'Tattoo was the biggest mistake of my life'
LARA Pannell is calling out to the Bundaberg community to help to fix the biggest mistake of her life.
What was supposed to be a permanent reminder of the birth of her first son has ended in Miss Pannell hiding the embarrassment from the world.
The 25-year-old regrets letting her former brother-in-law "practice" tattooing a large set of baby hand prints onto her back.
Miss Pannell has entered a competition to have this mistake fixed so she can proudly walk down the aisle in a backless dress to marry her sweet heart.
The tattoo is spread across her back and along with the "hand prints" there is heart and her son's name and date of birth.
"It was a backyard tattoo," she said
"He was setting up a business and needed to do some practice work - I don't think he ended up getting into tattooing in the end."
Her sister Crystal Pannell said Lara had lost a lot of confidence because of somebody's dodgy art work.
The competition is being run by a Tewantin tattoo shop BigFish Tattoo as an opening promotion.
Owner and sole artist Jeffrey Robinson said he was shocked by the amount of entries and it showed the amount of regret people had after getting a unprofessional tattoo.
"Based on the response and the comments I can say most people were either; young, drunk or just had a friend do it," Mr Robinson said.
"It really surprised me how many people got the tattoos when they were under 18.
"The problem with that is - it's illegal as you can't give a tattoo without a licence and it's not easy to get one."
He said it was easy enough for people to access tattooing equipment on the internet through eBay which concerned him.
"It's a worry about diseases - I can't imagine people getting a tattoo on the couch," he said.
"It's a very serious problem and I am now trying to help some of these people."
The artist has been tattooing for four years and said he practised on his own leg and said people should avoid being practised on in the backyard.
"To get in the industry you have to do an apprenticeship and practice on fake skin or pig skin," Mr Robinson said.
"It's a very series process to get into the industry and people shouldn't always go with the cheapest either."
Miss Pannell urged people to learn from her mistake and stay clear of backyard jobs.
"Pay the money and get it done right - it's with you for life," she said.
The competition is open until Friday and the winner will be decided by the number of likes on the Facebook page.
For more information go to www.facebook.com/thebigfishtattoo/ to help Lara fix her mistake vote for number 12.