Expression Or Impression?

Expression Or Impression?

Personality is more than skin deep.
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As merely a freshman in high school, there were individuals, including my friends, who were getting tattoos. During this time, my grandmother was going through the beginning stages of Alzheimer's with no hope of improvement so I decided I wanted a tattoo dedicated to the memories that I cherished with her so that I would always have a piece of her wherever I was. After a lot of internal conflict and debate, I finally decided to bring it up to my parents. At this point, I was sixteen and still wanted this more than anything. So I went home one day to my two loving parents and asked if they would sign off on a tattoo for me that meant something very important, I would pay for it myself with the money I earned from my part-time job and would not be obnoxiously large (thinking that would get me further) As quickly as I brought it up, they shut me down with the reasoning "It will be on your body forever and it's trashy!" I didn't understand at the time. Why would they not let me have a tattoo? What was so wrong with wanting to express myself so that everyone can see? How was a tribute with flowers and a hummingbird trashy?

As I advanced through high school, graduation was soon approaching as was the ominous "Senior Project." This is where you create a presentation on what you would like to do for the rest of your life and some aspect of that job. As we were preparing to do this, we were informed that we would be taught how to dress professionally for this project by a guest speaker who had the job of hiring individuals for her team. One of the first things she pointed out was that you should never have any tattoos showing. She admitted to disregarding many individuals when they walked in the door due to their outward appearance. Even if they had a great interview, showing tattoos was always a mark against them. The fact that they were looking for a job in the first place, with some sort of education and willing to come for an interview never seemed to be a factor to her.

The fact of the matter is, during the era that today's employers were from, the only types of people who had tattoos were delinquents and, on the opposite side, individuals that were in the armed forces, in which case, they were already technically employed by our government, so they weren't looking for work, and even if they were, they were respected for their service, and the tattoos seemed to be disregarded. When employers look at who walked through that door and saw any type of body modification, they were immediately turned off due to the fact that. This has translated into today's world in the fact that that is always how they will see these works of art. This is not true of all employers, however, but it is true of quite a few. The tattoo argument is very much attributed to the generational gap. Individuals that decide to get tattoos nowadays are people you would never expect. Teachers, healthcare providers, lawyers, you name it.

Having a tattoo does not automatically imply that you are some sort of menace to society anymore. However, this is how the generation before us who are now our bosses think of them. Of course, if someone walks in the door with some sort of symbol involving hate or persecution, it is seen as a huge deterrent to their possibility of employment to anyone of any age.

Overall, I do not believe that is how today's generation should be judged for the simple fact that the way someone expresses themselves does not determine their personal quality. Tattoos are no longer a determination of someone's social class or personal lives, it is an expression of individuality and commitment. Don't judge a book by its cover, whether it be colorful or not.

Cover Image Credit: LYNN MONTY/FREE PRESS

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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11 Things All Beauty Wannabes Think Watching A Makeup Tutorial

I thought baking was for food only.

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Even though I don't wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, I can appreciate it as an art. I watch James Charles, Jeffree Star, and the like on YouTube pretty frequently, and I am continually blown away at how they use products to highlight their best features, create designs, and transform their face. As much as I'd like to be able to, I don't think I will ever have those skills.

Here are some of the thoughts that run through my mind while watching a makeup tutorial.

1. "This MUA has so many makeup products I don't know how they keep track of it all."

At least for the YouTubers I watch, they have beauty or makeup rooms that have drawers, shelves, and tables filled with every makeup product from every brand. I don't know how they keep track of it all and decide which products to use for that particular look.

2. "They have such nice skin the foundation doesn't even seem necessary."

Practically every MUA video starts off with the MUA complaining about their acne breakouts, even though their skin looks absolutely flawless. Sure, the foundation makes their face look better, but it also seems like a waste to cover up naturally good skin.

3. "How do you match your foundation shade?"

It seems like an impossible feat, but even the MUAs struggle too. James Charles made a video about this after receiving comments about his foundation always being too orange.

4. "The highlight just makes their face look sweaty."

Yeah it looks cool, yeah it's a pop of fun, but I will always contend that overall, it just looks like sparkly sweat.

5. "What does the 'baking' step even do?"

You apply this white powder to your face, let it sit while you do other parts of the makeup routine, then brush it all off. What does it do while it's just sitting there? Plus, to me, their face doesn't even look that different in the before and after.

6. "With all the palettes and all the colors, how do they decide which shades to use?"

Between all the palettes of eyeshadow, they certainly have dozens, if not hundreds, of purple shades. Likely many of them are about the same hue too. So how do they decide which purple shade is best for the look?

7. "That has to be the most perfect winged eyeliner I've ever seen."

And they got it on the first try.

8. "They were able to make the other eye to match."

Between the eyeshadow and eyeliner, it's a mirror image.

9. "False eyelashes look scary but also really pretty."

I'm not personally a fan of the really big falsies, but I have to admit that they look better than natural eyelashes. It's just the gluing something to your eyeball part that makes me never want to try it.

10. "Wow, the lipstick just really brings the look together."

It's always the last step, so it's not until this point that they say "the look is complete."

11. "Even if I'd put in a lot of effort, I don't think I could ever replicate this look."

The whole point of a tutorial is so the audience can try it at home, but it will never truly look the same.

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