Do you have any? Do you want one? Are they completely accepted in this world yet? I don’t think they are.
Growing up, I remember looking at the tattoos my Papa had from his days in the Navy, and I thought they were awesome. Even though they were old and almost invisible by the time he was showing them to us, I felt his great pride in showcasing them. They were that inherent green color and although small and almost hidden in the wrinkles of his arms, they meant much more to him than I could understand at that young age.
So tattoos have never bothered me, but I never thought I’d be one to jump on that ship. My sister got one when she was a teenager, and I thought, well heck- even my little sister has a tattoo, but still, it wasn’t enough to push me to do it. I was always afraid of the stigma that came with them.
Then I met my husband and over the past seven years that I’ve known him, he has convinced me that tattoos are not just ink on someone’s arm. They are trials and tribulations, stories and songs, morals and values, loss and love. They help people express their deepest emotions in the form of a picture or words, and it’s an outward way for them to show pain, happiness, memories, expectations, and so much more. It’s therapy in a sense.
My husband has many tattoos, and each one has a particular meaning to him. The most special for him, and for me, are the tattoos we got for our son. Having a baby was the push I needed to permanently mark myself, and for what better reason than to celebrate something as precious and amazing as a baby.
I got my son’s initials on my wrist and I look at it everyday. It’s a remembrance of his birth, a reminder of the struggle we went through with my hospital stay and his prematurity, it’s a gift to him to show that he’s forever a part of me and nothing could ever change that, and it’s a statement of love.
Although sometimes, I feel like I’m being judged for that tattoo. Maybe it’s at the bank and the teller looks at me awkwardly when I turn my hand over to give her my check. Does it make me more suspicious because I have a tattoo? Or when I order a coffee, and hand over my money, the barista may cast an eye towards my wrist. What, I’m not sophisticated enough to drink coffee if I have a tattoo? It makes me insanely mad. And I want to stop and explain it to them. Why are tattoos still not widely accepted??
I’m getting another one in just a few weeks, and I plan to get as many as I like. Luckily for me, working at home, I don’t have to deal with dress codes or ridiculous rules about covering up a tattoo. Tattoos are a part of people’s lives. A conversation starter. I completely agree that tattoos that are offensive in nature should be covered, but what’s wrong with showing off the everyday beautiful tattoos that express our life?
We have come to accept so many things in this world that were not accepted in the past, yet we can’t accept something as simple as a tattoo?
If they aren’t for you, no problem. But we shouldn’t judge those that have them, based on some strange notion that they are reserved for criminals or people to whom we should be afraid. Tattoo artists take a person’s raw emotions and turn it into art. Their skill is both special and important. Their talent and what they are doing for people’s well-being is unsurpassed.
I’m a proud, inked wife, mom, small business owner, holder of two bachelor degrees, published writer, homeowner, and much more. Be proud of your ink.