In spite of powerful movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, women still often times find themselves defined by the way they look versus the stuff that's actually important (like I don't know, what's in our brains maybe?) Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have dangerously shaped our understanding of beauty and the impossible standards we must attain to achieve it.
Unfortunately, women who present a representation of alternative lifestyles are more subject to this type of bodily discrimination, more specifically, women with tattoos.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, the popular opinion is that a woman with tattoos must be risky, dangerous and to many with limited understandings of the complexities of womanhood, promiscuous. This stigma is not only uncalled for but incredibly untrue.
Is the idea that a woman with tattoos must love pain and for some reason, that means they also love random sexual encounters? Or perhaps that a tattooed woman is just starving for attention and covered her body in an effort to garner said attention? Or maybe, just maybe, neither of those things are true. Maybe women with tattoos simply like the way they look.
I'm sure for many the idea of a woman being satisfied with her appearance is so hard to fathom that they instead have to make up fabricated realities that explain why a woman would want to have tattoos in the first place. They may say things like:
"She must have Daddy issues."
"Oh, you already know she's a FREAK."
"She probably sleeps around."
"Yeah, only sluts get lower back tattoos."
These are all assumptions I'm sure many of us are guilty of making when seeing a woman who doesn't reflect society's traditional notions of what a "lady" looks like. We see a woman covered in body art and we immediately assume the worst things about her instead of acknowledging her individualism and creativity.
Well, I'm here to assure you that's complete and utter bullshit.
I myself have 13 tattoos and I never sleep around. Not because I think there's anything wrong with healthy expressions of sexual desire, but because that's just not who I am. In fact, I know plenty of girls who more accurately represent the "cookie cutter woman" and have had more one night stands than my tattooed pals and I combined.
The point here is that sexual promiscuity has zero correlation to having tattoos, wearing sexy clothing or posting racy selfies on our Snapchats. If a woman feels empowered by her own self-love enough to present that to the world, it doesn't mean she also wants to suck your dick.
While this concept may be difficult for some to come to terms with, it's true. For most of our lives we have been bombarded by the idea that we should not judge a book by its cover, and yet it seems we don't know how to do much of anything else.
If you can't accept that women with tattoos are just women and women without tattoos can be freaky as hell, well good luck getting laid.