On June 9th, my husband and I went down to Artistic Skin Design in Indianapolis so I could get my 8th tattoo and so he could get started on the sleeve he’s been designing. I was very happy that we were able to get Chris McClean to do both of ours; he is the one who did my Cute Poison tattoo last year. He took my design, redrew the entire thing, added the elements I requested, and gave me a tattoo that I am insanely happy with. I couldn’t have asked for better.
I’ve been asked why I chose to get what I did by a few people I work with, one of which was somewhat of a dick about it (thankfully he doesn’t work in my office, just in this massive building), and while I don’t owe him an explanation due to his dickishness, I don’t mind explaining it to you lovely people. Out of all my tattoos, one was a spur of the moment choice and the same one is regrettable. Thankfully it’s not too visible and thankfully it served as a lesson to me that I need to put a lot of thought into what I get and make sure I wait a few months once I choose a design to make sure I stay happy with it. My latest ink is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.
I chose skulls because I’m a bit fascinated by them. I love jewelry and accessories with skulls and I’ve wanted a skull tattoo since I knew what a tattoo was. I’d been delaying it because I was having problems finding something that was unique and somewhat girly without being over the top. When I found the cherry design, I fell in love with it. Because it had a male and female, I decided to also make it about my husband and myself; I’ve been trying to figure out a design to represent our marriage but had not had much luck until finding the cherry skulls. I wanted to incorporate something that definitively connected the ink to my hubby, so I found the Kryptonian symbols for his initials and asked McClean to work it into the design. In my opinion, it worked out perfectly.
I’m not fond of the stigma surrounding tattoos and the evil people who get them, but I knew it existed when I went to my first shop and got a music note on my lower back. I knew I’d get weird looks when I got my lip pierced and I knew my mom would flip out when she saw my belly button ring. I knew getting ink on my arm would result in certain people perceiving me as a trashy person. I knew I’d get questioned about why I chose to get certain things or get anything at all. I went into this knowing what to except from close-minded individuals who don’t possess the ability to see past the superficial and look at what lies underneath. I don’t expect any of that to change.
The decision to get a tattoo, at least for me, is a very personal and sometimes private thing. It sounds silly since they are visible, but every one of my tattoos has a back story and a lot of memories. Each of mine have meaning to me, even the one near my hip that needs a do-over once I figure out time machines. I remember why I got each one, who did each one, and what was going on in my life when I got each one. It’s my life’s journal on display on my body.
I also happen to think that tattoos can be very beautiful. There are some nightmarish ones out there for sure, but I consider mine to be beautiful and see it as no different from you people who apply all kinds of makeup, dye your hair and style it, go to the tanning bed, work on your physique, get cosmetic surgery, drape your body in designer clothing, or do anything else to enhance your appearance. My ink makes me feel confident and gorgeous. It doesn’t matter if others enjoy it or not as long as I’m happy and my husband still wants to get me naked.
What I would like to get through to people is this. Feel free to ask questions but don’t be a dick about it. Unless a person has swastikas on their neck, teardrops on their face, or something utterly offensive and horrible, it’s silly of you to view them as a bad person just because they have ink on their body. It’s a form of discrimination and makes you no better than people who hate others due to skin color, religion, orientation, or other factors that don’t make a person who they are. It’s ignorant and shallow and causes you to pass over some great people you come across. But mostly, it’s YOUR problem, not the problem of the person with tattoos. There was a sign at the shop that said it perfectly: