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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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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How To Amp Up Your Thrifting Game

Consider this Thrifting 101.

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If you're a big thrifting fan like me, you know that you don't always have to go to the mall to get a cute new sweater or a belt to match your outfit. However, while basically anyone can thrift, there are definitely some tips and tricks to step up your thrift game and help you score some great finds, as well as other things you should definitely know.

1. Goodwill doesn't wash their clothes.

While Goodwill is definitely one of the biggest thrift stores out there, they don't wash their clothes before putting them out on the floor (but people who donate are encouraged to wash all their donations before dropping them off). Don't let this discourage you though-- I've found some really great things at Goodwill. Just remember to wash everything you get there before you wear it!

2. Find out when stores put out new items.

This is literally as easy as calling and asking, or asking a staff member while you're at the store. This way, you'll know when there's more variety to choose from.

3. Don't be afraid to branch out into different categories.

Me and all of my friends who thrift can tell you that some of the best (and coziest) sweaters can be found in the men's section, and besides, clothes are for everybody, and don't have a gender.

4. Be mindful of the season.

If you want winter clothes, go when everyone is getting rid of their old jackets and sweaters. If you want a sundress of a pair of shorts, go when summer is beginning or over and people are purging their closets.

5. If something is damaged, make sure you can repair it (or know someone else who can).

There's no point in getting a pair of jeans that are ripped off the seam or a shirt with multiple moth holes no matter how cute they are unless they're mendable.

6. Know that the older the clothing item, the more "off" the sizes may be.

Older items of clothing can run anywhere from 2 to 6 sizes smaller.

7. Don't buy swimsuits or undergarments.

Just don't.

8. Learn when your local thrift shop has deals and sales.

That way, you'll know when is the best time to go in price wise-- but remember that doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a good variety.

9. Don't get something just because it's "unique".

Sure, you might see something that catches your eye, but don't just get something because it's unique and cheap. If you don't really like something, or if you know that you'll never wear it, don't get it.

10. Don't give up.

If you don't find something amazing the first time you go thrifting, don't worry! When you go thrifting you won't always find a standout piece every single time. Keep going, and branch out to different thrift stores, and you'll be sure to find the thrifted piece of your dreams.

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