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Tattooed and Still a Lady

How Any of the Ink on My Body Doesn't Make Me Less of a Lady

Rennie Mackintosh style roses on my ankle.

Anyone who has ever been tattooed knows the stock phrases that other people will use to judge your choice to ink a design onto your body. "That is going to look so bad when you are older." "Aren't you going to regret that?" "How is that going to look on your wedding day?" And similar lines to that effect. One of the more prominent ones for me is the fact that my tattoos somehow make me "less of a lady"—tattoos in themselves are apparently "masculine" things to have, and proper ladies shouldn't have them. Today, I am gonna walk through my basic issues with those statements, one lady-like step at a time.

Aging with Tattoos

My thigh pieces - LOTR inspired on left, rose on right.

So, basic facts: we are all going to get older. Some of us will age well, some may not. We are all going to age. That is a fact. I will be incredibly happy and grateful for my life if I live well into my 70s or beyond. I truly believe that by that point in my life, I will be surrounded by family, and happy to spend each day with those I love. I will not be concerned with how I look, my tattoos will remind me of earlier times in my life. That leads me to the issue of regrets.

My tattoos tell tiny stories about different parts of my life, and some of them show how strong I have been. I once went to a comedy roadshow where the comedian described the tattoos he had as a "roadmap of my life," and I feel this is such an eloquent way to describe how I feel about the ink on my skin. One of my tattoos is particularly close to my heart as it covers a self-harm scar. It is art, that helps me not to hurt myself, that represents different stages of my life, and I wouldn't ever want to ruin it or change it, because at one point it made me so happy.

In terms of how my tattoos will look on my wedding day, I think they will look freaking awesome! I know that the man I marry will love my tattoos and love me for me. I want the tattoos to be a feature of my look for my wedding. They represent who I am as a person, and I want that to shine through on what I hope will be the happiest day of my life.

Not Very Lady-like?

Blurry photo of my current forearm tattoos.

Like I said before, this is the area that I have a major problem with. My wonderful friend and tattoo artist, Rachel (@rachelritchietattoos on Instagram), has created some beautiful and delicate designs for me that have a personal meaning and significance, and I adore them. My ankle bracelet celebrates my Scottish roots, whilst my Ganesh tattoo represents the Indian line in my family tree. My Lord of the Rings tattoo is because that film has made such a major impact on my life. The rose was originally designed by my best friend and reminds me of her. My back tattoo that I got as my first tattoo when I was 17 reminds me of my sister. All of these tattoos link to a part of me, and I am damned if I am going to stop recording the important elements in my life in this way.

My femininity or lack of it thereof is not dictated to by the tattoos I choose to get. Should I not got any horror tattoos because they won't fit in with this concept that I need to be a "lady"? Should I not get any flower designs to stop me looking like a girly-girl? Hell no—I will get whatever I like inked on my own body.

I intend to get more tattoos, lots more, and I have learned over the years not to give a damn if people don't agree with them or tell me I have made a mistake getting one. It's my body, and it is my choice how to decorate my skin.

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