Thursday, 10 March 2011

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I recently read an amazing blog from a heavily tattooed girl explaining how getting tattooed may change your life. It’s great because this isn’t something anyone tells you before you trot off to get your first tattoo. You’re either told “you’ll regret it for the rest of your life” or “you’ll love it and regret it if you don’t”. There never seems to be any middle ground, explaining the pro’s and cons, so it was lovely to see someone explain it the good (and bad) ways it will change your life.

It was an especially interesting read for me, because I was made redundant recently and am in the process of applying for jobs. I’ve only had a couple of face-to-face interviews so far and have had to cover my tattoos with long sleeves and thick black stockings so that they won’t know the truth. Because I am currently applying for jobs in corporate environments, I pretty much don’t have a choice because I know I won’t have a chance if I turned up with any tattoos showing, even if I was absolutely perfect for the role.

I can honestly say I have never regretted my tattoos. I love them and am glad I got them in the first place. But I know they can act as a sort of “barrier” between people and the real me. Tattoos do not define me, but to the uninformed stranger that’s all they see and so, in a sense, they do define me. I have turned so many people around on their negative stance on tattoos by being a lovely person and not being the stereotypical deadshit covered in badly-done tattoos. But I have to work hard on some people, show them they’re just a small part of me that makes me a bit more colourful than the average person.

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, please understand it will change your life and you will forever be trying to prove to narrow-minded people that you’re a decent person. By getting a tattoo you’ve set yourself up for dumb questions, having random people touching them and thinly veiled insults (like “oh but you’re so pretty, why did you get so many tattoos for?”). It is up to you to then deflect any negativity by being patient with those who don’t “get” tattoos, explaining what they mean to you and proving you’re a normal person like they are, you just have some lovely, permanent decorations on your skin. And the sad reality is, you will probably have to cover them up for a lot of jobs which is a massive pain in the butt (especially if you live somewhere like Brisbane where you sweat half to death by just being outside for five minutes in the height of summer).

It’s not all bad though, a lot of people do love tattoos even if they don’t have any and you will encounter lots of positivity about them and if you’re really lucky, you will find a great job where they don’t mind your them and let you show the off while working. I am hoping I will one day find the perfect job where my pink hair, colourful tattoos and awesome personality are not only accepted but encouraged!


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Cara Westworth
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