People shouldn't judge others for how they choose to freely express themselves. Tattoos, piercings, and dyed hair are forms of bodily expression that allow us to show the world who we are. I want my body to be like a work of art with loud hair and intricate tattoos. I want people to get an understanding of who I am through how I present myself, just like some people wear makeup, paint their nails, or wear a certain style of clothing. Mine just happen to be permanent or semi-permanent.

Every tattoo I have has a meaning and is placed on my body for a reason. For me having tattoos is like claiming ownership of myself and letting everyone know that I know who I am. Not everyone has a reason for a tattoo, some people just think they are beautiful and that is okay. Whatever reason someone has shouldn't have to be justified because they do not have to explain what they do to their body. Tattoos make me feel more confident and they are reminders of who I was, who I am, and what I have been through. The line work of others splayed out over my body makes me a walking art gallery. Tattoos are their own story tellers so people already get a sense of who I am just by seeing my ink. I have had people say to me that I am ruining my body and I will regret my tattoos when I am older, but I know I won't. They are a part of me and I accept who I am. You only get one life and I would rather regret doing something than regret not doing something. The constant wondering of what might of been nagging in the back of my head is worse. Some people are denied jobs because of tattoos, but as long as they aren't inappropriate they shouldn't be turned away. Their tattoos don't effect their performance.

My dyed hair makes me stand out in the crowd and it feels more me than my boring, dull brown. There is nothing wrong with brown hair, but I love seeing different colors of the rainbow in my peripheral vision. The colors capture my creative spirit and you know the saying 'blondes have more fun', well that applies to my crazy colored hair. Some people wear headbands, scrunchies, or barrettes, and I get out the dye. Having colored hair shouldn't make me an undesirable applicant for a job. My green eyes don't change my qualifications and neither should my hair.

The meaning of 'being professional' is changing and should be reevaluated. Why should I care if the person doing my taxes has gages and a lip piercing? Or if the doctor performing my shoulder surgery has tattoos from his chest to neck? Or if the person teaching my children has green hair? As long as they are qualified and their bodily expression doesn't effect their job performance, it shouldn't be a problem. I am not conventional in any sense and my bodily expression is unique. I don't fit into the mold and I shouldn't be judged for that. My body expression is under my discretion and I should be able to decide without consequence how I would like to present myself.