I have been getting tattooed since the age of 16. It’s one of my greatest joys in life. I wear them all with pride. Yet, society looks at me as though I am foolish, immature and crazy for having as many as I do at the age of 21. I have always had a fascination with tattoos, and body modification of all types to be honest. I learned how to tattoo and pierce right out of high school; it was my biggest goal in life.
Throughout the past 3 years that has sadly changed for my future plans and goals. I have over 30 separate pieces on my body, including 3 dermals, my septum, cartilage punch, stretched lobes, naval, and at one point I also had my dimples pierced. I have never regretted any of my modifications, especially not my tattoos. They all have meaning to me, a story behind each individually.
When I go into public, people give me weird stares, obscene gestures and even have the nerve to say negative comments in hearing distance about my appearance. At my work, I am not taken seriously as a manager by customers because of how I look, even though I act as professionally as need be towards customers and my crewmembers. I have had people tell me to join their church because it is not to late to be saved. All because of how I look and my tattoos (none of which are anti-religious) I just politely decline. I have been judged my whole life, but a time went on and I got each tattoo, it became worse. I’ve had people say they are intimidated by me because of my demeanor, yet when they get to know me, their opinion changes.
No one truly knows how another person feels, and would not appreciate being judged how they judge me, or anyone who is unique. The fact of the matter is, in today’s society, as socially acceptable as tattoos have become I have learned it is not the older generations who judge, it is my generation. We live in a world were you are to be societies ideal image of perfection. We base everything off of self-image, but no one really knows how they can affect another person’s emotions by something as simple as a dirty look. I’ve been called numerous horrid names, been described as “hideous” or “dirty”, yet I probably have the same or better hygiene than most people. I take care of my decorations, wouldn’t you take care of an expensive piece of art hanging on your wall?
I made a choice at a young age, I decision I knew would effect the course of my life entirely. I am okay with that. I am okay with who I am and the skin I am in. I have come to the conclusion people will always say what they want about you, so why care? Who are they to you? Because if they really cared about you, wouldn’t they want you to do what makes you happiest? I’m pretty damn happy when I’m getting a new tattoo or piercing. I’m also pretty damn happy being imperfect.
So be you, be free. Stop trying to be societies perfect and living up to their expectations of you and your body. Decorate the walls you live in, otherwise it’s like you’re stuck in a prison.