I'm Not Like Them (Female Body Image), Tattoo Stories

August 25, 2013

Growing up I had decent self-esteem, but I never felt beautiful or particularly pretty.

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Growing up I had decent self-esteem, but I never felt beautiful or particularly pretty. I dressed like a tomboy, hated girly colors. No one in my family had any type of body modification or tattoos, but I always found them fascinating as a little kid. When I was on my senior high school trip I got my cartilage pierced and second holes in my ear lobes. I know that isn’t that big of a deal but from just that I was hooked on making my body my kind of beautiful. I was eighteen when I got my belly button pierced, but my parents asked me to wait till I moved out to get more, and since I deeply respected them I did.

At twenty I got married to my high school sweetheart, moved out, and started slowly working on my body decor. My first was the OM sign on my left wrist, then two piercings on the back of my neck. . With my first tax returns I got my upper left arm tattooed with my most meaningful piece. My nickname was, and still is, toad monkey. So I got a little green-eyed blonde girl holding a stuffed toad and monkey. I was freaking hooked! I started feeling beautiful and womanly, wore dresses and skirts, and was very confident in how I looked. My toad monkey half sleeve is becoming a wonderful full sleeve, and I have a gorgeous pink lotus on my right wrist for my love of yoga. I now have pink hair and have never felt so beautiful and strong in my life!! It’s amazing how making yourself become your own vision of beauty, and not subscribing to mainstream society’s version can be the catalyst for strength and confidence in other areas of your life.

Unfortunately, society hasn’t come to terms with the fact that “alternative” looking people can also be successful. I finished high school with a 3.65, went to college and have a very promising career in pathology. When I first moved into my neighborhood I be considered “tattooed scum” by some of the residents. While I am at work I wear long sleeves and a plain brown wig. It’s just sad that I have to hide who I am to be acceptable in my career life. I am damn good at my job and guess what? Underneath my wig and long sleeves I have pink hair and lots of tattoos (with way more planned) and I STILL excel at my job. Someday this will all change but for now I cover and stay hidden during the week, then let my very tattooed and pink haired self reign the city on the weekend!

Charlie Paige

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