I have a strong belief that if you’re going to get a tattoo there should be meaning behind it. It could be something as simple as it being a reminder of a certain someone, or it could be an abstract reason such as a period of emotion. Women who get flowers on their chest to cover up scars from surgery after having breast cancer — that’s a meaning. The flowers themselves could symbolize that they will still blossom or that they grow each day into a new person because of the struggle. Or it could just be that flowers are something that individual likes and it’s used to cover up scars. It still has meaning.
Sometimes when I’m trying to search for the perfect tattoo I may not have meaning at first for it. The meaning often pops up once it is found. For example, I really wanted to get a tattoo on my wrist as a birthday present to myself. I was going through a sort of hippie phase at the time. Tie dye had made a comeback, ripped jeans were my favorite article of clothing, and I had found that I had a love for The Beatles. (I’m only 28 so this was just a handful of years ago). So I decided on a peace symbol for my tattoo on my wrist. It’s simple, it symbolizes peace, love and happiness and I find that just groovy. After I got the tattoo I found out that Lady GaGa, who was just becoming a huge success, had the exact same tattoo.
When people see my tattoos they ask what they mean. One time I was actually called a liar about the meaning behind my tattoos. I was told I was following a trend and I thought it looked cool. I have never been the trendy type. I did however think that the tattoos I chose looked cool. I received a lot of negative comments about some of my tattoos — they weren’t feminine, I wouldn’t get a job, I would regret it later on, I couldn’t wear a sleeveless wedding dress, my sexual orientation was questionable… the list goes on! The number of arguments I got into over wearing a strapless wedding dress… I had a response rehearsed for the majority of these questions. “Bracelets and sweaters cover them up for work”, “If I regret them it’s on me not you”, “I can photoshop my wedding pictures if I don’t want my tattoos in them down the road”, and of course “Shove off, it’s none of your damn business” was always my favorite.
So what tattoos do I have?
Small of back – chinese symbol for love – this is the only one with no real meaning. I was 16 and this was the only one that my mother would allow me to get. I wanted an anime turtle with a summer drink on its back.
Back of neck – Tarepanda – I absolutely love pandas. Always have! So when I learned about tarepanda I just knew I had to get it as a tattoo. Of course there are different images of the fictional character but I found one that truly stuck out. It symbolizes my time as a child when I would sit on my Great Aunt Mo’s lap during the summer. She would be in her favorite rocking chair and she would tell me stories and sing to me.
Right arm – Apple with bat wings and a bow on top – Another symbolic tattoo to my childhood spent in upstate New York. We had a summer camp that bats would get into. We’d sit around an old TV with nets in our hands, watching Wheel of Fortune and waiting for the bats to circle the living room.
Left wrist – peace sign – symbolizes my hippy phase as I’ve described.
So don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot have tattoos that you want. Whether you do have meaning to them or not do what makes you happy. Comment below and tell me all of your tattoos I would love to hear!