Ever since I was a child, I have appreciated tattoos as an art-form and have considered them a wonderful method of self-expression, and to have something meaningful or happiness-inducing permanently etched onto your body is such an amazing thing.

However, I am very aware of the stigma attached with tattoos, and I’ve been engaged in multiple conversations with others who are personally against or not particularly fond of them. That being said, why is the stigma still so prevalent in our societies? Granted, I know that it’ll never truly go away, as people will always be entitled to their own opinions, but why do some people have to be so against them?

The main argument I hear when others explain why I shouldn’t get a tattoo (or why tattoos are bad in general) is that it’ll make it harder for me to get a job. The way I see it - if a tattoo is the main reason as to why I can’t land a job, I should probably try working harder so that I can make my potential employer overlook the body ink and focus on my personal skills and talents instead. And yes, I’ll admit - I’m probably being really naive since life isn’t like the movies and society can be really unfair. Nonetheless, this is the standpoint I’m sticking with.

The next most common thing I hear about tattoos is that they aren’t “classy.” Well, I took the liberty of looking up the definition just for anyone out there who wants facts, and the words I have compiled are as follows.

>> Classy (adjective) - stylish; elegant; respectful

Who’s to say that tattoos aren’t stylish or elegant? Everyone has their own definition of these two words, so we should respect all versions of such. Also, I didn’t know that having a tattoo would suddenly deprive me of respectfulness, sophistication, and professionalism. Unless I didn’t read the study that tattoo ink sinks into the skin and turns an individual’s personality into that of a rude, dull, snobbish, and crude individual, I don’t think this should be an argument against having a tattoo.

And finally…

“Victoria, what if you regret the tattoos in the future?”

Tattoos are forever. They’re permanent. They’re a commitment that many people don’t want to have, but so is marriage, and people get married all the time.

I can’t speak for everyone out there with a tattoo (or for those who want to get one), but the tattoos that I want will hold special meaning to me. The fact that I have been wanting the same tattoo for several years should be enough of an indication that it’s not an impulsive decision or design.

So all in all, with all things considered, this social stigma behind tattoos needs to go. It’s 2017 and we must all learn to appreciate others and simply mind our own business.

“They keep track of time. Sometimes things happen and you feel that you need to mark them down.”

― Scott O'Connor