This post includes images of nudity. Please read at your own risk.
In December I got my first ever tattoo. I’ve always wanted one, and I used to sketch on pieces of paper what I would imagine it would look like.
There was the phase when I really wanted the word YES on my ribs.
There was that one that I was obsessed with getting a moon with a small star (to remember my favourite necklace as a kid, which I wore until my teens).
Then there was the verse.
And then, as I was drifting from town to town during my three month adventure, I finally knew what I wanted.
Once I was back in London, I made my way to a known tattoo parlour and booked the date. I showed up to the date. And boom! Tattoo.
I didn’t expect how it’d change the perception I had of my body.
All of a sudden, the ongoing self-hatred I’d felt through the years started to fade. Looking into the mirror was no longer an ordeal. For the first time ever, I loved the woman that was staring back.
I think what triggered this change was how much I love the tattoo. Even five months later I still admire it every morning. It’s simply so me, it could have been there forever.
And so I found serenity.
As a woman with continued body image issues, getting inked was the best thing I could do. In those moments of physical pain, I felt my body and mind let go of the toxicity that had been poisoning my life. My body woke up from a hatred-induced slumber and welcomed me back with warmth.
However, getting a tattoo is a deeply personal experience and it means different things for different people. I spoke to the incredible writer-poledancer-lecturer-blogger that is Carolina from Blogger on Pole (aka Hades) and learnt that getting tattoos didn’t have the same impact.
“I’ve always liked the idea of tattoos and having something on my body that represented me. I wouldn’t say tattooing myself changed how I thought about my body, but I’ve always thought that you have physical and mental scars, and that it’s nice to have something on your body that is a good memory, or that looks good for a change.”