Tattoos, man. Where do I even start?

So, I got my very first tattoo underage, but with my mother's permission. My brother was deploying and I had wanted to get his Navy pilot wings tattoo'd for a while and that just seemed like a fitting time to do it. Don't get me wrong, I was totally way too young to be getting a tattoo but my mid-teen self thought nothing of it. I just wanted that tattoo.

Four years and four tattoo's later I'm hooked. Being a Graphic Design major I got extremely lucky to be in a field that is so unbelievably accepting of things slightly out of the norm- whether that be in your work or in your style. Dyed hair, tattoo's, piercings, we've all got 'em, and that's the way I like it. Sure, I may not be tatted from head to toe, but I've got a couple that people are skeptical of when they see them.

Tattoo's used to have a very dirty connotation associated with them. They were something that bikers and pirates and "thugs" used to have and I was always taught that they were a little taboo, but nothing too crazy. Now, as a young adult who can form her own views, I would never talk badly about someone's tattoos. I find them creative and beautiful and interesting and I will never understand why there are people in this world who don't.

I may have tattoos, but I should be still just as eligible for a job as anyone else. I am just as qualified to get my Graphic Design degree- or any other degree I would want to pursue even with my tattoos. Tattoo's don't cloud good judgment and they aren't any indication of somebody's intelligence level. Tattoos are a way of expression, a beautiful and amazing thing if you think about it. People like myself have been passionate enough about a design that we have gone through the pain to have it permanently inked into my skin and if that's not pretty bad ass then I couldn't tell you what is.

I am in a sorority, I still pray before dinner with my family, I can make some beautiful art and surprise- all are done with tattoo's peppering my skin. Just like going to church doesn't necessarily make you a good person, having tattoo's is not necessarily an indication of a bad one. I am still a college student pursuing a degree, I'm a lifeguard in the summer who works with children and camps and I attended Catholic School for a large portion of my life. Respectable qualities? I think so.

Without knowing that I had any tattoos, people often don't think of me to be someone who does have them. I'm not sure if this upsets me or not, but it definitely does disappoint me. What does that even mean? "You don't look like someone who would have tattoos." What??? What does that kind of person look like then? Is there a specific type of person who can get tattoo's and unless you're that kind of a person you can't get them?? If so, I need to become one of those people.

Tattoo's are something I feel so strongly about because I am a designer and I see the design elements that come along with creating a tattoo. I have just recently designed my fifth tattoo and I think that's one of my coolest accomplishments by far. I created something that I loved so much that I want it on my body forever. Yeah, that's wicked sick and I don't care who thinks otherwise. *flips hair*

I just ask those who are so against tattoos to rethink why they are. What is honestly so bad about them? If I have a couple of tattoos, does that negatively affect YOU? Nope. It's 2017, how about we stop judging others for creative expression and instead applaud them for being different than yourself?