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July 28, 2019

Tattoos. “Buy Why?”

I have nine tattoos, unless you count the number of individual times I’ve been under the tattoo needle. Adding to and editing existing tattoos. It’s a different experience every time. It’s for a different reason every time. Some tattoos were the result of a spontaneous adventure with friends late at night. Do I regret those? Maybe briefly, the morning after, but ultimately I love those tattoos just as much as the planned ones because they are part of that chapter in my life. Just a bookmark in that spot for a favorite line or memory.  

I chose to get tattoos because they remind me of moments in my life that were fearless and frightening at the same time. I trusted a stranger to alter my body. I chose a design that meant something to me at that moment in my life, and always will because that chapter is a part of me.

I chose to get tattoos was because it was an opportunity to showcase an artist’s work. I take pride in being given the chance to wear an artist’s piece forever and to share it with the world and those who may have never seen anything like it before.

“Aren’t you worried about what people will think of you with tattoos?”, some might ask. Initially, I was scared. For most of my childhood, my parents asked me to never get a tattoo – yet, both of my parents had small tattoos. Not many other people in my extended family had tattoos. But, as I grew up, I was exposed to amazing, inspirational people. Some of those people had tattoos. Some of those people were covered in tattoos from neck to ankles. I learned to see those people for who they were as an individual – not defined by their choice in tattoos. In reality, some of the most honest, kind-hearted humans I’ve met in my short number of years on this Earth have had tattoos.  

I am proud to be part of a movement that changes the way the world views the majority of individuals with tattoos. Not all bad people have tattoos. Some very bad people do have tattoos. But before you pass judgement based upon someones’ ink or where he or she chose to place it, please introduce yourself and get to know them. He or she could be a nurse, school teacher, musician, doctor, mother/father, sibling, daughter, son, or best friend and still have tattoos.

My dad told me on many occasions that getting tattoos had become too mainstream. Tattoos had lost their edge because of that. Too many people were getting them. I can see his point at this point in my life. A lot of people do have tattoos. A lot of people even have similar tattoos. Some people have tattoos that could have been done better. Even I have tattoos that could have been done better. Yet, I respect your right to make that decision to alter your body in whatever way makes you fulfilled.

For me, I still chose certain clothes that may or may not showcase my artwork depending on the crowd of people I will be hanging out with. I have been uncomfortable many times with the way people look at me and question my decisions. I understand that it is my body and was, ultimately, my decision but I believe there is still a stigma associated with the people who decide to get tattoos and it can be difficult when people label you without getting to know you.

You are choosing to permanently wear your message for the world to see. Some tattoos are too vocal; some tattoos toxic. Just like the bad events in history have permanently scarred the minds of many people about certain races, bad tattoos on dangerous people leave a scar on society’s minds-eye.  

Yes, they will probably change with time and age. I signed up for that. I am proud of my tattoos. I’m happy in my skin and it’s decorations. I wouldn’t trade any of them or the experiences embedded in them.

My tattoos are:

A bouquet of flowers on my right inner arm – a cherished design done by my good friend, Aneri (@wabagoo “Aneri Draws”). It showcases wildflowers, sunflowers, and Van Gogh’s irises for my dad. Like Tom Petty said, “You belong among the wildflowers.”  

Lotus and Om on right posterior arm – Om is the universal vibration of the human race and world. The same vibration that we all share and has the power to bring us together. The lotus represents rising up through the mud. Lotus flowers are the only flowers that have to grow through the mud to bloom. Beauty through challenge and grit.  

Oranges and blossoms with a honey bee on left ribs – my reminder of my Florida roots. The smell of orange blossoms was my childhood and brings me back to a soft spot in my heart.  

Three encased hearts on hip – two of my best friends, Lea and Rachel, and I have a heart outline tattoos. I chose to get three encased in each other to represent our closeness and that we will always be a part of each others’ lives. We are family.  

“Courage” right ribs – this one speaks for itself. Courage to be yourself, to love your body, to go on an adventure, to speak your truth.

A Triangle on right wrist – Triangles, or delta, represent change. Or three angles – body, mind, spirit. You choose.  

A Sunflower left ankle – my first tattoo at 18, my favorite flower.The one my mom said she couldn’t stop me from getting once I turned 18, and she was right. Sorry, Mom. 🙂  

“Cone 06” right ankle – one of the spontaneous tattoos that I got with friends that I worked with at an arts center. Firing ceramics at Cone 06 is 1515 degrees Farenheit. We got it for our bond we all formed at work, but it can mean a lot more. We are all put to the flames and tested and come out on the other side in your true colors and beautiful, just like a piece of fired ceramic.  

Southern Magnolia blossoms and monarch butterfly on right foot – the magnolias match with mom. We got three – one representing herself, my brother, and me. When my dad passed, I added the monarch butterfly to my flowers like a guardian angel looking over our garden – our family.  

Please like, share, comment, and tell me your stories about tattoos. Please read my other articles and spread the love. Please message me if you would like more information on local tattoo shops and artists!

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