First you want to cry

Tattoo girl

What do you see? Does this make you happy or unhappy?

This picture, which I just found on Pinterest is a good test for me in my life. My age, experience and the beliefs I have come to attach to my ego says OMG what a waste of such a beautiful young thing, whoever she is. She has ruined herself. How ugly, how rough etc etc. I am not a fan of tattoos. I think the fact that they can be permanent adds to my dislike because I imagine her perfect skin scarred in the attempt of removal. All I see is greeny black mess where luminous young skin should be. One should be focussing on the beauty of nature, not the ugliness of man. Man just can’t compete.

Yada Yada Yada.

But why should I care? Why should I judge? They may bring her immense joy for the rest of her life and be seen as ‘beautiful’ by everyone else. My teenagers will fight with me on this subject until they are blue in the face and I know it’s my issue. I should be happy for this lovely young girl expressing herself, being who she is. It’s only my opinion and I would like to let go of my dislike of tattoos because it serves no-one, least of all myself. My beautiful daughter even now has two small tattoos and I’ve heard that once you get one, it’s addictive and you will continue to cover your body.

Nina tattoo

So this is my lesson for letting go. I cannot control anything, I can only accept and embrace. Who says I am right about anything, especially taste? There is no such thing as good taste anyway. Everyone’s taste is as unique as we are.

These lessons in letting go appear everywhere, every second. Do you judge or accept? How does that work for you and how quickly can you let go? When you next find yourself reacting strongly to something as I did to the photo of the young girl, use it, go with it and hopefully start to resolve it. For me that’s the way forward.






12 thoughts on “First you want to cry

  1. My take is that you don’t need to like them, in fact you can choose to dislike, and that would be perfectly okay. But it is important that you respect the decision of others to differ and do what they feel is right for them, at that point of their life.

    If this lady was covered and you didn’t see her tattoos’, would you view her differently?
    Imagine meeting her, talking with her, and forming a view on her, should it change if you become aware that she has tattoos’.

    Oddly enough, that is what often happens. Yet the person hasn’t changed, all that has changed is your perspective.

    • Excellent point about the change in perspective. By being surrounded by tattoos and taking time to ponder the subject, we can learn to accept and respect though as you say we don’t have to like them. I guess the forming views about people based on what they have inked on their skin is ‘tattoo-ist’.

      • I should have added, it is human nature to form views and opinions… Nothing wrong with that!

        As an aside, I lived in Papua New Guinea for quite some time and it would be unusual to find someone without a tattoo. It is firmly entrenched in their culture, both men and women.

        Thanks for the opportunity to comment on this thought provoking topic!

        Cheers, Baz – The Landy

        • Coincidence! My ex husband lived in Papua New Guinea when we first met, so I have visited there for a few days. You’ve hit the nail on the head with the word Culture. We swim in the sea of our culture like fishes in water, forgetting to realise it’s there. No doubt I would have a couple of tatts if I lived in PNG too 🙂

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with The Landy’s comment above. Life has a funny way of helping us change our perspective sometimes. The truth is, we can only control ourselves and even that is difficult at times. The key is for us to not judge others based on our own opinions, likes, or dislikes. This is a great post as I think many people have a strong opinion one way or another regarding tattoos. Thank you for sharing.

    • I find it almost impossible to control myself at times 🙂 And I hadn’t thought of it as a really worthy topic because of the strong opinions. Thanks for commenting!

  3. When I find myself thinking ‘this should’ or ‘this shouldn’t’ be, I stop and question those thoughts with ‘says who?’ and ‘how can I know what’s good or not good for someone else?’ and ‘everything thing is as it should be, so what do I know’. That always put me in my place. Great post Emma.

    • Thanks Yaz. Yes, I love the ‘who says?’. My best friend at University taught me that when I was having a bout of ‘depression’. It really made me think! She kept saying ‘who says you should…..?’. It was then I realised I was listening to other people too much. It’s taking me a lifetime to really get it, so thanks for the reminder! The ‘everything is as it should be’ is a recent lesson and super worthy. Also worth being reminded of constantly.

  4. I just love your heart. This is your blog and you can post about anything you like and you do it so respectfully, I don’t see how anyone can take offense. The fact is that tatoos are different than they were when we were growing up. I think that if my kids had one on their neck or down their arm, it would make me pretty sad. But I have admired even those sleeve ones.
    My niece go one on her back. It covered most of the upper half. It made me sad. It wasn’t even done by a very good artist and later, she wanted to cover up a name and that job was botched. Now she has a mess on her once beautiful back. Which did not have to be scarred but this one, I feel was by her bad choices…. Though she is still beautiful, when I see her back, it makes me sad.
    Some of those artists are better than any of the famous ones that hang in museums. I saw a movie a while back that focused on the tatoos that the concentration caps put on each prisoner’s wrist. The didn’t have a choice. It was an ID # and ugly. But I guess in honor of my best friend Jody, who is Jewish. I kind of chose not to get one. My friend got one with a bunch of friends on their 50th birthday get togethers… each on their shoulder… she got a rose that said Bella. It was pretty.

    You are right to accept that we are all unique is moving forward. (by the way I loved your last sentence!)
    I guess… the fact reamains that we grew up in a day when our moms would say… eeeewww it might look pretty now but what is it going to look like as a wrinkled old grandma? lol. The deal is that the other day, I saw a beautful young mother with a sleeve that was tastefully done and two little toddler kids, all dressed nicely and well taken care of and she looked like a wonderful little mommy to her kidlets. A decade ago, I might have felt sorry for the kids or judged. I can’t say I didn’t notice the tatoos but realized that like you said, taste is different, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I actually saw it in that young mother, how’s that for forward?

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