STOP JUDGING WOMEN WITH TATTOOS
It’s 2020 and people still have strong opinions on tattoos. I mean at this point I figured we were over it with everything else going on!… According to a few online sources, the oldest tattoo on record was found on the 5,300-year-old corpse of Tyrolean Iceman, aka Ötzi, so needless to say the practice of tattooing has been around for a loooong time.
These days while still somewhat taboo, people don’t necessarily blink when they find out you have a tattoo, unless of course you’re a woman. When I was about 13-15 years old I realized I really enjoyed tattoos. I obviously I did not get any at such a young age (I would hope my parents would have enough sense to not let that happen). However, I did tell myself that if I still wanted tattoos as badly as I did then when I reached 24-25, I was going to go for it. The only rule I made for myself was that they had to mean something. That being said, once my dog passed away I got my first tattoo (that I drew myself!) to honor him. Two years later I have a total of five tattoos, and I have stayed true to the rule I made for myself as a teenager.
Of course like most things on this planet we call Earth there is a double standard. Now, my father, uncle, and even some of my male cousins are tatted out the wazoo, (most of which aren’t even cool LOL). But still my dad’s favorite thing to say is “You know you’ll have to wear a wedding dress one day, right?” *insert eye roll here*… He and my mother also seem to think I’m going to convert to a nun by the time I turn 35 years old and will repent all my sins and suddenly remove all of my tattoos.
The tattoos I chose are deeply personal and part of my story that I’d like to share with the world. I mean, nobody really knows what will happen in the next ten years but I know for the past ten years I have been yearning to get inked, but I was always fearful of the perception I’d give off as a young black woman with tattoos.
One of the coolest websites regarding this topic is called Women with Tattoos (check it out here!) created by Eleni Stefanou. Her objective is to show women with tattoos (obviously) in a positive light. She explains that the number of women with tattoos is now greater than the number of men with tattoos, which is surprising.It’s shocking because mainstream media makes it seem as though women aren’t supposed to have or even do tattoos. For years the tattoo industry, like most others, has always been male dominated.
Just like most fields of work people look at gender first, THEN that person’s body of work. For years I have been a fan of the show Ink Master. Though the show began in 2012, they JUST had their first female winner in 2016 after eight seasons! Female artists are extremely hard to come by and the lack of them from a customer point of view would lead you to believe that their work is sub par, which is not the case AT ALL!
Despite what you may see everyday on the news, the world is in fact becoming a progressive place. While this is true, there are still many set backs for women. Though I have several tattoos, I made sure to get them in a places where they won’t necessarily be seen by an employer or the everyday person. They’re not anywhere scandalous, like Eve and her paw print titties (smh, girl) but I like having the option to be able to cover them up when necessary. It’s crazy because tattoos essentially are supposed to be part of an individual’s story, so does that mean women aren’t supposed to tell their stories? Fuck that. I’m done adding ink for a while, but who know’s what will happen once my story progresses. If I eventually have children I’m sure I will get something in their honor. Sometimes a tattoo doesn’t even have to have a story! I know four dudes, FOUR with ridiculous tattoos on their asses, it’s usually said to be a result of a fun night out “with the boys”. Now just IMAGINE if a woman said that they got a tattoo on their ass during a girls night, she would be called SO many different names. I’m hoping as we move toward a more female respected world, the perception of us powerful tattooed women moves in the same direction!