First off, I am pro tattoo.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. My poor mother can attest to this. And I have always cared what other people thought of me. This is still true to a sense, but I have realized that making myself happy is more important than making others happy. With the exception of my husband, they don’t have to live with me! They don’t have to be around me all of the time, I do. So I should be happy with myself first, then surround myself with people who are happy with me being happy. Right?
This leads to the topic of tattoos. I’m sorry, mom, I know you don’t like them. I also know that you know that I have them. And we all know that you know that I know that you know I just got another one. I actually covered up an old one, so technically I still only have 3. And I am truly sorry that it upsets you. Definitely not my intention.
But they make me happy! Well, first they make me grit my teeth. Then they make me sore and swollen. Then they look beautiful and, thus, make me happy. A constant reminder of something motivating, nostalgic or otherwise positive.
And we all know there is a stereotype of the types of people who have tattoos. Criminals, gangsters, partiers, etc. Not the kind you want your kids growing up around. But I’m none of those things! Granted, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t near as “wholesome” as I am now. However, I was not into tattooing at that time. Nor was I old enough to be. And I don’t run around getting random tattoos whenever I want. The one pictured above I spent at least a year debating over, thinking about the details and what it means to me and honestly whether I really wanted it or not! This tattoo represents wisdom, knowledge and the aspirations of achieving more. I have to go back next month and get the book (white space at the bottom) finished where it will be shaded in a little and “knowledge itself is power” in Latin.
Granted, at this moment I am regretting it because I can’t even put a tennis shoe on my foot is so swollen. But in a week or so it will be healed and all that will remain is its meaning and purpose to me. Plus, it will look awesome.
So the typical arguments against tattoos are as follows.
1) They will look really ugly when you get old.
My response: I have strategically placed my tattoos in places that 1) age well or 2) cannot be seen unless I am half naked which does not happen in public places (beach aside). Therefore, once I hit a certain age, they will be for mine and my husband’s eyes alone.
2) You can get diseases from getting tattoos.
My response: Yes…if you get them done in a van. The key to avoiding these issues is go to a prestigious studio. Cleanliness is key. Also, half the reason people get infections etc from tattoos is because they do not follow the tattoo care instructions properly. Your body views your tattoo like an injury. Same goes with piercings. So if you don’t take care of it properly, bad things will happen.
3) Your body is a temple and is meant to be kept clean and sacred.
My response: I am not disagreeing with this. But don’t piercings fall under this same category? I feel that as long as my tattoos are rated G and have good motives and meanings behind them then I’m ok.
Also, if you read Leviticus 19 in its entirety, you would understand that tattoos received in pagan rituals are the ones that are “unacceptable”.
4) Getting tattoos has become a fad.
My response: I won’t disagree. But it’s not like I’m picking my tattoos out of a “Top Ten Tattoos to Get” list. They mean something to me. And if I were to find someone with a similar tattoo, that would simply mean that we have the same good taste and something in common.
5) If you get tattoos you won’t be able to get a job.
My response: Ya know what? This is not entirely incorrect. Key to this problem? Get tattoos that you can hide easily. I am going to college to be a high school English teacher. When I did my classroom observation this semester I was pleasantly surprised to see that a few of my cooperating teachers had tattoos that were not covered. They informed me that as long as the tattoo is appropriate and not distracting, it isn’t a problem.
This is one of those topics where people are set in their ways. And that is ok! Makes the world a more interesting and diverse place.