Gone are the days where tattoos represent your affiliation with the hells angels, gang culture or a checkered criminal past. Although that doesn’t stop some people making an instant judgment on someone like myself. I got my first tattoo when I was 17 years old, an image that represents something extremely important to me. Ten years later and I now have my ribs tattooed, a half sleeve working into a full sleeve and tattoos on my other arm, foot and back. I regret nothing I have and continue to think of more art, which I still want.
I often get asked, ‘Are tattoos addictive? Are you addicted?’ and I wouldn’t say that I am because surely if I was an addict then in ten years I’d have more of my body covered. I consider myself a creative person that enjoys good art work and marking my body with meaningful visuals. I’d just say I’m a great decision maker.
I’ve been tattooed by a few people, but in the last few years I’ve stuck to one, Pete from Triplesix studios. I met him when my journey with tattoos truly started. I was going to university in Sunderland. Even now, living in Scotland, I still make the journey to Sunderland for my tattoos because as far as I’m concerned, if you want consistent, amazing and reliable art work on your body for the rest of your life, stick to someone you know you can trust.
I love to people watch and what I love most is to make a first impression on people and then see their face when they see my tattoos afterwards. Most often they register surprise. What annoys me the most is the looks I get from strangers when I see the instant judgment stamped upon their face when they spot my personal artwork. A wife, mother and a professional, surely someone like that can’t have a half sleeve and more, oh wait they can, I do!
For my birthday, my husband gifted me a tattoo and I got something to represent the birth of our daughter. I chose to get a stopwatch set the to time she was born because I never want to forget that time, it was the most important time in my life and I love the subtlety.
‘Are you not worried what you and your tattoos will look like when you’re older?’, another question I’m fed up hearing. I come from a generation of tattoos. If anything, tattoos will be a good conversation started in the nursing home. It seems the minority are those without any instead of the other way around. Doctors, lawyers and psychiatrists to name a few occupations where tattoos would be frowned upon, and why? Why can’t an individual no matter their education and socioeconomic status use their body as a blank canvas to tell a fascinating story? I’m training to be a therapist and I don’t hide my tattoos from clients, if anything I think they make me appear more approachable and human.
I’m sure I’m not the only person to be judged for my personal artwork so why don’t you comment and tell us about your stories and what you’ve have to endure from family and perfect strangers.
By Eden Milne