Tattoos Are A Form Of Art

Tattoos Are A Form Of Art

Self expression through tattoos shouldn't be frowned upon.
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After landing at the Denver International Airport several days ago, one of the first things I noticed was the many people in Colorado who have tattoos. From the waitress at a local vegan restaurant in Boulder to passerby on the street, to the young college students and middle-aged bikers alike, a much greater number of people in Colorado seem to have chosen to be inked than where I'm from South Carolina, the heart of the Bible Belt.

People choose to get tattoos for many reasons. Some get a tattoo on a whim simply because they think it looks nice, some get one to commemorate something important to them, and some to pay respect to a lost loved one.

Many have chosen a semicolon tattoo, for example, to raise suicide and mental health awareness.

Are any of these people wrong? No, I don't believe so. Of course, I do think some measure of consideration should come before permanently inking your body.

However, my first tattoo was a small flower on my ankle gotten more or less on a whim my second day as a freshman in college. It's a symbol from one of my favorite books in high school, and I'm still just as happy with it nearly two years later.

Still, certain religious beliefs condemn tattoos.

As for Christianity, Leviticus 19:28 says "do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord."



This leads some Christians to have strong opinions against tattoos. I once attended a church with a fundamentalist Christian who wanted me to cover up my tattoo, even though it was only a small tattoo of a flower, and hardly noticeable (I refused to do so.)

After researching the subject, I learned that many Christians have varied opinions. Some do not see tattoos as a problem at all, and some have tattoos which represent their faith. Some argue that when looking at the language and context of this biblical verse critically, our modern word "tattoo," meant something different in that time period.

There were no tattoo parlors. It would have meant something much more violent, closer to slashing the skin. Others argue that the verse seems to address a Pagan tradition of the time and that the verse therefore only addresses Pagan tattoos.

Some believe that it is just another Old Testament verse Christians no longer need to follow, such as not cutting your hair (Leviticus 19:27) or not wearing clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19) and many more.

For those who are not religious, some still make the argument that "you'll regret getting a tattoo when you're sixty!" But if the tattoo was meaningful to you at some point in your life, why should you regret it later on?

Tattoos are a unique form of self-expression, art, creativity, and free-thinking. If you don't want one, then don't get one: but certainly don't shame others for having one. And if you want one, then get one! Don't let the negative or outdated beliefs of others stop you. Tattoos are a beautiful thing.





Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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