When I was in university, I wrote an essay titled "In Defense of the Romance Novel". I knew this was risky, writing a university level essay about Romance Novels. The risk paid off as I ended up getting an A from a really tough English professor. This blog post is going to be a similar kind of personal essay - but this time in the Defense of my Tattoos.
Why do I need to write a defense on my tattoos?
Because this is my way of addressing the reasons why I got my tattoos, and also my way of addressing a lot of comments to one more my recent videos on Tik Tok. In this video I was showing off the fact that my nails had matched my Apreol Spritz bikini; you can see this below.
There were a lot of complimentary compliments, but there was definitely a negative undertone in some of the comments mainly around my tattoos. Some notable comments: "You are such a pretty girl, but your tattoos make you ugly" as well as "Call me old fashioned, but I don't like tattoos" or "You would be so much more beautiful with no drawings on your body" etc.
I deleted them all because I don't need that sort of negative talk on anything I put out there. Also, and more importantly -
I didn't get my tattoos for you.
I don't have my tattoos as a way to impress anyone.
I got every single tattoo for a reason.
Additionally, there is a long history between the warrior culture and the role that tattoos have played in that culture throughout history. They have been around for 12, 000 years; this would make them actually far more "traditional" than not having tattoos if you think about it.
Tattooing was a tradition in the British Navy in the 1700's when it was the most powerful navy in the world. Dayak warriors would receive hand tattoos after they have taken a head in battle. The Vikings warriors would tattoo themselves to denote themselves as warriors. Celtic warriors would adorn themselves with Woad tattoos or the meridian lines, to enhance their performance in battle. The Samurai began being heavily tattooed around 600 AD in order to help their bodies be identified on the battlefield. For more about all the different warriors throughout the world that bear tattoos, click here for a great summary.
Amazonian warrior women also were thought to have borne tattoos (and smoked pot, go figure?), as well as the fact that in ancient Polynesian culture tattooing played a hugely important role in both religious rituals and warfare. In Polynesian culture, even the placement of the tattoo on the body bears sacred significance. Being half Filipino (which if you dig deeper into genes) I think that is also why I am drawn to tattoos.
I got my first tattoo when I was 18, because that was the youngest I could legally get a tattoo on my own in Manitoba. I got a small pretty dove on my right shoulder, it was done by an artist at a studio called Kapala. I got it because it was supposed to represent the Holy Spirit; on my right hand side guiding me. My next tattoos were my stars on my hips; 3 on each side. Done by Dan Fletcher; I sat the full 4 hours that it took for the hard lines. This was incredibly painful. I got this tattoo in response to a breakup with my first love and it was a reminder for me to always follow the stars. My sternum tattoo was done by Chibi Ink at the Toronto Tattoo Convention; and it was of Sailor Moon's broach. Sailor Moon was a huge part of me growing up... her importance to me can be saved for another post! My shoulder tattoo are beautiful and strong Hibiscus flowers; which are meant to symbolize womanhood and fleeting fame and glory; I have it to remind me that life is fleeting - and to try to be in the moment.
My shoulder tattoo as well as my most recent tattoo are done by the ever amazing Lorena; if you are local to the Greater Toronto Area go check her out. My most recent tattoo are wings on my ankles - meant to represent Mercury; the God of Communication as well as the ruling planet of my moon sign - Gemini.
Wow, that felt really good to write out all of the reasons and meanings of each of my tattoos. That is why I can truly say that I do not regret them, not a single one.
So to my tattoo haters - the good news is that I don't really care what your opinion is of my tattoos because I didn't get them for other people's approval.
To my tattoo lovers... I would love to know why you got each of your tattoos. They are truly works of art, and I would love to hear your story!