I got my first tattoo 3 years ago when I was 18 years old. Since then, I have had two more tattoos. Every time I have sat in that black leather chair face to face with the needle, I have remembered exactly how I was feeling at that time, where I was at in my life and what that particular tattoo meant to me.
Immediately after getting my first piece of ink, I began striking up conversations with family members, friends and strangers as to what it means to have a tattoo. I found that some people had negative reactions to my tattoo simply because I am a woman. Some consider the ink demeaning, or not ‘feminine’ enough. But I am here to defend the ‘painted woman.’
Why should it be up to others what we choose to do with our bodies? If we make that decision to get permanent ink, its our burden to carry.
I recently got a tattoo on my lower right arm. Since that moment, I seem to be getting asked a lot of questions. People stare at my arm as they walk past me in the street, some even stop and ask me about it. In a way, it’s nice to know that some strangers notice people walking by and will actually stop to have a human conversation. When I first showed my tattoo to my parents, they were displeased, but as time goes on they have become used to it and see it as part of my personality.
One of the most common debates I find myself having with people is over my career. People argue that no one is ever going to hire me or take me seriously with a tattoo on my arm, and as a recent graduate I get quite defensive over this topic. I firmly believe that a piece of art on ones body should not in any way stop someone from getting a career they have worked for and thoroughly deserve.
Why is it fair that men are not questioned as much if they have tattoos on their arms? They are simply perceived as more masculine. But because I am a woman, and have a tattoo on my arm, people have this idea that no one will ever hire me. It would be rather upsetting if I were to lose out on a job to someone purely for having art work on my body. I can cover my tattoos easily, but it would be gratifying to think I could get a job based on my skills, work ethic and personality. Sadly, we are judged for whatever we do with our bodies.
Someday, I hope that people stop judging women for having tattoos. What we do with our bodies is our own choice. We need to embrace our individuality, and inspire body confidence in one another.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)