Judge me by my tattoos, do you?

 

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Jack London once said, “[s]how me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past,” and I wholeheartedly believe that statement.

 

My entire life has been tangled up in hardships. I don’t hide the part of myself that I used to be. In fact, if you have known me for any period of time, from five minutes to five years, I have without a doubt shared with you the things I have been through in my life and how I came out on the other side of that. My tattoos were well thought about and each has a very specific meaning that resonates deeply within my soul.

 

Sure, there are probably better things that I could spend my money on that wouldn’t be so controversial, like practical items for school, a new pair of jeans because the ones I have now are shredded to bits, or maybe even a plane ticket home but a tattoo is forever a part of me that symbolizes my life. Many might not think that I made a good decision by getting tattoos, but then again it wasn’t their decision.

 

When I got my first tattoo, I was criticized silently, but also publicly for being so young and not only getting a tattoo but a large one in a very visible spot.

 

I mean really, the sheer horror of people seeing something that means so much to me! How dare I!

 

I didn’t realize that tattoos were such a controversial topic until I began to consider getting one of my own. When I look at someone with tattoos my first instinct is to enjoy the art pieces they have on the canvas that is their skin, but I also have an overwhelming urge to ask them about their art. It has never been my first instinct to judge someone based solely on the fact that they have tattoos.

 

Every person that I have met and had the pleasure of hearing the story behind their tattoos has always been open to share. There are an abundance of tattoos that I have seen and heard background stories about that have personally touched my heart. In the past, when I have shared the meaning behind my own, I have brought people to tears. A tattoo can provide a conversation starter that opens the eyes of others around you.

 

I know that others have their own opinions about my tattoos and judge me for inking my skin, however, I know that I do not need man’s approval. I have been saved from the life that I once led and my tattoos don’t change that, in fact, they enhance it.


My question to you is this: if you see someone with a tattoo, are you willing to find out what it means to them, or will you simply dismiss them because of it?

2 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Julie Roberts

    Julie Roberts - September 15, 2015, 11:41 am

    Tattoos have come so far from the bikers and druggies of the past. They are no longer just a sign of rebellion (although many still are), or a stab at the establishment (still, many do), or a rite of passage into a chosen way of life. No matter what else they are, they, as you so articulately posted, tell a story. While I have reservations about getting a tattoo myself, or even encouraging others to do so, I don’t dismiss those who choose to ink. I am enormously curious about the story behind the art, and interested in why one would choose to display their sometimes very personal story. Your arm tattoo is a good example: regardless of what people think of the size, placement, or even choice to do it in the first place, your beautiful jellyfish is a story, a history, an encouragement, and a hope. To wear that testimony permanently on your skin where you and others can see it always isn’t such a bad thing. 🙂

  2. Profile photo of Robyn Tidrick

    Robyn Tidrick - September 15, 2015, 7:17 pm

    you are a beautiful soul; from your inked up skin to the person within – and i love you inside and out

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