Yesterday, I listed some of the comments I’ve received as a visibly tattooed woman.
Thankfully, most people aren’t rude. I’ve seen eyes move over my body with sneered expressions but that’s not as annoying as the people who do think they need to say something out loud. Unfortunately, it’s often the rudeness that makes the most memorable impression.
Some comments I’ve received, plus my responses:
It must be nice to be able to afford tattoos.
Yes, it’s nice. People will use their money for what is important to them. With regards to superfluous non-essentials, we do not have fancy sound systems, brand new furniture, new vehicles, designer clothes/shoes, boats, ATVs, a swimming pool, or exotic vacations. That stuff might be important to other people and that’s fine. We bought tattoos because they are important to us.
Oh, another one?
Why would you want to ruin such a cute body?
Well-done tattoos do not ruin bodies, they enhance them. Also, I don’t need random strangers commenting on my body.
Don’t you think you have enough now?
No, but thanks for asking.
You’ll regret it.
Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it’s not something you have to worry about. Also, many non-tattooed people have regrets.
What are you going to do when you’re old and wrinkly?
When I’m old and wrinkly, I’ll be old and wrinkly. I will hopefully lead a life full of love and adventure. I’ll have colourful saggy skin but I doubt it will impact my quality of life.
It’s time to stop wasting money on tattoos.
If it’s a well-done tattoo, it’s not a waste of money. I consider buying cigarettes to be a waste of money but I don’t say that to people I see smoking.
How are you going to be a productive member of society with all those tattoos?
I’m intelligent, educated, responsible, open-minded, and full of joy; I’m already a productive member of society.
What if you want kids someday?
Then I’ll have kids. (Or in present time, “I have kids.”)
What does your husband think of all those tattoos?
If he didn’t like tattoos, we probably wouldn’t be married. Considering we met on a tattoo website, there was no chance of that happening. Also, my husband doesn’t own my body and doesn’t get to tell me what to do.
Or my favourite…
What will you do if your kids want tattoos?
When they turn 18, they can get a tattoo. Why is this even an issue? I will try to impress upon them the importance of keeping their hands and necks and faces free of ink until they’ve decided upon a path, but the rest is fair game.
Honestly, who knows what my kids will do. If they want to rebel and be different from their parents, maybe they’ll swear off all forms of body modification. That will be ok. Maybe they will be covered in ink; that will be ok too.
I started thinking about being a tattooed parent a few days ago while watching this scene play out:
My boys were born into a family with tattooed (and pierced) parents. It’s just their reality and most of the time, they never give it a second thought. Having said that, sometimes they play tattoo parlour and talk about the designs they will have when they grow up.
But you know what they haven’t done? They’ve never once expressed concern or curiosity about the tattooed and pierced “freaks” we see around town and on the bus. Different body art and expression is normal to them.
And returning back to the question of, “How are you going to be a productive member of society?” I’d say I’m doing a decent job of raising non-judgmental children who will grow up to value and embrace diversity.