I've always lived my life believing you never judge a book by it's cover. At the book store I've been known to pick up every single book and read the summary regardless of what the cover looks like. That's why I get so bothered when people openly judge me because of my tattoos. I find it strange. I don't judge you by the art you hang on your wall, who are you to judge me by the art I hang on my body? Lately I've been talking to more and more of the parents at my sons school. I've been making an effort to really get to know people and put myself out there. What I learned shocked me. Quite a lot of moms have admitted that they were afraid to speak to me three years ago on the kindergarten playground because of my tattoos (and pink hair). Some said they thought I would be mean, or scary and some said they just thought I must have been a bad person. Then after spending time with them most of them are more shocked to learn I'm really a giant teddy bear who is actually quite nice.
A few weeks ago I approached a dad at the school who had both arms covered in tattoos. We talked about who did his work and became friends from then on. Later he told me that the year before none of the parents would talk to him, and that some even moved away from him and gave him dirty looks because of his tattoos. He said this continued for months until one day during parent work week he came to school in his fireman gear. Suddenly all of the parents wanted to talk to him. The moms began flirting and the dads began to slap him on the back and call him friend. He was pissed. How dare they suddenly deem him okay because of his profession. He never became friends with any of those parents. I laughed because I didn't even know he was a fireman I just liked him because he had a nice personality and some cool tattoos. His wife is Indian and she said people would come up to her asking her if she was a "dot or feather" Indian. I couldn't believe people would do that. We have all hung out now and become friends. I find it sad to know that a lot of moms are missing out on that friendship because they are afraid of his tattoos.
I've seen this circulating Facebook lately and my emotions are a mix of anger and humor.
I am mad that something like this would be created to begin with. I find it funny though because it couldn't be MORE WRONG. I have a tattoo on my neck. I guess this means I have been, or am in prison. I have one on both of my feet. I am still looking for my princess accessory. I have one in the caution area that even after two babies and a lot of weight gain is still cute, and still makes my husband giggle when we get frisky. I have one on my forearm which is confusing because I not only have one job, but I have two jobs. One of which is catering to very high end people. In the two years I've been catering I have had exactly ONE person make a negative remark on my tattoo. My boss shut that lady down immediately asking her if she enjoyed her food. When the lady raved on and on about her food, and the amazing desserts my boss let her know that the girl with the tattoo had made them. The lady quickly apologized and told my boss to tell me how wonderful I did. In fact, at 90% of the caterings I do I get stopped by at least one person to comment on my beautiful tattoos. I have a tattoo on my back. There are no dragons, there are no wings and none of it is faggy or lame. In fact the tattoo I most often get stopped on is the family tree on my back. Often as I'm wandering Target or the store little old women will come up, touch my back (odd) and tell me how lovely the tree on my back is. I love it. I love it the most because it is little old women who are supposed to hate my tattoos. But so far the vast majority of comments come from them. I have a tattoo on my lower back and they are wrong, buying me a drink will not work. I am happily married and would never stray. I resent the thought that a tattoo in a certain location would be deemed acceptable to buy me a drink and expect something from me.
I am a nice girl. I work hard. I'm a pretty good mom and I am a wonderful wife. I also happen to have a lot of visible tattoos. I have never committed a crime. I did well in school. I believe in God. My tattoos all have meaning. They are mostly dedicated to the people I love the most in my life. It makes me sad to think I might be judged because of that. It feels like tattoos are the new skin color. It is no longer socially acceptable to judge a person by their skin color so now we will judge them on their tattoos. It's as if the world just needs something to judge, something to segregate, something to hate. I'm sure with the rate of tattoos increasing they will soon be more socially acceptable and I can't help but wonder, when that happens what will we find to hate each other for next?
If you see me on the streets and my tattoos are showing, please don't be afraid of me. You should know I am shy, I'm probably more afraid of you then you are of me. I'm awkward and nervous and even without the tattoos I'm worried about impressing you. If you see me on the playground, say hi to me. Strike up a conversation with me. You might learn that I'm secretly kind of funny, I read often, I'm a great cook, I'm kind of a dork, oh, and I have a few tattoos.
I think it's important to remember that old saying your parents taught you, "don't judge a book by it's cover."
**Please excuse any spelling or punctuation errors, I've lost my glasses again so all of these words are blurring together into one. I hit spell check but I can't really read what it's suggesting so I just guessed and hit publish. I'm off to see where my dog buried my glasses this time.