Things I Love — #1

Tat­toos.  I LOVE tatoos.

I have no tat­toos, but I love see­ing oth­ers’ tat­toos.  I love imag­in­ing what tat­too I might get one day if I got one.  I actu­al­ly spend quite a lot of time doing just that.

I know that there are many dif­fer­ent opin­ions out there on tat­toos.  Some peo­ple think that tat­toos are tacky, a bad deci­sion, or a regret wait­ing to hap­pen.

Some peo­ple have a small tat­too that is rarely if ever seen.*

365.40 not sharpie by rachel­lake via flickr

Some peo­ple have a few tat­toos that are vis­i­ble when they want to show them off and also eas­i­ly hid­den if they want or need to cov­er them up.*

Oth­ers have many tat­toos on their bod­ies and show them with pride.*

This post to this point has tak­en me a cou­ple hours to write.  Look­ing back, I haven’t even done much writ­ing, but I end­ed up spend­ing the major­i­ty of that time look­ing at the dif­fer­ent pic­tures of tat­toos on Flickr.  I guess that you might say I was sucked in.

The oth­er night, I was telling Jason how much I like tat­toos and how it seems like a con­tra­dic­tion to my per­son­al­i­ty and style.  I think part of the rea­son I have held off on get­ting a tat­too to this point is that I don’t want it to look fun­ny or like a mis­take on me.  I also haven’t been able to think of some­thing that I like enough to put on my body for the rest of my life.  I also want to wait until I’m done hav­ing kids.  I would sup­pose a tat­too might not look the same after it expe­ri­ences a preg­nan­cy.

In the course of that con­ver­sa­tion, Jason men­tioned that a friend of his from col­lege had a big pet peeve about peo­ple who got tat­toos that seemed to be trendy at the time.  This friend of Jason’s didn’t like when peo­ple got tat­toos like Chi­nese sym­bols.  He seemed to think that they hadn’t put enough thought into it or some­thing.  At first, I didn’t think much of it, and then I got a lit­tle mad.  Wait a minute!

Tat­toos are a means of per­son­al expres­sion.  I am in no place to eval­u­ate the thought process or log­ic behind some­one else’s deci­sion, nor do I want to!  I know there are peo­ple who get tat­toos in the heat of the moment and have them removed lat­er.  I know there are oth­ers who get tat­toos when they are in one stage of life and find that when they are in anoth­er stage the tat­too no longer rep­re­sents the same thing to them.  I also know that a tat­too is a per­son­al deci­sion.  I knew a woman in col­lege who had a pret­ty large tat­too of Yoda on her back.  While Yoda wouldn’t have made my Top 10 List, he was also not on my body, so he didn’t have to.

Peo­ple choose many dif­fer­ent ways to express them­selves from pierc­ings, tat­toos, hair dye, and cloth­ing to writ­ing, danc­ing, speak­ing, and blog­ging.  It’s not up to me (or any­one else) to approve of or val­i­date these deci­sions.  Per­son­al expres­sion is just that, per­son­al.    Instead of using my time to judge some­one else’s choice, I will use my time to admire, learn from, and be inspired by those choic­es.

Do you have a tat­too?  Is there a sto­ry behind it?  Do you have a pic­ture of it you would be will­ing to share?  I’d love to hear the sto­ries and see the pic­tures!

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*I don’t know if the peo­ple in these pic­tures hold the same opin­ions on tat­toos and why peo­ple tat­too as I do. In fact, I assume that they prob­a­bly don’t hold the exact same opin­ion.  I used the pic­tures because they illus­trate dif­fer­ent opin­ions that I’ve heard expressed on tat­toos over the years not to say that the sub­jects of the pic­tures agree with or hold my opin­ion.