Destigmatizing Tattoos

Destigmatizing Tattoos

Permanent doesn’t always mean irresponsible.
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Tattoos – they’re everywhere nowadays. On moms, dads, teenagers, even the people who you’d least expect to have one. Sometimes they have a special meaning, and sometimes they don’t, and both are perfectly fine. But, what isn’t okay is judging a person’s character solely based on how they choose to express themselves through body art.

More and more people are getting tattoos now than ever before, so I believe it is important to accept this newer art form that’s been on the rise. A tattoo is simply a piece of art, and for centuries people have conveyed their emotions by painting, sculpting, drawing, dancing, singing, writing, and many other art forms, but now, instead of a blank piece of a paper, the canvas is themselves. That way, they can carry their art with them everywhere they go and I think that is a beautiful concept.

Recently, I walked into my local tattoo parlor and left with a permanent mark on my body, as many others do. At first I was nervous –– would it hurt? Am I going to like it in 10 years? What will other people think of it? But after my tattoo was finished, I realized that the only person who needs to like my tattoo is myself, and it will always be a reminder of this point I my life when I turned an important part of my being into a traveling piece of art. Although it is small and relatively unnoticeable, every time I look down at my ankle I will smile, knowing I made the right decision. So what if I don’t like it in 10 years. So what if no one else likes it. My tattoo is mine and mine alone and I will carry it with me forever.

So, the next time you see someone with a tattoo, remember that they feel the most ‘themselves’ with their art on their sleeve (literally). There are endless ways for someone to express themselves, and they have chosen the permanent route. But, it's important to remember that just because their art is permanent, doesn’t mean it's imprudent - in fact, it is usually a sensible decision that took a lot of thought and has a lot of purpose.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.inkcouturenyc.com/wp-content/uploads/tattoo-parlor1.jpg

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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