THIS brilliant article on stereotypes us feminists see ourselves confronted with is what you should read if you are male/female and human, before you proceed to the rest of this post.
I have been watching a lot of Ghibli movies and been getting new tattoo ideas (finally!! I have been wanting one for ages now but could never find anythin I really liked) and also started appreciating my existing ones. I always forget how beautiful and meaningful they are to me until I take a moment and look at the lines and shades and think back to when I got them, where I got them and why I got them.
It's probably 'just another script tattoo' for you but it means loads to me. It represents a time in my life that was not only awesome and free of sorrow and worry but also taught me heaps about myself.
I was devastated when I saw Christchurch in ruins after the earthquake last year and was very emotional, when I saw the tattoo studio I went to completely destroyed during a news report on TV. I actually bawled my eyes out on the way to work that morning. I get pretty attached to places....
Moving on...aaahh, nostalgia!
My leg piece is by far the most significant tattoo I got so far (and surprisingly I don't have a photo of it)- not just because of it's size, but also for what it stands for. I really quite hated myself and everyone around me when I got it done. I was frustrated with who I was and what I was doing - the rut I was in, the daily routine, going to a business school, the shallowness of the people I surrounded myself with, constantly being stressed when I got home, always making sure not to piss anyone off when I was so pissed off myself, holding out for the weekend to experience something new, being disappointed when 'something new' didn't happen and feeding off it for weeks, when it finally did. I hated it. So when I decided I had enough and felt like it's time for a change I booked in for a 4 hour session and got my leg brightly coloured. I had drawn the piece but honestly it looked nothing like what I ended up with which totally worked in my favour (ahahaha, I wish I still had the drawing but I gave it to Martin, my tattoo artist, when I booked in and am pretty sure he threw it out the moment I went out the door). I didn't tell anyone and went to the session by myself. There were a few people who wanted to be there I didn't feel like sharing that experience with anyone else. Also a fun fact: I went to book in for a session in Februay 2008 and the earliest available appointment was in June. I got a call 10 days after booking in that some guy couldn't make his session because he was arrested and that I could get in earlier. I had it done on the 10th of March, 6 days before my 18th birthday. Of course I lied to Martin, he wouldn't knowingly stick ink-tipped needles into kids' skin.
It was a fun session and we listened to Deftones and then Martin put some Juliette and the Licks on for me and I enjoyed every second of it. I had no idea what to expect but hey, he turned out ot be a genious with colours and I let him do his thang. I loved it. I was intimidated by its size at first, but I loved it. Everyone else didn't.
My parents expected something 'little', my father predicted infinite singledom, my friends were polite but I knew secretly they thought I was turning into a butch, my classmates never lost a word about it in my presence, which meant they lost plenty of rude ones behind my back, my profs predicted I was never going to find a job (Jesus, it was 2008 when I got it done and people's reactions were STILL that retarded!)...the list goes on.
It wasn't until I went travelling over 18 months later that I got what felt like the first genuine compliment on my body art. (And trust me, I showed it off at ANY given opportunity from the day I had gotten it.) And they just kept coming. Like fuck. Left, right and centre. And besides killing any doubt about wether taking a gap year and leaving the country was the right decision, I finally felt understood! It felt amazing to be amongst like-minded people!
So what the fuck did we learn today?
1) Tattoos are shit if you get them for fashion purposes. They are awesome if you get them to capture a feeling, date a significant point in your life, to piss someone else off (YES, totes supporting that!), to prove something to yourself (and that might simply be not taking yourself too seriously), to express love for someone/something (I am all for getting your bfs/gfs name tattooed. Just make sure you leave enough space for a cover-up. Just. In. Case.)
2) Getting a tat won't necessarily make you feel better about yourself, if everything around you seems a bit shit. A location change will.
3) I am totally generalising my own experiences here. But hey, it's my blog after all!
4) If you want to re-live your childhood watch GHIBLI!
Now show me or tell me about your body art! Excluding the ones in your crotch-area PLEASE