Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tattoo Talk.

top left. top right. center. bottom left. bottom right.

With all this sunny weather we have been having there have been a lot of bare arms and bare legs around here. All at once everyone's tattoos are visible- it's awesome.

I am so in love (seriously, so in love) with tattoos. Particularly women with a lot of tattoos. When done right (in my opinion) like the women above, they look so strong and empowered while still maintaining their femininity.

I hope one day to look like this, not covered, not full or filled in sleeves, but with a beautiful collection of tattoos.

I don't know how to explain it. It's hard for me to understand why anyone could be so against them. For me it's partially about expressing myself, less about making a statement, and more about loving my body. I think we can all agree, being a woman and feeling completely comfortable in your skin isn't always easy. I can't explain how incredible it feels to look down at yourself and be proud. To see art instead of imperfections. It's a beautiful thing.

I'm sure some of you have experienced some family disapproval in this area. I by no means come from a family that is very accepting of tattoos. The only one who does is my amazing mother. I know I push her sometimes but she never ceases to amaze me with her willingness to change her opinions on things in support of me. My dad on the other hand has a harder time and just kind of stiffens up when he sees them. Papa no like tattoos. Just how he was raised. With most of the rest of my family I get weird looks or the standard, "Well, what are you going to think of them when you're 80?" or the classic, "What about when you get married?" These are my favorite questions.

When I'm 80 I'll most likely be wearing pants and long sleeves year round like every other 80 year old. But maybe having tattoos when I'm 80 will make me feel like I do now- more confident in my body. I don't believe I will be proud of my natural skin once I get that old. Plus, it has always been my lifelong dream of being a badass grandma.

In terms of my wedding day, it's not about anyone else but me and my husband. If tattoos are a part of me and who I am obviously I will want them on display when I get married. To be honest I hope I have  my arm tattoos to where I want them before I'm married, so I can showcase them. I mean, just look how beautiful and not intimidating they are..

As you've probably guessed from this post I have my fair share of tattoos (very feminine tattoos). And also you've probably guessed that I'm not done getting them. As pro tattoos as I am I have limits. No neck, chest, or hands (and it seems obvious but no face or head). Honestly the hands part of that rule makes me sad since the tattoo I've always wanted since I was little was a hand tattoo. The thing is you have to have limits. No matter how much it sucks when everyone tells you people think of you differently when you have tattoos, it's true. It's definitely not always in a negative light but it's still there.

From the little I've heard, hands, neck, head, and face tattoos were suppose to be reserved for only tattoo artists back in the day. I completely respect that rule. The problem with those tattoos is that you can never really cover them up if need be. Those can easily turn into the "regret" tattoos. I highly advise against them. The only reason I don't want to get my chest tattooed is because it is my favorite part of my body. I have seen some beautiful chest pieces (seriously, gorgeous) but for me it's just not something I want to do.

You have to really consider your career path. For me I go to art school. And I want to live in the Pacific Northwest for the rest of my life. If someone doesn't want to hire me because of my tattoos, it probably isn't a place or client I want to work for. You may have different circumstances than me. Think it out.

In conclusion (this feels a little like an essay to me too, trust me) if you want tattoos, and you are confident in why you want them don't be afraid. And in complete sincerity if you don't like tattoos, that's totally great! It's just about who you are and your control of your own body. Be proud of yourself!


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Candace! I completely agree with (almost) everything you said. I think tattoos are a part of who you are, and you shouldn't have to feel like you need to hide such a beautiful part of yourself on your wedding day. And yes, 80-year-olds are always wearing tons of clothes because their cold, so my grandkids might not even know that I have tattoos, haha. I would like to say though, that I have a tattoo on the inside of my middle finger and very few people have actually noticed it (I worked at a really conservative office for nearly 10 months before anyone noticed it!). So, as long as you consider the size, I don't think all hand/finger tattoos are too noticeable.

    I always wanted a tattoo simply for the experience of getting one. Everyone said that I was "ruining" my body and that one day I would regret. Well, it's four years later and I still love it. I have added two more to the collection and plan on adding many more. They are all small and fairly well hidden, but over the last year I have been more and more drawn to large, colorful tattoos. While I always appreciated them on others, I never imagined that I would want them one day. They are just so beautiful, though!

    Wow. Sorry for writing a novel here. Obviously, I have a lot to say about tats. haha. Also, have you ever done a post on all of your tattoos? I would love to see them in more detail!

    1. I'm actually really jealous you have a finger tattoo! I honestly think small tattoos on your hands can be a totally different story! I just work in a tattoo shop so these days I'm more talking about full on knuckle tattoos and back of hand tattoos because I see a lot of young people getting stuff like that done.
      I would love to do a post on my tattoos! I have a good mix of tiny to big. I've been so drawn to larger pieces lately too, the detail you can get is incredible. I still love little tattoos too, they are so cute!

  2. I'm WAY pro tattoo, I think they are beautiful. Why does everybody gotta be so damn uptight, who cares. I would love to see some of your tattoos!

  3. I remember when I got my firs tattoo(it's super extra small and on the outside of my foot just below my ankle) and my mom was so mad. To her defense, I'd been telling her I was going to get one, she had been saying no I wasn't, and then one day I told her I was on my way to, she thought I was joking, I came home with it and she wasn't too happy. She didn't hate it after all, but couldn't tell me that, ya know? My grandmas was most surprising though, I'm pretty sure she neither agreed with my getting nor disagreed, but really wanted to see it once I'd gotten it. I think my mom gave up when I got fourth one under my left collar bone.

    I'm so desperate to get the tops of my feet covered but just can't let myself spend the money right now. Maybe in the fall once tops of my feet will be getting less sun, and won't be constantly dunked in sand and water.

    Oh, and there's a giveaway on my blog right now, just in case you're interested!

  4. I also live in Portland and I don't think many people realize I have tattoos for 75% of the year. In summer when my arms are bare you can see that my arm is tastefully covered, I have some children's book illustration art on my right arm, and I think at times you can see the tip of my leg tattoo. My mother said I ruined my life but I've held the same graphic design career for 12+ years running where I work in a great company downtown now. I want the top of my hand covered when I finish out my arm because I have a terrible scar there I'd rather put ink over. I guess that constitutes a hand tattoo but for me things like knuckles are kind of a "no" and I'm wavering on a chest piece, maybe because I think those look odd until someone is really well covered.

  5. ugh! my family is the same way! i love tattoos too and i hope to have many more. i love the wedding photos you put up. they are really cute and show that tattoos can totally work when you're getting married because that honestly was a bit of a concern for me. great post!