“Have you ever loved someone so much you’d give an arm for not the expression, no literally give an arm for” – Eminem
Ever since I could remember, I’ve prided myself in walking to the beat of my own drum. Whether it was wearing owl t-shirts my Oma used to paint me everyday in 5th grade, or wearing crazy shorts and shirts with weird color schemes and patterns. I’ve always found some way to express myself. Depending on what I wear, you may never see the fact that I have around 16 tattoos on me. This is because I have planned out my canvas. The spots on my body are all connected to a bigger theme. I figured it be important to start in the beginning.
When I was 17, I got my first tattoo with my dad. I knew I wanted it right on my heart. I remember the nervous excitement of taking an idea, a memory, a memorial and turning into art. The sensation of my first tattoo was stimulating. My senses were on overload. My skin felt like it was being carved up with a scalpel. I quickly became lost in the rhythm of the machines motor as the vibrations were felt throughout my body. Instantly, I was hooked.
The tattoo was is in honor of my three grandparents; Opa, Poppy, and Grammy as well as my uncle Brian. Due to the fact that I was either not born yet or too young to really know them I did not know them truly. To this day I know they are watching over me and guiding me. Having the ability to remember them in this fashion mean the world to me. As you begin to look at all my work on me you begin to see a bigger theme in all of my tattoos.
Family, beliefs, and experiences are etched in my body permanently through millions of needle pokes. Without even talking to me, you see on my body a sneak peak into who I am as a person. In a world where people either have tattoos or don’t, the hyper visible stigmas that are associated with them become the forefront of discussion. Even though my tattoos are not offensive, In certain situations, I feel the need to cover them up because of stigma that they are “unprofessional”. It is a stereotype that is constantly being challenged, and slowly is becoming more socially acceptable
The difference between tattooed people and non tattooed people, is that people with tattoos don’t care if you have none.
The nature of my tattoos can be seen by some as religious, I tend to view my tattoos as spiritual in nature. The poem on my inner bicep is one that I got my freshmen year of college. It is from the poem, “Footprints in the Sand”. It is a poem that has a religious context and is something that has been in my life since I could remember. It is one of my tattoos that was suggested by my parents. It is a healthy reminder that you are not in this alone, that when the going gets tough you always have someone to turn to.
Tattoos for me are important because in a life where everything is temporary, it is the one thing that will always be there. No matter where I go I will always carry the people that are important to me on my skin. I wear my heart on a sleeve(literally) Being an introvert, tattoos are a way for me to be loud and outspoken without actually saying anything. This art form is simply amazing because of the opportunities it gives the individual to do something so personal and so permanent. It is a form of self expression where it differs from person to person, but allows for unity among the masses. If everyone gets a tattoo, then that’s one more thing that we all share in this big world. In a world where we view other on the differences between us than the similarities that unite us.