I have been fascinated by tattoo culture and the tattoo industry since I was a little girl. I remember being fifteen years old and begging my parents to let me get a small tattoo on my ankle. I was an annoying little shit and hounded them relentlessly. After harassing them for months, they finally agreed, under one condition. I had to get straight A’s the following semester. Since I was a D student with absolutely no motivation to speak of, I think they assumed it couldn’t (or more likely, wouldn’t) be done. They figured their little plan would get me off their backs and I would get somewhat better grades, but not good enough to get the tattoo I so desperately wanted. They were dead-ass wrong.
I got my shit together and you’re damn straight I got all A’s that marking period. Since they obviously were not letting me get tattooed at fifteen years young, I negotiated and wound up with a nose ring instead. As much as my father hates facial piercings, he figured it was a slightly better choice since piercings can at least be removed. Besides, I had already gotten my tongue pierced, so what’s one more? I acquired that little gem when, at 14-years-old, I snuck out to a sketchy shop in the Village in the middle of the night and begged the piercer to do it for me without adult permission. Forty bucks later, I was smiling ear-to-ear and bleeding from the mouth. He was a real stand-up guy.
I eventually got my first tattoo at the age of eighteen and since then I’ve amassed quite a nice little collection. Obviously I knew when I made the decision to start getting tattooed that some people might not agree with it or may find it unappealing/unattractive. I’m okay with that. Its not for everyone. Some prefer a blank canvas, I like a little more adornment and decoration. To each their own, right? Apparently not so much. I’ve found that a good majority of people find it completely acceptable, necessary even, to tell me that they don’t like my tattoos. This baffles me. I would never go up to another human being and be all like, “hey…that hair color is god-awful on you,” or “wow..you looked way better before you invested in those big, fake clown tits.” I highly doubt my ink-haters would do that to someone either. So why is it okay to insult something that I put a lot of thought into and happen to find really beautiful? Do people not realize that once you make the choice to get a tattoo, it’s a permanent decision and is therefore now a part of that individual? So insulting it is the same thing as insulting any other part of that person’s physical makeup? Cause, duh.
Is it really still appropriate to judge people based on how many tattoos they have? It’s 2013. Long gone are the days where the only people with tattoos are sailors, degenerates, and criminals. More than half of the females in my generation will one day be pushing strollers with giant tramp stamps on their backs. Yes, I have tattoos. I also do not drink, do any drugs, or steal. I have a college degree, a full-time job, and I’ve never cheated on anyone in my life. The blonde next door doesn’t have any tattoos. But she screwed half the football team and has a thing for Percocet. Moms, who would you prefer dating your son? Think about it.
My chosen profession probably doesn’t help the situation too much either. Everyone wants to talk to the bartender and I come across a lot of douchebags. One bar creature actually flat-out told me that I would be much better looking without any tattoos. “You’re such a pretty girl, why would you do that to yourself?” The guy also had ranch dressing dripping down his third chin as he said this. Yeah. Good day, sir.
Another time a customer asked what the meaning behind one of my tattoos is. I told him, he thought about it, decided that it was stupid, and then chose to inform me of this. OH. Well then, complete stranger. I guess I should have called you up and asked your opinion before I decided to get it because now its already there, and you don’t like it, and HOW WILL I SLEEP AT NIGHT? Idiot.
Apparently the age-old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your fucking mouth shut,” wasn’t in everyone’s childhood handbook and this kinda shit happens way too often for my liking. Of course, not everyone is a complete toolshed. There are a lot of people who do appreciate the art or are just genuinely curious and I am more than happy to talk to them. My good friend and former roommate has done most of my work and I love sending business his way. Because of him and the wonderful world of tattooing, I get to prance around for the rest of my life with pretty little pictures all over my skin. Props, dude.
All that being said, getting tattooed makes me happy and isn’t hurting anyone else. So I really don’t give a shit if you don’t like it. If I accepted my own father’s disapproval of my tattoos, who told me I looked like a fuckin’ tapestry when he saw my back piece, then I highly doubt the close-minded drivel that’s coming out of your sweaty mouth is gonna make one bit of a difference. Just stop being rude cause its goddamn annoying and just makes me dislike the human race even more than I already do. And I probably just hocked a loogie into that Jack and Coke you’re nursing, so think about that next time you wanna talk shit to the feisty little tattooed chick behind the bar. If it bothers you that much, please, feel free to hit the nearest church and pray for my tortured soul. Otherwise, just live and let live.
To get tattooed by one of my favorite people, check out Christian Masot at Silk City Tattoo, here.
For your reading pleasure, check out the blog Angry Ink, written by one very hilarious tattoo artist.