Disclaimer: I stole every single photo in this blog entry from google. If it's your picture then blame google for letting me steal it!
I know I shouldn't write this, but it's been on my mind for a while now. And I need to vent because it just bugs me. I'm a 28 year old woman with 2 children of my own. I am very close to my parents and I adore them and would do anything for them. But at 28 years old I am very much an adult with my own choices to make, lifestyle to follow and so on and so forth. At the time of writing this, I am fairly plain looking. I have pretty neutral purple over black hair, 2 lip piercings, my ears pierced twice, one of which has been stretched to 12mm flesh tunnels and I have 6 tattoo's. My mum and dad have always been pretty cool with my appearance. I didn't really start to branch out and try to express myself through my appearance til I was 16 or so but I've always been more on the alternative side of the spectrum, ever since I was little and dressing like Adam and The Ants while listening to my mums Adam Ant vinyl collection. Sadly this was mid nineties but I've always been a little bit behind everyone else. The first time I ever dyed my hair a bright colour I dyed it magenta. I was 16 years old and my hair came down past my bum so it took two bottles. I was so scared of getting into trouble that I did it on a sleepover at a friends house and had another friend come back with me the next day for moral support. Mum saw us walk past the living room window to get to the front door and got there before we did. She threw open the door and yelled "What the bloody hell have you done to yourself??!" I took a step back, grinned sheepishly and said "hi mum, do you like it?" to which she replied (in rather a surprised tone) "Actually yes I do. It looks nice."
And that was my first step into the world of hair dying. Since then I have had every single colour in my hair that the hair colouring industry currently creates. I am an expert at dying, fixing bad dye jobs and bleaching. There is nothing I don't know because I am self taught and I learned from my mistakes. Not that I've ever made any massive mistakes... The time my hair turned green instead of blonde was actually a happy accident as green and blue were the colours I was planning to dye my hair anyway.
When I started college I made friends with the alternative crowd and I stuck with them for years after. I'm still friends with a few of them now although I don't see them as much as I would like to. One of them, who reads this blog bless 'er, (hello Miss Elle!) was particularly conducive in the next stage of my style evolution. She suggested that a lip piercing might look good on me. It was just a random throw away comment during a conversation between about 6 of us but it stuck with me and for a couple of months after that, I wore a fake lip ring to see what people thought. Everyone agreed that it suited me and I think it helped mum and dad get used to the idea because one day I came home from my boyfriend at the times house with a real piercing in the middle of my bottom lip. It was only a stud and it was a little wonky as I'd done it myself, but it was in and before long I had a ring in it. I've still got it there and last year I gave it a little friend and got the side of my lip pierced too. About 3 years ago I decided that I was becoming too mumsy. I had a baby boy and my life revolved around him. I still managed to keep myself looking good but I wasn't looking as alternative as I would like and honestly, even though I still probably stuck out like a sore thumb, I felt like a bit of a wallflower and I felt drab and colourless. Then I decided to fix it by doing something little that wouldn't be too noticeable but would make me feel better about myself. I bought an ear stretching kit off ebay and I started to stretch my ears. My boyfriend of that time and my parents all hated what I was doing and I was getting told every day to take them out and stop being silly but I persevered and now I am up to 12mm where I have been for about a year now and I have a pair of very lovely leopard print tunnels in that the lovely boyfriend bought me last year. I love my flesh tunnels, if I could make them bigger I would but I'm aware that they gross people out, so I wont go any bigger. It's one of the compromises I think my parents and I have come to without actually saying anything!
When I was little my dad was a labourer. He used to go around in a plaid shirt with the sleeves either rolled up or cut off, dirty jeans and work boots. He used to smoke tobacco that he kept in a leather pouch and he was and still is, absolutely covered in tattoo's. He covers most of them up now, but I remember sitting on his lap tracing their outlines when I was really small. The smell of tobacco in a leather pouch always brings back fond memories of Wrestling commentaries and drawing around his tattoos with my finger. Ever since I was little I've always wanted tattoo's and this brings me to my main point. I love tattoo's. I mean to the point of near obsession. I always have done and I always will do. If I was a better artist I would have gone into that profession. The first time I came home with a tattoo my parents were ok about it. It was a small spider on my arm. They weren't too happy with the fact that I was underage at the time, or that I had got one at all but they were ok with what it was and at the time, ok with me having one. The 2nd one they were less fine with but still okish, its on my lower back and it is in memory of my friend who sadly died so they couldn't really say much. And the 3rd one... Well, the 3rd caused a lot of arguments. You see my mum is a massive fan of teddy bears. She's an avid collector. And by collector I mean that she has about 8 black sacks of them in the loft and a further 3 in the spare room and two wardrobes covered in them. She's a huge teddy bear fan. She never let me eat pom-bear crisps when I was little because she thought it was cruel. The ham you could get in the shape of a teddies face? No way. Never, ever, ever. So when I got a kid with a pumpkin head that has a knife in one hand and a decapitated teddy bear at his feet - mum took that as a personal insult. Over the last 10 years or so she's come to get used to it and I've shown her the original comic that I made that it came from and she got it once she saw it in context but she still hates it. She now also hates the fact that I have the word Strength across my shoulders in big gothic lettering and she hates that I have a heart on the inside of my right wrist with the initial of my boyfriends first name in it. And she HATES that I now have a large cobweb around my first little spider tattoo. However she doesn't mind that I have the names of my sons written on a scroll being carried by a badly drawn swallow on my left shoulder. But I suspect thats because it's my kids and she adores them. Anyway. Out of everything I've ever done to alter my appearance, the tattoo's are the one thing my parents hate. Because they're permanent. Hair can be dyed again, piercings can be removed. Tattoo's are forever. And my mum and I often discuss what it'll be like in 40 years time. You see... I have plans for many MANY more tattoo's. At the time of writing I already know what I want for my full sleeve, my half sleeve, one on each foot and one large one on my back. I already know what I want, but I want more elsewhere and I'm still thinking about what to get. And somehow whenever my mum steers the conversation to my ink and she tells me I have too much, I reply with "I don't have enough, I'm getting more" and then she uses the "what will you look like when you're old?" argument. Honestly, I want to say this. But I never will. Because its pointless arguing when our views are so different.
I instead reply that I will never regret them because they are a part of who I am. And even if I change, they're still a part of who I was at one point, it's like a pin in the map of my journey through life. So then she changes it and says that on girls they're tacky and trampy. I also wish I could show her this counter argument but taste is subjective and what I think is beautiful someone else may find repulsive.
For example, here are some photos of beautiful women with tattoo's that I found through the medium of google.
And then allow me to introduce my two idols in the world of tattoo's.
Miss Kat Von D - tattooist to the stars. Quite literally.
And now Miss Micheline Pitt - pin up model and make up artist.
Now you surely cannot deny that at least one of those women is nice looking? Personally, it's my ambition in life to look like Kat Von D or Micheline Pitt. Yeah, the tattoo'd, punked up version of a Barbie Doll. I'll never get there but a girl can dream. And so when my mum says that women with tattoo's look trampy, tacky and slutty, I think of these classy, beautiful women and I sigh. Because she'll never see it and I can't explain it and it's just one of those things that we will never agree on. And I'm ok with that. Because at the end of the day it's my life, my body and my skin and I'm not hurting anyone.
But as much as I love tattoos (there are two things in the world that can make me drool over someone for physical appearance alone and they are tattoo's and flesh tunnels!) I do have my limits. For example I would never get a tattoo on the front of my neck/throat. Would freak me out too much for one thing. And I would never get a tattoo on my breasts. My main reason for this is because it's the first part of a woman to sag. I know this because I am already sagging. (but then breast feeding two children ain't gonna keep 'em perky!) and when my nipples are regularly visiting my knees, I don't want to see the picture that I previously adored looking like it got pulled out of the printer too fast. Another is my face. I quite like my face. On a good day it's extremely pretty. On a bad day it's plain and average but I rarely if ever look in the mirror and think that I am ugly. Only in my deepest darkest moments have I ever thought that because it's simply not true. I'm not being vain, I'm stating a fact. I'm very fortunate in that I have my mums good genes and look younger than I am and I look like both of my parents who, in their youth, were rather good looking, so I am lucky enough to be quite pretty so why would I change something that doesn't need changing? I already have a lot of make up which I rarely wear, so if I wanted to change anything I could just apply some slap and look tonnes different that way.
There are reasons that I have what I have where I have it though. While we're on the subject of my face I always thought my lips were too thin. I have a nice top lip but the bottom lip could do with being a bit fuller I always thought. So I got my lip pierced, in a way I think, to enhace what I already had there. I always hated my flabby bingo wings, so I got arm tattoo's to get over my fear of showing them in public and distract from the flabby saggy bits underneath. I hate feet but have recently come to realise that my feet aren't actually that bad looking, so intend to get a small tattoo on each foot in order to boost my confidence in getting them out more. I have what I have in order to help myself feel better about myself. And I'm sorry but I have a dream of walking down an aisle in a white dress with a full sleeve tattoo on show and I'll be damned if that dream is trashed. I love tattoo's. I think they enhance beauty and, if done correctly, help a woman show off her feminity. And so I intend to keep going until there are literally 5 patches of bare skin left on my body because tattoo's are an art form. Some people like to hang art on their walls and admire it from afar, I like to hang it on my body and admire it really close up. And yes it hurts. And yes it's expensive. But both of those statements also apply to having children and I would never ever give them up for an easier life, so why would I give up something I love almost as much?