When you hear the phrase "matching tattoos", you will probably have an opinion about it cross your mind. Is it disgust because you have a stigma against them? Is it indifference because you understand the choices others make don't matter? Is it joy because you have one yourself? Regardless of what it may be for you as an individual, there is a huge stigma against matching tattoos.

I have several matching tattoos personally, one of them is with my mom. The one I get the biggest reaction with is the one located on my left ankle. It was my first tattoo and it was a matching tattoo... with a guy that is now my ex. The second I say that the majority of the reactions I get are insulting. "Why were you so stupid to get a matching tattoo with a boyfriend?" It's usually a jab at my intelligence first. However, if someone meant enough to me to get a matching permanent reminder of them, how could I ever possibly regret it? Mind you, he was a pretty awful dude. My permanent tattoo reminds me of how much I grew with him and how much I learned for the future and so many other good things. It reminds me of happy memories not just revolving around him but about that period in my life. How in the world could you ever expect me to regret something like that? Who are you to judge my intelligence based off of it either?

I did a poll on matching tattoos a while back. I asked 28 people about matching tattoos with a romantic partner and a friend/ family member to see how they felt. Of that 28, 61% (17 people) said they would get a matching tattoo with a romantic partner and 93% (26 people) said they would get a matching tattoo with someone who wasn't a significant other. To my surprise, 23% (6 people) said they already had a matching tattoo with someone, but none of them had one with a romantic partner.

When asked why they wouldn't get a matching tattoo with a significant other, the answers didn't surprise me yet they still saddened me. Most of them said the same thing: what if they leave you and you're stuck with that reminder? So many people have this mindset and it's actually pretty sad to me. I'm not saying get their face on your body or their name on your forehead, but just a little symbol that they played an important role in your life when you needed them most. The fact that so many people, even people around my age, STILL have this stigma against it is pretty sad. The fact that no one can see how meaningful they are and how they can be a great thing is sad.

While you're free to have your own thoughts and opinions on them, don't judge someone based off of that. You have no idea what that tattoo means to that person and it's close-minded of you to project that stigma onto someone else. While you're free to have your own opinions on any topic, it's important to be mindful of how your opinion could affect someone you care for and how it can alter their self-esteem. Try to have an open mind and an open heart, you could change some of your opinions.