When I turned 18 about three weeks ago, one of the first things I did was get my first tattoo. The tattoo I got, shown below, was something that I got to commemorate my battle with depression and anxiety, and a reminder to never stop fighting.
"Stop holding me under and let me breathe", art by Lex Miranda at Flesh Electric Tattoo in San Antonio, Texas
Something that is popularly debated in society today is the hiring of people with tattoos and whether or not they are acceptable to have in a work setting. Obviously, my first piece is not visible to the public eye unless I wanted it to be, which saved me the trouble of having to prove myself as any more professional than someone with "clean" skin. Many people asked if I was sure that my tattoo was something I wanted on my skin forever, which was a valid question. But the question that really put me on edge was if I was sure I could still get a job although there was ink on my skin, especially after I got my second tattoo in a more visible area.
"It is what it is", art by Chrissy at Flesh Electric Tattoo in San Antonio, Texas
My tattoos do not affect my personality or my professionalism, but the meaning behind them does reflect it. They do not mean that I work less diligently than the person in the office next to me because I have artwork on my skin and they do not, or that I am rough, gruff, or rowdy, which are all adjectives that I have heard describing people who have tattoos. My tattoos reflect my strength and courage, and my will to move forward and persevere. My body is simply a canvas, and after all, it is my body.