If I had a dollar for every time someone made a negative comment about my tattoos/piercings or gave me a condescending look because of them, I’d be able to afford tattoos and piercings for the rest of my life.

Every time I wear short sleeves at work I notice a very large number of peoples' gaze go directly to the tattoo on my arm, and a disapproving look quickly comes over their face. My nose piercing also gets a lot of comments, like:

“Your parents let you do that to your face?”

“I have some pliers in my car. I can cut that off.”

“You know you have something in your nose right?” (To which I quickly ran to the bathroom, thanks Greg I had no idea I had my nose pierced!)

And yes Susan, I know my tattoos are permanent. I sure hope they are since I've literally paid hundreds of dollars for them.

Every time something like this happens, I have to smile back in their face and laugh it off when I want to scream “How do my tattoos or piercings effect you?” Spoiler: they don’t.

What I do to my body is frankly no one’s business. It’s my body and I’m going to do to it what I want. I love my tattoos and piercings. I love being able to cover my body with art. I think it’s a beautiful form of self-expression. I get that it’s not for everyone and that’s okay.

But what I can’t stand is getting looked at like less of a person for the way I choose to express myself. And before anyone says it, yes I knew when I started getting piercings and tattoos that judgmental stares and rude comments would come with it. But does that make it okay? Second spoiler: no, it doesn’t.

I don’t look at others and make comments like: “Wow, you really need to get your nose pierced” or “You know you’d look a lot better with a tattoo.” Why? Because it’s their body. They shouldn’t be ashamed for not wanting tattoos and piercings just like I shouldn’t be for wanting them.

They don’t change me as a person. If you’re going to judge me on something, judge me on how I am as a person and not on what I chose to do with my body.

It’s the 21st century; tattoos/body piercings are becoming more and more common. What someone chooses to do with their body has absolutely no effect on you.