I’ll never forget my first tattoo. On my 18th birthday I decided I wanted to put the needle to the skin and went to the only place I knew and somewhat trusted. The design was simple and still in many ways is one of my most precious tattoos – an all black cat skull head with crossbones. Luckily I ended up getting a decent artist and loved the tattoo but it almost floors me to realize that was 11 years ago and a total shot in the dark. When I think about how naive I was to the art of tattooing I cringe, these days I’d never just walk into a tattoo shop and say bombs away. Maybe I’ll still love this tattoo at 40, maybe I’ll absolutely hate it. Perhaps it will be a visual mile marker my children lament over to their friends, “dude, my mom must have been so bad ass back in the day.” Either way, it’s with me for life and was the first thought of the day on November 1st, 2001. Looking at it that way, the importance of preparation, thought and wisdom seems so much more eminent. Almost any day can be a tattoo and memory on your soul, wheter it is burned into your skin as a permanent reminder or a blip in your consciousness.
Tattooing is possibly one of the finest arts out there, one that is visible not only to you but to the masses of people viewing and interacting with you daily. Initial opinions are based on appearance and other miscellaneous criteria, attitude, etc and when you are heavily tattooed you need to realize, like it or not, this is part of your daily interaction. Littered with ignorant inquires such as “did they hurt” and “what does your mom say,” the life of someone with visible tattoos can be inherently hilarious from assumptions alone. I have met many dense tattooed people, but I’ve met the same , if not more, non-tattooed morons. Also, the stereotype that tattooed folk are more “badass” cracks me up. Yes, it takes a level of toughness to endure hours under a needle but it’s the same principle for prissy, self-absorbed people who wouldn’t tattoo a mini-tramp stamp but can endure hours of cosmetic surgery to augment their looks. I’ve met plenty of pussy ass men and meek women more heavily tattooed than myself. Lest we not forget people, the tattoo doesn’t make you, you make the tattoo. I also think it’s borderline insulting when anyone assumes that because of my tattoo visibility I wouldn’t be the type of gal who would have invested in an education and my career development. Frankly, there is nothing in life more long-lasting and impacting than possessing an education. It’s something not visible to anyone but can build skyscrapers for the right architect. Despite any marking on the skin, the deepest depths can always be found within the mind.
I’ve also seen other people who think a nice or abundant amount of tattoos will magically grant you a personality, purpose or brain. How many model-esque chicks have we seen, heavily tattooed, scantily clad with little to say or contribute to humanity? I’ve also met a few who have blown me away with their depth and intelligence, even in my own prejudice I will find myself surprised at times. We’ve all seen people who identify themselves solely by their tattoos or via the norms of the “culture.” For some reason this particularly burns me because of its lack of dimension, it’s almost as blinding as judgment based on skin color. Everyone is the byproduct of several influences, experiences and visible or not it is a grave mistake to dismiss anyone based on their personal choices. Even in a hyper-artistic culture that is much more lenient in glorifying heavily inked individuals, those underlying thoughts remain a reminder that tattoos are choices that live with us throughout our lives. In my case, almost every tattoo I have taken on was a nod to a signature time in my life. To others, they get novelty tattoos like they are going out of style and adore every single one. Be the blood behind the skin, the pulse behind the artistically fueled fire that brought on that appreciation of tattoos and no one will ever be able to question your decisions. Better yet, fuck them – be the best you that you can be and always choose an artists wisely!