In Defence Of Being A Woman With Tattoos

"Because getting a green flamingo tattooed on your thigh is one giant, visible, middle finger to idealised beauty"

It’s official. One in five people in the UK now have a tattoo and more and more of them are women.

These statistics, found in a survey by Experia, show that getting inked is now officially a mainstream beauty choice, but does that mean it’s no longer a taboo? Is there a difference in being inked if you’re female?

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“You get treated so differently as a woman with tats,”  says Cat from the TheBitchBlogs. “At job interviews, online dating and more. Job interviews are the worst. You’re not taken seriously for senior positions.”

“It’s something about the assumed notion that if you have tats you’re ‘reckless’  with your money, body and responsibilities.”

If you look at celebrity culture, you can see that while the taboo as a whole is on its way out, it’s still much more prevalent in our dialogue on female stars.

 Where’s the article about the ‘out of control’ One Direction boys ?

When a young female celebrity gets tattoos, she’s portrayed as wild, out of control, stupid and spontaneous. Just look at the backlash Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Cara Delevigne have got for their recent ink.

On the other hand however, young male celebrities are not called up on their tats whatsoever. Where’s the article about the ‘out of control’ One Direction boys covering themselves in designs?

I strongly believe that we should all be hugely proud of being tattooed women.

Through the social gender bias towards tats, there is still a slight rebellion in the act of getting inked as a woman.

We live in a society that pushes all women into aiming for one aesthetic, free of flaws or imperfections.

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And you know what? Getting a green flamingo permanently tattooed on your upper thigh is one giant, visible, middle finger to idealised beauty.

When I see women covered in tattoos, it reminds me how far we’ve come.

It’s good to walk down the street and see that tattoos are no longer a boy’s game. Women are no longer considering whether their designs can be hidden with a well cut dress.

Another big reason to love your tattoos is because they are literally there for no one but yourself.

Just like a comment on the length of your skirt or what you choose to do with your hair, no one has the right to dictate how another person presents their body.

They represent who I once was and where I came from, so I  look at them and grin

Why do I have a picture of a strawberry on my elbow? None of your business!

Tattoos for me are a memory in time,” says Sara Catrin Thomas. “Two of mine are from a long, long time ago. Although they are small and of no real meaning, they represent a time in my life that I can always relate back to and smile about!”

Cherelle Mead agrees. “I got my first tattoos aged 15 and on a whim each time. I would never have had them nowadays but I feel they represent who I once was and where I came from, so I  look at them and grin.”

In fact, of all the people I asked, while many say they would not get the same design again, not one said they regretted a single tattoo. They just aren’t a big enough deal for anyone to worry about.

“We’re the inked generation,” says 24 year-old David Darbyshire. “Companies are becoming less formal in general and discrimination against tattoos in the work place is disappearing. It has to – we all have them!”

“When we have grandchildren, no one will be able to say to them, ‘What will that mandala design look like when you’re old?’ because they’ll just say, ‘Like grandads!'”

As women, we should be proud of our tattoos for both their poignancy and their ridiculousness.

Yes, I’m proud to say I have a picture of a penguin on my foot, because it makes me laugh.

More than that however, it’s a decision I made that no one can question me on, because it’s mine.

It’s a penguin shaped expression of freedom and control over my own body – and that’s something I’m very proud of.

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