I guess you could call me ‘heavily tattooed’ if you really wanted to. I have a few on my arms running down to my elbows. A few on my fingers, across my feet, behind my ear and even on my lip. They’re pretty discreet if you ask me -- many people don't even notice that I have any, but if you counted you would get thirteen. The thing is, none of that really matters because I think they’re beautiful and they're my favorite part of me.

I got my first tattoo pretty young. A lot of people told me “you’re probably going to regret that when you’re older,” to which I’d usually reply with a nice “bite me.”

A handful of years and a few tattoos down the line, not much has changed. Since tattoo number one, my body and my taste in almost everything has completely changed. I’ve gone through 8 hair colors, 7 jean sizes and thousands of "favorite things," but what hasn’t changed was how much I love those tattoos I got years ago.

I’ve worked in the service industry since I got my first job. I’ve worked in several restaurants and I’ve encountered all different kinds of people, some who love tattoos and some who loathe them.

On some occasions, I, unfortunately, have a run-in with the latter. I’ve recently had a new tattoo done on the back of my arm, a piece my artist designed for me. I am head over heels in love with this tattoo, everything about it is perfection to me -- the placement, the shading, the reason behind it. I’ve never felt better about myself than I do with this incredible piece of art on my arm. However, my customer didn’t feel the same. All throughout his meal he was pleasant, thanking me constantly and flashing me smiles whenever I checked up on him. As he was leaving he felt the need to approach me and leave me with a little "compliment."

He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him, putting his mouth close to my ear whispering, “you’re a gorgeous girl, besides all of those marks on your body. Stop doing that to yourself, it’s not appealing.” He then pulled away, smiled at me pleasantly and left. He also neglected to tip me on his meal. I wish I could go back and defend myself in that moment. I wish I could tell that man to kiss my a**, but I think that’s a little too much work.

I get to wake up with friendly reminders of the things I love most in this world every single day for the rest of my life. I get to walk around like a piece of artwork. I get to look however the hell I want to. If you don’t agree with that then so be it. If my tattoos offend you, I'm sorry, but I'll be the first to say that tattooed people and non-tattooed people are exactly the same. You are no better than me and I am no better than you. You can see me as unappealing as you want, but don't you dare think any less of who I am. I am beautiful with or without ink.

So to that man and anyone else that doesn’t like my tattoos, I’ll be here showing off the art etched onto my skin, while you can go and worry about it.