I want tattoos that are uncompromising and playful

I don’t follow any organized religion, but I think that choosing to mark anything with ink is a morally significant act. Marking one’s own body with ink is, to me, a profound act of autonomy and self-ownership. I’ve wanted to do it since college, meaning I’ve wanted to have my tattoos done for 6-8 years now. I’ve reached the point in my life where I think it’s time.

I’ve always been the ‘weird kid,’ and I’ve always been scared of people, and I’ve always tried to fit in to make other people happy. I don’t want to do that any more. I want to be seen. I want to be seen as different.

I went to Dr. *** and I was really scared of him because I thought he would think I was weird. When he came into the room, I saw that his arms were covered in tattoos and I immediately felt relieved and safe from judgement. I want other people who are like me to feel that same relief and safety around me when they see my tattoos.

I want to start with my right arm and hand. I want black-out tattoos with patterns or shapes in the negative space. I want them to cover the skin that my fingerless gloves cover. I want them to be clean and simple aesthetically. I want them to feel gentle, calm, and assured. I want them to be playful and unburdened. I also want them to be uncompromising and inevitable. This is why I want so much black in a place that is difficult to hide.

Someday, I might want to honor my hard-edged way of thinking with more rigid shapes on my left arm and hand. But for now, I want to start with the right.

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