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.