His Kids out of Getting Tattoos

Mark Wahlberg is often seen without tattoos nowadays, but this wasn’t always the case. The actor’s body used to be marked everywhere with tattoos in his younger years. Wahlberg regretted inking his body as he’d gotten older, and he tried to make sure his kids wouldn’t repeat his mistake.

Mark Wahlberg tried to show his kids how painful it was getting tattoos

Mark Wahlberg posing in a suit at the premiere of 'The Family Plan'.
Mark Wahlberg | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Wahlberg found out the hard way that removing tattoos is much more painful than getting them. The actor had been inking his body since he was 11-years-old. So when he decided to get rid of them, he had a lot of tattoos to deal with.

“I had, like, eight or nine. They went all the way around my neck, my stomach, my arms, my back, my leg,” Wahlberg once said on The Late, Late Show with James Corden.

Wahlberg revealed that his kids were what partially convinced him to go tattoo-free. He didn’t want his family thinking that tattoos were cool, and started the process of removing them while filming a movie.

“I started getting the tattoos removed initially to do The Fighter, because I didn’t want make-up to cover them up all the time. First time I got them, they all had meaning to them,” Wahlberg once said according to Contact Music. “

The Transformers star took some of his kids to see how painful and bloody it was to discard his tattoos. He hoped seeing the process firsthand would discourage them in the future.

“When I started removing them, they said it’d take five to seven visits,” he said. “I’d been 20-something times and I took my two oldest to watch because it’s like getting burnt with hot baking grease, there’s blood coming up, it looks like somebody welded your skin, there’s these welts that come up like a quarter of an inch. Hopefully that will deter them from getting [tattoos].”

How Mark Wahlberg reacted to his daughter getting tattoos

Years afterwards, it seemed that Wahlberg’s plan didn’t work the way he wanted it to. Speaking on Live! With Kelly and Ryan (via People), Wahlberg opened up about his relationship with his daughter Ella. Ella was turning 18 at the time, and chose to get a tattoo. Although Wahlberg wasn’t a fan of her decision, the Ted actor was still proud of his daughter’s other accomplishments.

“My 18-year-old, now I literally have no authority over her until she realizes she needs me financially,” Wahlberg quipped. “She’s doing tattoos and all this stuff but she’s now really focused on academics, which is great. It took her a while to get there.”

Mark Wahlberg tried discouraging rapper Post Malone from getting tattoos

Wahlberg didn’t just try to save his own kids from getting tattoos. Rapper Post Malone was known for his tattoos as well. He took it a bit further than most would, however, by marking his face with ink. Wahlberg tried to impart his own experiences onto the young artist for the sake of the latter’s own future well-being.

“And you know what, he’s now since added more to his face,” he said about Malone. “And I’m like: ‘It’s not the same sitting down and having a couple beers, you can fall asleep, you wake up and all of a sudden it’s one and done. It took me five years to get all of the tattoos removed. And it’s dreadfully painful.’”

But Malone told Wahlberg the same thing Wahlberg told himself about tattoos back when he first got them.

“‘No, no, no, they all have meaning, I’m going to keep them forever.’ But then you realize: ‘I’m pushing 40, I got to do something about this,’” he said.

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