Having Tattoos Doesn't Make You a Bad Person, Surprise Surprise

Having Tattoos Doesn't Make You a Bad Person, Surprise Surprise

Society needs to stop judging books by their covers.
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Today we live in a world that judges you on first glance. We basically judge a book by its cover without even seeing what is inside. This becomes an issue when we are also a society that likes to express ourselves in creative ways like tattoos. Tattoos are a means to freely express yourself in an art form that just so happens to be on your body. Our society has decided to label a person with many tattoos as a bad and/or trashy person.

Growing up my parents were always against tattoos and told me that I should never get any. They explained that as I grew older that it would be harder for me to find a decent job as people would judge me on the tattoos I had on my body rather than my work ethic. Unfortunately, this is all too true.

When we see a person covered in tattoos we tend to associate them with the rough crowd and this is a problem.

Just because a person is covered in tattoos doesn’t mean they can’t work as hard as me or you. Just because they are covered doesn’t mean they are a bad person. These pieces of art in no way define the type of person who stands in front of you. I know there are tattoos out there that have bad meanings and are gang related but that doesn’t mean they all are.

For my 18th birthday, I got my first tattoo with my sister and we got them on our foot and the first thought I had was “this is easy to cover up”. This is not what we should be thinking. This is not what we should have to think when we get some ink.

We should be proud and allowed to show off these amazing pieces of art. I love my tattoo and sometimes wish I could show it off a little more.

Above is my sister's tattoo. She got part one of the saying.

Above is my tattoo. I got the second part of the saying.

In my experience, those who have tattoos turn out to be more good than bad like everyone likes to think. In fact, one of my coworkers, whom I have come to love and often refer to her as my work mom, has a ton of tattoos.

And while, yes, she does have a rough background, she works harder than most of the other people I work with. She still shows up to work on time and does her job even when she is sick as a dog.

Also, my loving boyfriend has quite a few tattoos up and down both arms and he is one of the nicest and most responsible people I know. He too gets up every day and goes to work like he is supposed to and pays his bills and makes an honest living.

He is a damn good worker and thankfully his current employer didn’t have a problem with his choice of art. Despite having this body art, he is still a good person, hard worker, and just like any other person his age without ink.

We all do it. It’s human nature to look and judge other people on their looks and such, but the key here is to notice when you do it and stop. I know I have done it in the past and felt horrible about after meeting the person.

But the reality here is that we shouldn’t judge others on their choice of expression because we don’t know their story and we don’t know them.

So, next time you go out to get some ink don’t worry about hiding it, express yourself freely. Don’t let society win, let’s change it. We have the power to stop the judgment that spreads, and we have the power to change it into something better.

I know that the next time I get a tattoo, which is hopefully soon, that I will not be too concerned with the placement, but rather the meaning behind it. And when I’m walking down the street and see someone, instead of judging them, I will admire their art.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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10 Things You Need To Stop Saying To Girls With Tattoos

Mind your own business and life will be gravy.
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What is it about other people that make them feel entitled to tell you how to live your life or what to put on your body. If it's parents or another close family member and you aren't in a state to make the rational decisions for yourself, that is one thing... But if you are perfectly capable to think and act on your own, who are they to stop you?

I have four tattoos right now, do I want more? Yes. Will I get more in the future? More than likely. Should you tell me that I shouldn't? No.

1. But you're so pretty...

Is this a roundabout way to insult me? Because I wouldn't look the same with or without the tattoos? Because having tattoos somehow makes women less pretty? Whatever you're getting at, please stop.

2. I don't understand the meaning of your tattoo.

That's okay because it isn't for you to understand. That is why it is on my body. I understand the meaning, and the ones I care enough about to explain it to also understand the meaning, therefore, you don't need to.

3. Aren't you worried about them sagging or running together or becoming unrecognizable when you are older?

No, no I am not. They do and always will hold a special meaning in my heart, whether you can tell what it is or not. I will always know. It is no secret that the older you get the more the skin sags. If you care that much, then I'll just show you pictures of what they used to look like, and it will give me a good way to reminisce about my younger days.

4. Do you only date guys with tattoos?

No, I don't. But, it just so happens that my boyfriend has one, and we have been together since before either one of us got tattoos. He did actually get a little hotter after the fact, but that is beside the point.

5. Did it hurt?

No, I just had a needle being rapidly punctured into my skin at who knows how many times per second.

YES, it hurts.

But, not for long, and to me, that might even be the appeal of getting tattoos because it is nice to feel pain every once in a while to remind ourselves we are all human and we all bleed red.

Yes, depending on the spot and your body type sometimes you bleed. I got my first tattoo on my rib cage, and I got my second tattoo a short few months later, not to say they didn't hurt but for me, the end result outweighs the pain in that moment.

Pain is temporary, but tattoos are forever.

6. What do your parents think?

Whatever they want to think, honestly. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have parents who love me for who I am regardless of my tattoos.

With that being said, they all have tattoos themselves.

They can give me their opinion on the design I choose, but at the end of the day, I am an adult and they aren't going to love me any less if I were to get a tattoo that is not appealing to them.

7. You're going to have such a hard time finding a job.

Actually, I have a job, I know plenty of people in their "adult" jobs that have tattoos and mine are all easily covered if the problem ever arises. Also, you don't know me or my career goals so once again, who are you to tell me about my life?

8. I'm thinking of getting [insert tattoo here], what do you think?

You do you, boo boo. If you like it, GREAT. If it has or doesn't have meaning to you, also GREAT. I don't want you telling me or judging me on the tattoos I decide to put on my body, so I'm sure as hell not going to do it to you.

I may not think it would be good to put on my body, but once again, I am not the one getting it, you are... So have at it!

9. Why would you waste your money on those things?

Idk Sarah, why do you waste money on that expensive ass bottle of liquor knowing it's going to be gone in a few hours, and you will feel like crap the next day? At least mine is permanent and makes me feel empowered ALL THE TIME, unlike your alcohol, that is temporary.

10. When are you going to stop?

When are you?

They all have a very special meaning to me. I won't get a tattoo that doesn't have meaning to me but I WILL NOT judge you for doing it. Because who am I to tell you what to do with your own body. So stop saying these things to women.

Mind ya own business and life will be gravy.

Cover Image Credit: Kayce Davis

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This One’s For Africa

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Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.

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It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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