Elizabeth Entenman
September 23, 2015 9:23 am

Meet Maggie. She has 17 tattoos, including a dove, a cross, a mermaid baby and a scorpion. And she’s been hiding them from her parents for 12 years. How is that even possible?! With strategic pieces of clothing and carefully selected outfits—namely, pants. But Maggie decided enough was enough, and decided to open up about her ink.

She told her story through Videos 4 U, a video series from This American Life. Each episode helps people share a message they’ve been struggling to get across. Filmmaker Bianca Giaever enlisted a minister named Max. They figured, if a minister was alright with Maggie’s tattoos, it might help ease her parents into the idea.

For Maggie’s parents, tattoos are a huge no-no. “My parents think people who get tattoos are people with motorcycles, probably dabble in drugs and just are probably kind of low-lifes.”

But of course, we know that’s not the case. In fact, Maggie even has a tattoo for her parents. “Maggie’s tattoos all have stories. They say so much about where she’s coming from, and who she loves,” Bianca narrates.

So, why now? Besides not having to dress strategically anymore, what’s motivating her to share her tattoos? “The only thing I want from my parents making this is the ability to be honest with them,” Maggie tells Father Max.

His reply is perfect: “All you can do is invite them to know who you are now,” he replies. “I hope they have the good sense to accept a very lovely invitation.”

The video is so incredibly well made. It has fun, bright animations and a choir chanting the hauntingly beautiful refrain of “drug attics, motorcyclists.” Maggie discusses forgiveness, the role of God in her life and her definition of grace.

Watch to see Maggie’s story—and to hear how her parents reacted.

Images via YouTube

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