I Have Tattoos And I Am Still A Respectable Human Being

I Have Tattoos And I Am Still A Respectable Human Being

Don't judge a book by it's cover.... right?

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?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Your colored cream-based foundation, cream based highlight, cream based contour shade, eyebrow brush, make up sponges, thin make up brushes, sponge, and setting transluscent powder.

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Cutting My Hair Off Wasn't A Brave Decision

I just didn't have a choice.

I never considered myself a girl that defined herself by her hair.

This past May, people started to notice how long my hair was. When I would walk into my local coffee shop, I was greeted with "Hey, Rapunzel!" This past June, I had a stroke. This past September, I cut my hair off. I got a pixie cut, and I feel like a completely different person. When I had my stroke, I had a drain put in. In order to do that, they had to shave my head, but they ended up shaving only part of it.

When I finally regained consciousness, my hair was pretty much gone.

Whenever I would reach up to run my hands through it, I would hit a tube instead. I was in the neuro ICU for so long that I made friends with the charge nurse that was usually there. She braided what little hair I still had, and it made me feel like I was still a real person. She always used to ask what I planned to do with my hair. One side was completely buzzed, and the other side was about a foot long. I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I figured that I would cross that bridge when I came to it. Some nurses suggested that I leave it buzzed on one side, but just get it touched up. Others said that I should just cut it all off.

When I was finally sent from the ICU to a rehab facility, I decided that I needed to figure out what to do. I was in an inpatient rehab facility, but I didn't plan to be there for long. While I was there, my goal was not only to re-learn to walk, but also to get comfortable with touching my own head.

That seems like a really weird statement, I know. Like I said before, I had a drain coming out of my head for about two months. Eventually, it was taken out, and I got a stitch to keep it closed. Even though there was a stitch, there was still some scarring and it scabbed over. There was no hair there to distract me from the feeling of a scabbed-over wound. Right before I left ICU, they even re-buzzed my head so that they could stitch it up.

Eventually, I felt better about touching my head. I didn't notice the stitch as much as time went on. My mom trimmed up some stray hairs that they had missed when they shaved my head the first time, and I guess that I felt better.

When they eventually discharged me from rehab, I felt like the decision was more pressing than before. I stalled on it for a really long time. I blamed it on the fact that I was preoccupied with recovering, and said that I just didn't feel like deciding yet.

When I moved back into my apartment in West Virginia, six hours away from home, I figured that I really needed to decide. I could keep braiding it and flipping my hair over the buzzed side, but that was a lot of work. I could keep wearing hats and headbands, but I knew that I couldn't do that forever. Plus my hair would grow in REALLY unevenly.

My roommate convinced me that I just needed to suck it up and cut it, so I did. I hated it. A lot.

I didn't know what to do with it. Eventually, I ended up getting it actually styled. I liked that better, but I still hated it.

A lot of people would remark "Wow, you're so brave for cutting your hair!", but it wasn't brave. I just really didn't have a choice. Sure, I wish that it was a brave decision. I wish that I had decided it on my own. But I didn't. I felt backed into a corner.

You know the analogy about an animal that's chained to something? They're there for so long that they gnaw off the chained limb in order to escape. That's how I felt. My long hair was a chained limb, and I had to cut it off. Emotionally, it really hurt, and I still haven't come to terms with it.

My long hair made me feel more approachable. Whenever I'm out in public, people are less likely to approach me now that I've cut my hair. I haven't even changed my profile pictures on social media.

When I see people that I used to be friends with, I just pretend that I don't see them. I just assume that they won't recognize me. Sure, there are new tagged photos of me on Facebook, but I'm uncomfortable with every single one of them. My Tinder profile is still just photos from before my stroke. My Twitter avatar was taken only days before my stroke.

Eventually, yeah, I'll probably update my social media. But not now. I'm still not ready for it.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

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