I’ve thought about the topic of tattoos quite a lot, so I thought I’d write about my own ideas and feelings about them.
Tattoos are a beautiful way to decorate your body with pieces of artwork that represent your own identity, places you’ve been, or aspects of your life that are important to you.
I know a lot of people with a ton of tattoos (my sister included) and I actually often see many people with gorgeous tattoos that I think look absolutely fantastic. Especially when it is meticulously thought out, emulating a specific aesthetic, and perfectly matching the one who has it so it almost seems like it has always been there. However, I personally don’t think I could ever get a tattoo.
The reason is: I am too changeable.
I think back to the person I was when I was sixteen, the person I was at eighteen, the person I was at twenty, and the person I was at twenty-two. Now, at twenty-five, I can hardly recognize many aspects of myself that I used to clutch onto with some type of committed embrace, thinking, “This is who I am.” Many of those things don’t apply to me at all anymore.
In fact, I don’t listen to the same music I did five years ago, or even read the same types of books. I have different dreams, different thoughts, different loves, different ideal aesthetics, and different aspirations. The future will be no different, I’m sure.
I remember back when I was 18 and just graduated high school, and I chopped off my hair into a pixie cut from it’s long length that went part-way down my back. I ended up getting glasses shortly afterwards that I had to wear all the time, and remember looking into the mirror and hardly recognizing myself in comparison to the girl who used to stare back at me from the mirror. This huge difference was so liberating for me, especially since I did it right as I graduated high-school.
Hair, glasses, clothes, and even piercings can be removed. If I wanted to dye my hair tomorrow, or grow my hair so it was long, and bleach it blonde and get contacts, I could. I could look like a completely different person.
However, I always had this feeling that if I got tattoos, I could never fully change. I’d always have those permanent reminders of my life, and who I was when I got them, staring at me every single day. Plus, knowing myself, a few years after I got them I probably wouldn’t even like them (I change my mind about things quite a lot).
In a way, I feel like if I got a tattoo it would be to sort of hold onto a piece of myself I never want to let go of.
However, I’m happy to let go of those little pieces of myself. At least visually, and physically. Since, I know I’ll constantly be growing and can always keep those little aspects of my identity locked away in my memories, and build on them as I experience new things.
I completely respect and understand those who decide to take the canvas that is their body and be brave enough to commit to who they are as people, so as to keep that wholehearted love of their identity around on their skin forever. I even somewhat envy those individuals who have the attitude of, “I embrace every part of myself, who I am right at this moment, and love having it around, etched permanently into my body.” In a way, I admire those who aren’t as picky and choosy in this area, and don’t have as much worry about regret. That sort of rock-and-roll freedom and elegance is quite amazing to me, in fact.
However, even though my body is a canvas, I’d rather keep it blank, changeable, and full of hopeful possibility.
I’m also a big believer in my own changeability (as I’ve said many times here), so maybe I’ll change my mind about this one day too.