People who have tattoos usually have a stigma attached to them which is more than often false. People with tattoos are seen as hardcore, rebellious, and alternative. Most of the time you’ll hear that people with visible tattoos can never have a “real” job, such as a corporate job or working in an office. Parents (like mine) love to pull the “You won’t get hired anywhere good if you get a tattoo.” The truth behind all of this stigma attached to people with tattoos comes from a place of fear and poor diversity skills. When someone sees’s a body modification on someone, such as a tattoo or piercing, they remember the stereotypes and instantly put that person in a box. Many people believe this because of the pain it takes to get a tattoo or piercing. However, people who get plastic surgery (which is also a body modification) they usually get the picture of someone wealthy in their mind and often discard it even though getting plastic surgery is more painful and dangerous than any tattoo or piercing. No one has ever been turned down from being hired for plastic surgery, tattoos, on the other hand, are a modern acceptable platform to reject employment.

Looking deeper into the reasoning, individuality, and beauty of each tattoo someone puts on their body actually starts to tell a story about that person’s life. For example, my first tattoo was an anchor piece on my left foot. I got this when I was 16-years-old to remind myself to stay grounded. I needed to remember to be anchored to the ground even with my head in the clouds. Tattoos are something that can tell you a lot about a person, of course, there are some exceptions, even with myself, that someone gets a tattoo just for fun. Not every tattoo has to have a specific meaning behind it. For example, my left hand has random symbols on the tops of my fingers such as a smiley face, crown, alien, and peace sign. These are signs that I enjoy but they have no specific meaning – and that’s ok! 

My tattoos help my anxiety for several reasons and one of the major reasons is the confidence they give me. My tattoos make social interactions easier because they open a topic of conversation. The wolf tattoo on my right bicep is often noticed (at least once a day!) because of it’s beauty and uniqueness which has helped both grow my confidence and open these special connections with other people.

One of the major things that I struggle with is the fact that my disability is invisible. When I can’t perform what a normal functioning adult can I often get harsh sighs, rolled eyes, and annoyed grunts. I understand some of these because of some tasks that I can’t complete.

For example, I have trouble with memory, vision, and codes so at my job I find it hard to label the paper cups with the proper code for the barista at the bar. Some of my coworkers get annoyed because they don’t know I have a disability and it’s something I don’t like to have to take everyone aside and talk to about. I often would rather be treated as someone who functions at 100% rather than what I do at 60%. As you can see, that can become hard when normal tasks become a challenge for me. When I have tattoos that tell a story, many people realize that I do struggle daily with a variety of things, such as my tattoo of the eating disorder recovery symbol (NEDA) behind my left ear.

Overall, tattoos are positive art on the beholder’s body which is their personal choice. A person gets a tattoo for themselves as a reminder, celebration, memory, fun, and so many more exceptional reasons! Tattoos will be making their way into the workplace within the next 20 years and are becoming a common occurrence. I want to stress that tattoos should get a caregivers permission if you are younger than 18-years-old. This is because tattoos will be with you for the rest of your life and sometimes as young people we haven’t yet formed our life morals and values so it’s a possibility that you will get a tattoo that you will want to be removed in the years to come (which is both expensive and painful). I always got permission from my parents when I got my tattoos and luckily I don’t regret any of them but I do know some people who heavily regret tattoos they got as adolescents. Being young and careless is a path of life everyone experiences and it’s your own personal journey to self-discovery so take your time and enjoy it!

 

If you have a tattoo you would like to share, post a picture in the comments below!

Tattoo Shop Recommendation for citizens of Durham, Ontario…

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