Ink’d Up

Day 7: What tattoos I have and do they have meaning

I am a lover of the arts. I love music, poetry, spoken word, drawings, paintings, fashion, and body art. Body art is one of my most favorite forms of self expression.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18 years old. It was a picture of Ms. Piggy in a red dress, and it read BIG SEXY. I remember it hurting really bad and being disappointed when I saw because one of her legs was awkward looking.

I got my second tattoo when I was about 20 or 21. A Chinese symbol that is supposed to mean beauty. Since I can’t read chinese, I have no clue what it really says. It’s a really small tattoo, but it hurt worse than any of my other ones. I learned that it hurt so bad because I was dealing with a tattoo artist who wasn’t experienced with skin of color and he was using too much pressure when applying the ink.

I may have been about 22 when I got my third tattoo. A version of the Capricorn zodiac sign. So far, it’s my favorite tattoo.

Sometime between my 30th and 32 birthday I had the Ms. Piggy tattoo covered with an abstract tribal tattoo. I was disappointed that it ended up looking more like a dragon than anything tribal.

About 2 years after the cover-up. I had it expanded and the artist made some freelancer touch ups to make the tattoo look more feminine and less dragonish.

I’m 37 now and have a tribal on my left upper arm, that is pretty massive, and two tattoos on my left shoulder blade that are no bigger than 2 squared inches. I would love to cover my entire left upper arm, but the older I get the less serious I get about making an appointment with my artist.

I have had experience with a variety of tattoo artist. My advance to anyone who is new to tattoos and tattooing is to do your research. People of color should seek out artists who have knowledge on working with skin of color. Tattoos are with you forever, it’s worth doing your research!

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