My Tattoos Don’t Need To Have Deep Meanings To Be Art

‘My body, my rules’ is apparently the most ineffective phrase that ever escaped the tongue of a human. Even in this progressive age, some people still wholly believe that their unprovoked opinion on other people’s self-expression is warranted, and better yet, valued in any way.

I have tattoos, and I love them. I love how they look and how they express my personality without having to engage in a conversation. I love that I am a canvas showcasing art, every time I go out into the world. But there’s a huge stigma around tattoos that makes it feel dirty, and not as beautiful as the art that is inked on my skin. I would have trouble limiting my family’s critiques to one hand. It’s far too regular for my family to use family dinner as a platform to tell me how much prettier I’d be if I didn’t have ‘all that rubbish’ on my skin.

My cousin has threatened to remove my tattoos with a cheese grater, far too many times.

Earlier today, I copped a disgusted side-eye from a woman in her late 70s, when I was buying a sandwich in 7-Eleven. I was unbelievably sweaty; first, from running faster than I’d ever run to make sure I’d snatch a ham and cheese moment but second, and most importantly, this woman’s eyes were burning a hole into my skin. She was looking at my visible tattoo.

Why was it so offensive to this woman that I have a very well-done line drawing of an adorable astronaut on my arm? And why is the judgement that she so publicly passed, acceptable?

It’s actually none of your business, or that 7-Eleven woman with the grouchy face.

‘You’ll regret those when you’re older’ is as stale as a loaf of sourdough left on the bench without a bread tag. People who are older, and have tattoos from their youth, are definitely doing fine without your concern and critique. What people without tattoos tend to neglect before passing their judgement, is that tattoos are a living scrapbook of your life. Regret nothing that you paste into your scrapbook. You may not be listening to the same music or reading the same books in 5 years time, however you have this burning passion for it in the present. A tattoo that is associated with a passion is a memento from a significant part of your life.

Why would you ever regret representing something that mattered to you?

Tattoos aren’t always unbelievably deep either, and they don’t have to be. Personally, I have a couple of space themed tattoos, solely because I like the idea of there being something else out there. That’s it. Nothing deeper about my life or commentary on society. It’s just a bunch of planets, and I love it.

Leave people to their tattoos, it’s just not your place to comment on that person’s art – unless, of course, you’re telling them that their tattoo is fly as hell.


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