Promiscuous. Heavy Drinker. Unattractive. Drug Addict. Trashy.
These words and phrases are just a few used to describe females who happen to enjoy having tattoos. Men seem to be the majority of those making these comments, but they are also the gender that places more emphasis on beauty over anything else in a relationship. As a new member into the inked-clan, I have only now come to notice the stereotype of women with tattoos being less attractive than those without them. The female anatomy tends to be sexualized by society more than that of a male, but it’s not our fault that we are no longer content with adhering to the norms. If men can do it, so can we.
There is no real evidence to back up any of these crude generalizations of women donning some ink on their bodies. It’s a shame that a woman (or any human) is categorized by yet another stereotype in today’s society. Tattooing is a form of art, and the industry is thriving now more than ever. 2012 was the first year that more women were reported to have tattoos than men, females beating out the guys 23 percent to 19percent.
Many people use tattoos to express themselves, but even more people use them to memorialize someone they lost. For example, I was tattooed in January of this year to honor my aunt who had earlier passed. Most people have tattoos that have a significant meaning to them. To others it just may appear that I got a set of angel wings for no reason. This was a method of mourning for me, which makes me personally offended that society will view me differently because of it. I know of someone who got inked to symbolize a health problem that provided him with struggles others aren't aware of. It acts as a reminder that no matter what is going wrong, he will make it through, because he has before and he will yet again.
People also will use tattoos as a form of self-expression, and an appreciation of artwork. What better way to appreciate a piece of art than to have it permanently inked into your skin? Although stereotypes on those who don a little bit of ink are fading, it’s doing so much too slow for the growing market. There is no rhyme or reason to label someone as an alcoholic or a drug user just because of their skin color, just like it shouldn’t be done for their self-expression either. Seeing a female with one or more tattoo seems to have a unique effect on the male psyche. Basically, although they are seen as less attractive, they are also seen as more promiscuous. This can be seen in every form of media nowadays. In a movie, the mistress, criminal, or the classic girl who displeases her parents are all portrayed to have tattoos and piercings. Newsflash: a girl without tattoos is just as likely to be a disappointment to her parents, especially now when the industry is so large.
I fell in love with my art the first time I saw it on my skin, and I do the same every single day. If society, or anyone else is going to label, stereotype, or judge me for that, let them. Women, men, teachers, health providers, teenagers, elderly, salesmen, and congressmen all are free to have tattoos, and personally, I can name one from each category that I know to have gone under the needle before. It’s surprising that although it is such a large industry that represents an even larger percentage of people, it is still stigmatized as “bad” or “trashy” to be a member of that group.
Instead, let’s change these unpleasant generalizations to something more appealing.
Beautiful. Mother. Classy. Successful. Badass. Educated. Motivated.