I stopped in my local Panera this morning and one of the cashiers asked what my Sailor Moon tattoo said. I then noticed that she had a tattoo that said “o’hana” in Lilo & Stitch inspired style and a Deathly Hallows tattoo. Since I also have a Disney and Deathly Hallows tattoo we instantly bonded. All barriers came down. We could have instantly become friends.
And that is what I love about tattoos. They don’t have to have a special meaning behind them. You get them because you like them and you want them. They show a side of you that would otherwise be harder to show off. They show what you like. They show a deeper side of you. And I think that’s brave to be so open with who you are to wear that stuff permanently on your body where everyone can see; to go “I like this thing, I’m gonna have it sewn into my skin in ink where it’ll sit forever for everyone to see.”
People get tattoos for different reasons, but whatever the reason they show the world who you are, and I don’t mean in the way people in the past have perceived people with tattoos. We aren’t thugs or dangerous people. We’re people who like art and things so much we get it put onto our bodies for everyone to see and to remind us of who we are, why we are, who we’ve lost, what we like, what we believe in, etc.
I’ve never once regretted my tattoos. Even now that I’m in a job that doesn’t allow me to have visible tattoos and I am going to have to spend my summer wearing long sleeves I don’t regret getting them. Because off the clock I can show them off again and have opportunities to find like-minded people like that girl in Panera. Tattoos bring people together. I hope that one day they aren’t demonized by employers anymore. Until then, I’ll spend my other 128 hours of the week showing my tattoos off, getting more, meeting new people, and making friends just by saying, “ohmigosh I love your tattoo!”