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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Claudia Li's All-Asian NYFW Show Was Meant To Promote Inclusivity, Not Diversity

Those who are uncomfortable with this should try to understand from the point of view of East Asians, especially East Asian models who have felt like they would never have a chance.

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New York Fashion week recently ended on September 14. This year was particularly eventful, with

1) Rihanna showing her Savage x Fenty collection and

2) a fight breaking out between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

While there were many standout showings at NYFW, one specific show garnered attention not only from the clothing but from the choice of models. Chinese designer Claudia Li made her fashion week debut, with a cast of all East Asian models walking the runway. Li was praised widely for this. The rapper and "Crazy Rich Asians" actress Awkwafina was even seen viewing the show from the front row. However, the show has also been criticized for having exclusively Asian models.

Alongside those applauding Li's show, many claim that Li's casting decision does not promote inclusivity or diversity since all of the models are East Asian. They are correct in saying that the show is not diverse in featuring models of multiple ethnicities, but this was not Li's intent. About her show, she stated, "It's about representation within Asian women. There are so many different types of us, and we haven't been represented in a diverse way... It's time to break free from that singular definition of Asian beauty." Asian women are often placed into a single category of how they should look and act. Li's goal, therefore, was not to have a show that is diverse in multiple ethnicities, but rather to display the diversity that exists within groups of East Asian women and break away from stereotypes.

Furthermore, while the show lacks diversity in race, it is very much a push towards inclusivity. Asian models are usually the minority in runway shows, with many of these models struggling to find a position because of their ethnicity. Claudia Li's show was a place where these models were wanted and accepted. Especially in such a high-profile event as New York Fashion Week, this choice of casting can have a large impact. It sends a message that Asian models can and should be accepted, that they can be part of a successful show. Claudia Li's decision ensured that her show would draw attention and hopefully aid in a push towards progress.

Yes, Claudia Li's show only featured Asian models, but this does not mean it cannot promote inclusivity. It only means that it solely focuses on promoting the inclusion of Asian models. Those who are uncomfortable with this should try to understand from the point of view of East Asians, especially East Asian models who have felt like they would never have a chance. Alongside the success of Rich Brian's Amen, the premieres of "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Searching," the popularity of "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," and Sandra Oh's Emmy nomination, Li is contributing to the recent push towards better representation of East Asian people in American media. Her show has opened the door for Asian models and will hopefully lead to more diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry.

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