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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Yes, I Had A Stroke And I'm Only 20

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
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Recently, I read an article on Cosmo that was written by a woman that had a stroke at the ripe old age of 23. For those of you who don't know, that really doesn't happen. Young people don't have strokes. Some do, but it's so incredibly uncommon that it rarely crosses most people's minds. Her piece was really moving, and I related a lot -- because I had a stroke at 20.

It started as a simple headache. I didn't think much of it because I get headaches pretty often. At the time, I worked for my parents, and I texted my mom to tell her that I'd be late to work because of the pain. I had never experienced a headache like that, but I figured it still wasn't something to worry about. I went about my normal routine, and it steadily got worse. It got to the point that I literally threw up from the pain. My mom told me to take some Tylenol, but I couldn't get to our kitchen. I figured that since I was already in the bathroom, I would just take a shower and hope that the hot steam would relax my muscles, and get rid of my headache. So I turned the water on in the shower, and I waited for it to get hot.

At this point, I was sweating. I've never been that warm in my life. My head was still killing me. I was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, trying to at least cope with the pain. Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I picked up my phone to call 911, but I couldn't see the screen. I couldn't read anything. I laid down on the floor and tried to swipe from the lock screen to the emergency call screen, but I couldn't even manage that. My fine motor skills were completely gone. My fingers wouldn't cooperate, even though I knew what buttons needed to be pressed. Instead of swiping to the emergency call screen, I threw my phone across the room. "Okay," I thought, "Large muscle groups are working. Small ones are not".

I tried getting up. That also wasn't happening. I was so unstable that I couldn't stay standing. I tried turning off the running water of the shower, but couldn't move the faucet. Eventually, I gave up on trying to move anywhere. "At what point do I just give up and lie on the floor until someone finds me?" That was the point. I ended up lying on the floor for two hours until my dad came home and found me.

During that two hours, I couldn't hear. My ears were roaring, not even ringing. I tried to yell, but I couldn't form a sentence. I was simply stuck, and couldn't do anything about it. I still had no idea what was going on.

When the ambulance finally got there, they put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the back. "Are you afraid of needles or anything?" asked one EMT. "Terrified," I responded, and she started an IV without hesitation. To this day, I don't know if that word actually came out of my mouth, but I'm so glad she started the IV. She started pumping pain medicine, but it didn't seem to be doing anything.

We got to the hospital, and the doctors there were going to treat me for a migraine and send me on my merry way. This was obviously not a migraine. When I could finally speak again, they kept asking if I was prone to migraines. "I've never had a migraine in my whole life," I would say. "Do you do any drugs?" they would ask. "No," I repeated over and over. At this point, I was fading in and out of consciousness, probably from the pain or the pain medicine.

At one point, I heard the doctors say that they couldn't handle whatever was wrong with me at our local hospital and that I would need to be flown somewhere. They decided on University of Maryland in Baltimore. My parents asked if I wanted them to wait with me or start driving, so I had them leave.

The helicopter arrived soon after, and I was loaded into it. 45 minutes later, I was in Baltimore. That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital two weeks later. I had a drain in my head, a central port, and an IV. I honestly didn't know what had happened to me.

As it turns out, I was born with a blood vessel malformation called an AVM. Blood vessels and arteries are supposed to pass blood to one another smoothly, and mine simply weren't. I basically had a knot of blood vessels in my brain that had swelled and almost burst. There was fluid in my brain that wouldn't drain, which was why my head still hurt so bad. The doctors couldn't see through the blood and fluid to operate, so they were simply monitoring me at that point.

When they could finally see, they went in to embolize my aneurysm and try to kill the AVM. After a successful procedure, my headache was finally starting to subside. It had gone from a 10 on the pain scale (which I don't remember), to a 6 (which was when I had started to be conscious), and then down to a 2.

I went to rehab after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to rehab. There, I learned simple things like how to walk and balance, and we tested my fine motor skills to make sure that I could still play the flute. Rehab was both physically and emotionally difficult. I was constantly exhausted.

I still have a few lingering issues from the whole ordeal. I have a tremor in one hand, and I'm mostly deaf in one ear. I still get headaches sometimes, but that's just my brain getting used to regular blood flow. I sleep a lot and slur my words as I get tired. While I still have a few deficits, I'm lucky to even be alive.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

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Why Jameela Jamil's 'i weigh' Movement Is Important

It's 2018... Shouldn't we stop placing a woman's worth on her appearance?

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If you've been following pop culture I'm sure the name Jameela Jamil has popped once on your screens. She plays the ever flawed but lovable Tahani in NBC's The Good Place. But what she's been getting attention lately for is her campaign 'i weigh.'

'i weigh' is a "movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look beyond the flesh on our bones," as the Instagram bio of the account reads. Jamil has been quite candid with her opinion about her own struggles with weight and body image while also calling out influencers like the Kardashians for promoting a culture where a woman's worth is based on her figure. She has openly criticized the very casual body shaming advertisements that are found even at Times Square by companies that promote waist slimmers, appetite suppressing lollies etc…

Her recent interview with Channel 4 News has been trending on different social media platforms, with the companies who she criticises hitting back with comments on her own figure as a hypocrite. To say she responds with grace and humor is an understatement, Jamil has been very candid about how much these notions of how a woman's body should look like affected her, with her Instagram detailing how her younger self would have scrutinized one of her recent photoshoots (which honestly, I can't even see cause girl look flawless).

Her honesty and sincerity to promote women to love themselves for their achievements and struggles have gotten the attention of the internet with nearly 140k followers on the @i_weigh Instagram handle and 348k followers on her own Instagram handle.

The 'i weigh' Instagram handle is honestly the most positive and uplifting pages, with everyday women and celebs alike submitting unedited pictures of themselves with a list of things they define them and not the oh so perfect body. With women of various ages, races and sizes participating Jamil have tapped into something many of us forget to do in this crazy fast-paced world… loving yourself.

With her uplifting message of loving yourselves and celebrating each other and not placing your worth on your physical experience irregardless of your gender, Jameela Jamil is the type of woman you should follow. It also helps that she's ridiculously funny and wonderful and so easy to love!


Jameela on what she weighshttps://www.instagram.com/jameelajamilofficial/?hl=en


The post that started everything...https://www.instagram.com/jameelajamilofficial/?hl=en

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