Because I Have Tattoos....

Well hello there!

Today's post is something I've noticed recently in regards to how people look at someone with tattoos. Being someone who has tattoos, I get these quick judgments quite often, not by family or friends, but by strangers.

I have very often heard in job interviews that tattoos are not allowed at a company because they want to maintain or obtain a certain image. I understand that I am not to put my tattoos on show at any job because that is not what my job objective is, but I do not understand why I am to hide or cover them for the company's sake. I find myself not wanting to work for a company whose policies make me disguise myself and who I am, to be allowed to work. 

Yes, I am biased toward this employment issue, obviously, but that doesn't make me wrong. If a company wants to maintain a clean cut image with it's employees, it shouldn't be focused on the ink in their skin. It should be focused on what kind of social media posts that this person makes because it often dictates a person's character more so than a tattoo does.

Another issue I have with judgments being made toward people who have tattoos is that they are looked down upon more than those who treat people badly. The ink in my skin does not make me a delinquent or a bad person. The grown man at a restaurant who treats the waiter or waitress with disrespect is turned a blind eye to while I am put under a microscope.

Along with that comes the issue of "inappropriate" tattoos. When an older person gets a tattoo to represent the cancer they survived or the children they have, it is respected because it is obvious that it isn't meaningless. The majority of the disapproving people who I encounter look at me the way they do because my tattoos don't appear to be meaningful to them.

Yes, I get a lot of questions as to what they mean by those curious enough to ask. Once they do find out, they become less judgmental toward me and more accepting of me. There is a reason I don't get extremely blunt tattoos but because I don't, I am frowned upon.

I understand that there are people who think tattoos are not attractive or appropriate, and I respect their opinion, but they don't respect mine.

I am going to say this because it's something that I think a lot of people who have tattoos try to explain to those that question why we get them. 

My body is a blank canvas to me. Maybe to you it is just a body and that is okay. I get ink artfully placed in my skin to decorate my canvas; to showcase my journey; to remind myself as to who I have been, who I am, and who I'd like to be. I choose to do this permanently for many reasons. Once a canvas has been painted, an artist doesn't wipe away the work they've done, they frame it. I, along with many others, have been through one hell of a journey in my life up until this very point in time and I would like to let people know that I am a warrior. There are times when I lose myself to other people and to the world, so I get tattoos to know what pieces of myself I'd like to keep with me, no matter how many times I may have lost myself. 

My tattoos are my decision. I will not hide them from my children; instead I will tell them my story through them. I will not cover my tattoos on my wedding day to look classier; instead I will embrace them and even bring attention to them. I will not regret them when I am older; instead I will encourage my grandchildren to get my name tattooed on them. I will never cover my tattoos to please someone else; instead I will be proud of the artwork on my body and I will not accept your job offer or your disapproving looks.

My tattoos do not define what kind of person I am. My tattoos do not make me a bad person. My tattoos do not embarrass me. My tattoos do not make me feel ashamed of my life choices. My tattoos do not give you the ability to disapprove of me. They are a part of me that I refuse to let you tell me to hide them because they do not conform to your idea of what I should look like.

I do not judge you just because you drink, or smoke, or have a child young, or love someone of the same sex, or practice a certain religion, or have a different skin colour than me, or for any other reason. Just as you should not judge me because I have tattoos.

-MacKenzie

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