Having Tattoos Doesn't Make You A Bad Person

Having Tattoos Doesn't Make You A Bad Person

How I wish you would perceive me.
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Many individuals who come from some Latino background probably know the consequences of getting a tattoo, and if they went through with it, they understand the horror of revealing to your family! God bless you!

I come from a household where we were raised in an odd way. Most Latina mothers will always say, "If you get a tattoo, te voy a chingar" (I'm going to kick your...), but my mom wasn't ever truly against tattoos, despite how her mother was about them. She hated them and especially believed that women shouldn't have them. In her days though, tattoos were more for gangs and such, so I understand why they have such a bad connotation.

But here's the thing: though they had tattoos to represent their gangs and such, at least it represented something dear to them, though it wasn't something particularly good.

Regardless, there are a thousand different reasons why you would get a tattoo, but there is always a similarity in why we get them: they mean something to us. Whether it be that you want your body to act as a canvas for beautiful art or you have a story to tell with each of them, they are yours and only yours. Employers and families should understand that before judging someone's character.

Tattoos, along with piercings and colored hair, give many people a terrible stigma, but in fact, most of us who have all of these are actually great people.

I went to a high school where I couldn't have colored hair, piercings or tattoos because it "gave off a bad image of the school." I worked as an Ambassador representing the student body, though it wasn't truthful.

There are more to these students than the black and white version you place us as.

I wasn't some kid who loved STEM or was very much close to his faith. I didn't identify with what my school had us be, let alone who I portrayed myself as. I truly loved my high school but I should have a right to express myself and be free from persecution.

Now that I have graduated, I've had the freedom to express myself the way I want. I have blonde hair now and piercings and most recently got my first tattoo--first of many! Tattoos to me have always been a beautiful piece of artwork you can display on your body, but more importantly, as my mother taught me, they were something that had meaning.

Despite my grandmother hating tattoos, I got one of her signature. The words, "Delia Fajardo" are spelled below my collarbone because she is forever in my heart. She helped me become the man that I am today, and though not all of us can find something that meaningful in our lives sometimes, you should get something that represents you in some shape or form because tattoos are one of the greatest ways of expression!

This is a note for anyone who either doesn't like tattoos or perceives those with tattoos are "bad" or "unemployable:" don't judge us on our appearance! We can do things that would surprise you and you will never know our value until you give us a chance. We have talents and gifts like everyone else and we would love to show you if you're willing to see us for who we are. We don't get these because we are trying to make you hate us; rather, we get these because they are a representation of ourselves. They show you who we are because we aren't afraid of showing it and making it known!

So please, I beg you, look at us the way you look at your friends or your family and see us as people because our preferences shouldn't leave a perception of how I work or how I treat others. All they are are ways to express ourselves like everyone does every day of their lives. Except we do it through art.

Cover Image Credit: Justin Camero

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.



































Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Louis Walsh Groping Mel B On Live TV Proves Rape Culture Is Alive and Well

Allowing perpetrators to get away with "minor" sexual harassment like this allows the Brock Turners of the world to get away with their crimes, too.

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Recently a clip from an Xtra Factor UK interview from 2014 has resurfaced on Twitter. The clip shows Louis Walsh groping Mel B's butt and, after being called out on it by her, laughing the whole situation off.

You can see his hand slowly travel downward, then tapping her bottom before finally squeezing it while laughing at a conversation going on. Mel B notices it and is visibly uncomfortable. She stops the interview and asks him why he's grabbing her butt, and while he excuses his behavior as "looking out for her" and Simon assures her she's "safe," she insists that it's inappropriate and scoots further away from him.

In turn, he and Simon laugh off the entire exchange, he scoots closer to her, and the interviewer, Sarah Jane Crawford, continues the interview. We never get to see how Mel B's female co-star, Cheryl Cole, reacts to the whole situation.

This exchange was cut from the final clip posted by the X Factor UK, but a Twitter user recorded the exchange, presumably from a recording of the live broadcast, and posted it. It has since divided Twitter users.

Some say Mel B was completely justified while others insist that because Louis Walsh is gay, he meant no harm by his fondling and Mel B calling him out only served to embarrass him.

Good. I hope so.

One Twitter user pointed out that his sexual orientation is irrelevant:

tweet

Nothing rings truer than "sexual assault isn't about sex, it's about asserting power and dominance." It doesn't matter if he didn't intend to derive any kind of pleasure from the encounter. What matters is that, in a sexual situation, Mel B was uncomfortable and it was Louis's fault.

People rushing to Louis's defense is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our culture. They're quick to disbelieve and blame the woman, the victim, instead of the perpetrator.

The eagerness to sweep the instance under the carpet allows perpetrators to feel more confident, knowing they won't be punished for their actions. When a man gets away with groping a woman on live TV, men and women in places of power everywhere will be emboldened to touch and speak to others however they please.

It may sound extreme at first, but this whole situation is rape culture.

These small allowances plant the seeds to turn a blind eye to bigger, more awful situations—until we're at the point where a man can rape an unconscious woman and only get three months of jail time because his bright and promising future shouldn't be marred by "20 minutes of action."

We can't allow instances like this. We have to come down hard on any and all forms of sexual harassment, with the punishment fitting the crime (PSA: sexual harassment is an actual crime, not "something that just happens").

Obviously, Louis Walsh shouldn't be treated like Brock Turner. But his actions should've been punished, probably more than just by simply calling him out on live TV, an exchange ultimately cut from the final posted clip anyway.

If Mel B had waited until they were no longer on live TV and his hand was no longer touching her, it would've been slightly out of place to bring it up. It's much like how when a child does something wrong or dangerous, you point it out right then; you don't wait. She could've still talked to him about it in private, but in addition to having called him out on it right when it was happening.

Not only was Mel B justified in calling out Louis Walsh, but any person in a similar situation is as well.

If you're ever in a situation that's even slightly sexual and you feel uncomfortable, say something. Don't let the other person get away with it. And if they're not ill-intentioned and truly didn't mean to make you uneasy, then they can learn from you voicing your discomfort.

It doesn't matter the situation or who's doing or saying something sexual that makes you feel uncomfortable. The voice of shame and self-blaming will find any way to justify their actions and keep you silent. Don't let it.

No matter how big or small the instance may seem to you, it's worth speaking up about.

Cover Image Credit:

The X Factor UK

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