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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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My Roommate Dressed Me For A Week, And I Have Thoughts

Find you a roomie that will go through your closet to pick out your clothes for five days in a row.

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Since I'm a college student, I don't see a point in putting effort into choosing my outfit each day. My go-to outfit is a sweatshirt with ripped jeans and converse. Sometimes I'll wear a nice shirt with a cardigan, but that is rare.

So, when I was going through what I wanted to take back home (since I didn't wear them), I asked for my roommate's approval and she selected a handful of shirts to keep. Since I had gotten rid of half of my clothes, she thought it was a good idea for her to decide what I should wear since I wouldn't do it on my own. Not only was she right, but she actually did it.

For this challenge, I was able to pick out my undergarments, socks, and shoes. My roommate chose my shirt, pants, and accessories.

Monday

Christina Stover

Starting the week off, my roommate went with a nice sweater and jeans. I really like the sweater, I just haven't worn it since winter break. Within the first five minutes at my 8 a.m. class, I received a compliment. I thanked them and told her all about how she was picking out my clothes for the week. She laughed and thought that was funny. The sweater was a bit warm, but it was still nice to wear something that I usually wouldn't and get noticed for wearing something different.

Tuesday

Christina Stover

Tuesday was similar to Monday in the sense of a sweater and jeans. I got the sweater for Christmas a few years ago, and it really seems like the kind of thing to wear to church instead of a casual weekday outfit. I really love floral patterns, so I was instantly drawn to this sweater. It makes me feel like a confident adult and that is definitely appreciated. She also picked out the baby blue raindrop necklace in the picture, and it really complimented the darker colors in the sweater. And I wore a pair of jeans that didn't have rips in them for the first time in months.

Wednesday

Christina Stover

A little fancier on this hump day. Wearing a cute dark green shirt with a little knot at the bottom, a cardigan because it's short sleeves and casual leggings. The necklace is an outline of the world's continents. I definitely felt a lot dressier in this outfit as opposed to jeans and sweatshirts. My signature half-up-half-down hairdo pulled the whole outfit together. Again, this is something I would wear to church and not to class. But I think this also helped my confidence and allowed me to come out of my shell a little, which is always a good thing.

Thursday

Christina Stover

Wearing a crop top in winter is always a power move. I really loved this outfit because not only did it color coordinate, but it was super cute. I had an interview earlier this morning, so I had mascara on, and it made my eyes pop, which was great. And the Army-green button-up shirt really brought the whole outfit together. The shirt says, "Crazy plant lady." Which is exhibited by the pictures of plants on the shirt and the cactus and succulent tapestry in the background. I thought this was one of my favorite outfits, plus I always love an excuse to wear leggings.

Friday

Christina Stover

Today, she gave me a little break. I spent the weekend at home, and she gave me a simple long-sleeve that says "Bowling Green" on the back with a huge mandala design, and the iconic ripped jeans. I had an interview this day as well, so my makeup is done again, and I wore a translucent teardrop necklace. The outfit was comfortable and practical for a day of running errands and spending time with family. It has been a while since I've worn this shirt, as well, so I enjoyed spicing things up with such a bright shirt.

Overall, I think this was a fun and exciting little experiment. What started as an assumed joke, turned into a learning experience about myself and my clothing options. I'm not saying that I won't be wearing sweatshirts frequently, but I am saying that it's nice to have options for fancier outfits. Each day we would have a little photo shoot that was funny and extra, but another fun perk of doing this experiment.

Now, in order for this to come full circle, I need to go through her closet and pick out her clothes for a week. That's definitely something for me to look forward to.

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