I was 15 when I received my first tattoo. Some of you may think, "oh my Heavens, why would you do that to your body?" OR the usual, "you're going to regret that when your older" comment. (The last one is my favorite) but against every nerve ending in my body telling me to go off and explode, I simply nod, smile and say, "well we all have our own opinions". I experience this kind of situation more than I like to admit and I'm tired of it. Tired of the judging eyes as I walk down the street. Tired of having to worry about whether my future career depends on six inches of colored skin. I am tired of living in a progressive world where placing art on your body instead of a boring wall is still unacceptable.
I am sick and tired of feeling like an outcast when I walk through the doors of a church filled with eyes of disgust. Keep in mind I don't have sleeves(yet) or any tattoos that can't be covered, but sometimes I choose not to. Why should I have to hide my skin because it, "makes you uncomfortable" or "I don't want my child growing up around people like you". In a nation that preaches freedom of speech, how come my form of speech has to stay silent and hidden? That's my right, and it's also my right to not judge you for not having tattoos.
"My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story." - Johnny Depp
I'm actually glad a lot of people don't have tattoos. They'll never know the feeling of that tattoo gun piercing your skin, or the familiar hum it makes when it's started. Or that feeling you get after a tattoo, it's hard to explain but I love it. I get to be part of a huge family filled with members I've never even met yet, I see some at the grocery store, the mall and even at school. I remember I met this one, extraordinary woman as I was shopping for clothes. I had no idea what her name was, her story or anything about her but for five minutes I got to learn about her as we discussed our art work.
Yes, I called it art work. If you can't see that what we have etched in our skins forever is art, then we need to talk. Some express themselves through painting, poetry, music or exercise, but me, I choose to express myself through body art. Literally. Every single one of my tattoos holds a special place in my life. Reminding me of a life changing event or pivotal moment on my journey to find myself.
Some people like to hang their favorite art work up on the wall, I love to carry mine around for the whole world to see.
I don't judge you for not having tattoos, so why do you judge me?