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.

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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You Are Worthy

For When Comparison Isn't the Greatest Pastime.

1 Samuel 16:7 - "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven't selected him. God doesn't look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.' "

In our world today, it's easier to be consistently unsure of our worth than feel 100% comfortable with the person that we are. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and even Facebook display memorable pictures of friends that can make it easy to compare ourselves to, sometimes without even realizing it.

Yes, we would all love to look out at Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, or spend the entire summer on California's beaches like our friends posted about. Don't forget about that annoyingly cute couple you graduated with that seems to pop up on your feed almost everyday.

Why do we feel so threatened by the happiness of others posted online?

We're all human, and sadly it's in our nature to feel this way.

Matthew 15:19 - "Out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults."

Whoa, that was a huge jump from comparison in social media. Let's think about it. Everybody has a distinct person on social media we believe has it so good, you probably already had him/her in mind.

How many times have you tried to discredit other aspects of their life? Obviously you think their social category is an overachievement.

Examples: Family has money? He buys his way onto good select teams. Nice body? She sleeps around a lot, anyway.

Not the greatest mindset, but a true one.

Romans 12:3 - "Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you."

Let's start believing in our own achievements instead of comparing them to the success of others.

No two people have the exact same mindset, or share similar backgrounds that define themselves today. While you feel like you don't add up in comparison to another, that same person may reciprocate that feeling as well. Even if nobody is envious of your life, does that mean you aren't worthy?

Your life is not determined by the likes or follows you have on a social media platform. By focusing on the confirmation the world gives us, we build a false hope that comes to a dead-end every time.

Romans 12:2 tells us, "Don't be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God's will is - what is good and pleasing nature."

Our worthiness will never be based off of what the world says about us, but what we can say to the world. Our society is filled with confused souls who could use the truth, so let's speak it.

The good news will always be the good news, so why aren't we sharing it more?

When Jesus gave His life for ours, he didn't wait until people had their iPhone cameras pointed at him to put on their "stories". He didn't wait around afterwards to take the perfect picture to fit his page's aesthetic. He followed The Father, and fulfilled His wishes.

Let's keep it real.

Let's speak the truth.

Let's be raw about the realities of our lives.

Most of the time, social media accounts don't testify to the person's true life, but rather show a cropped timeline of the highlighted moments in it.

The Lord knows our heart, so should the world.

Galatians 6:4-5 - "Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves to others. Each person will have to carry their own load."

You are worthy.

Cover Image Credit: Costa Mesa

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Yes, Your Feminism Should Be Intersectional

Celebrate and embrace all Women.

This women’s history month, we are celebrating the women in our lives that are close to us as well as women all around the world. During this month and at this time in our society, it is important more than ever that we uplift and celebrate all those who identify as women. The only way that we can do this is is by practicing intersectional feminism.

Intersectional feminism aims to recognize how women of different backgrounds experience oppression.

It shines a light on identities we hold that directly intersect with our identities as women.

Yes, we all share the identity of a woman, but our backgrounds, identities are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow.

Women of color, transgender women, lesbian women, bisexual women, asexual women, women with disabilities, women with mental illness, old women, young girls, women with diverse body types, poor women, immigrant women, there are so many women. Intersectional feminism looks to not only celebrate but uplift them and their experiences which mainstream feminism has a bad habit of leaving out.

From theearly days of traditional feminism, the movement has focused and highlighted the experiences of middle class, white women, which is leaving out a lot of other types of women.

A movement for women cannot be effective if it doesn't recognize and address the needs of all women.

Due to the fact that many women hold intersecting identities, it is almost impossible to solely focus on their identity as women because it goes hand in hand with other identities that they hold.

For example, a woman of color cannot separate her racial identity from her gender identity because the two are so closely intertwined. For example, it has been widely noted that women only make 78 cents to a man's dollar, however that only recognizes what white women are paid to a man's dollar.

Looking at it through an intersectional lens sees that black women make 63 cents to the man's dollar and Latinx women make 50 cents to a man's dollar.

By looking at this example it's clear that some women face different challenges than other women and looking at from only a mainstream perspective ignores the vast majority of women and their experiences.

It is because of this that, if you identify as a feminist, you should try to make sure that your feminism reflects and embraces intersectionality in order to fully recognize all women and their identities.

One way to practice intersectional feminism is to examine the privileges that you hold and how you can use them to uplift other women that are not privileged in those areas.

Privileges are places where we hold more power in society than others. For example, a white woman that is able-bodied identifies as cisgender, and has food and shelter, holds privilege in those areas. These are privileges that not every woman has, and it shapes their experience of the world.

You should also listen to other women from different backgrounds and try practicing feminism through a more broad, more inclusive lens. It's very crucial to learn and understand the experiences of women with different and less privileged identities. By doing so, you'll be able to uplift the voices of women who have less power in society.

When we embrace intersectional feminism, it is a way to truly embrace and celebrate different kinds of women and validate their identities that go hand in hand with identifying as women.

So this women’s history month be sure to uplift and celebrate all women.


Cover Image Credit: PEXELS

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