My Skin’s Story

Tattoos and body modifications are a huge part of who I am. They allow me to express myself in a way that’s meaningful to me. I got my first tattoo the day I turned 18, and it was a half sleeve. I definitely didn’t ease myself into it because I could not wait to be able to get tattoos. Yesterday, I got my ninth. Some of my tattoos have a lot of meaning, others have no meaning at all. To me, they mean that I’m decorating my body the way I choose, and that’s enough meaning for me.

I have a tattoo on each one of my shoulder blades for each of my grandmothers who passed away in the past two years. One is a bluebird formed with the cancer ribbon colors of which she had, and the other is a peacock feather because my grandmother had about a dozen peacocks. Those are probably the tattoos with the most meaning I have.

Shoulder tattoos

I also have the Nike of Samothrace and Bernini’s Medusa tattooed on my thigh simply because I love art history.

The tattoo I got yesterday is the cover of an album by my favorite band, Lydia. Illuminate is an album that means a lot to me, and having it tattooed on my arm allows it to always be with me, which is pretty cool.

I also have Simba from The Lion King on my ankle, “au revoir” on my ribcage to commemorate my trip to Paris, a half sleeve of carnations, and a stick and poke lightbulb my friend did for the Electric City.

If you have a tattoo or body modifications, you are probably familiar with people asking all sorts of questions about them. “You know that’s permanent? But what does it mean? Does your mother approve of you having tattoos? Why would you do that to your body? But you were so pretty without it!” To that, I say: Yes, I know it’s permanent. It has meaning to me and that’s what matters. Yes, she does, because she loves me for who I am. Because I love expressing myself and wearing artwork. I am beautiful- tattoos, piercings, and all.

My tattoos are my story, and I love every single one of them.

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