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Some Call It A Tattoo, I Call It A Liberation

  I've been raised to respect authority. I'm a privileged person in the aspect that my parents have tried to give me everything they never had, and more. This being said, I must also then state, my father is whole heartedly against tattoos, piercings and any other body modification you can name or even think of. My mother agrees with modest piercings (i.e. the side of the nose and the ears, perhaps the belly button, but thats about as far as it goes for her, although I doubt she would care as much if it weren't for my fathers solid view against mods). I, however, have always been drawn to the world of body modification.

When I was about 15 years old my brother came home with his first tattoo, a memorial tattoo to our grandmother who had passed away. During this time, my father and brother did not speak to one another because of this tattoo. My fathers rule was, if you live in my house, there will be no tattoos or piercings. So it was knowing this, that a few months before my 18th birthday, I went to Red House tattoo and made my appointment for my first tattoo.

I kicked around a few different ideas for my first tattoo. One thing I am, is thorough. I can't half-ass anything, let alone something that I will have on my body forever. So, the internet search for tattoo ideas began (oh of course it led me straight to BMEZINE though, and many ideas it did give me!). I've always wanted a chest piece, and yet it didn't seem fitting enough for this first tattoo- although it most definitely will be the next tattoo (and also is not the best idea when you're trying to keep it hidden from a parent). I've always had an affinity for the Irish, so I decided on a Shamrock made out of Celtic Knots to go on my hip-it would be the perfect hiding place and I am partial to hip tattoos.

So now all I had to do was wait it out. I made my appointment in December (my birthday being in January) but because I wanted the owner of the shop to do my tattoo, there was a 4 to 5 month wait-list to get my work done. The time between when I made my appointment and the day I was supposed to get my tattoo dragged by and I waited eagerly to feel that needle. Yet, I can't count how many times I debated on backing out. I thought about all the possible outcomes of this tattoo, all the fallouts that this could cause if my father found out about my Shamrock, and to be quite honest, I was trying to figure out in my mind whether or not I could swing the rent to move in with my sister if I got kicked out. The day finally came and I thought my heart would pop out of my chest as my boyfriend at the time and my sister drove me to the tattoo parlor. When we walked in I filled out the normal paperwork, Jess pulled out her sketch and then she took me back to see if I liked the placement
and to get the ball rolling.

I rolled my shirt up and laid still in the chair. I stopped breathing then, I just held my breathe in as my sister and Jess talked and joked. I was trying to prepare myself for the first jab of the needle into my skin. People were telling me about how painful tattoos were. They told me that especially on bone, the needle was going to hurt. Probably the truest account I was given was that it feels like someone sticking a safety pin in and out over and over again, it gets to be more of an annoying sensation than anything. I'm a baby when it comes to pain, but this was something that I have always dreamed of, so I laid back, and I put myself somewhere else. I took my breathes, and I felt like a better person as soon as the needle began to enter and retreat from my skin, again and again. That sounds dumb, doesn't it? A tattoo making me a better person? But thats how I felt, I felt like a new person.

Getting my tattoo was the most liberating experience of my life. People try to prepare you for the pain of getting a tattoo- they try to scare you and tell you that you'll be a 'freak' for life if you get one. It's rare that people tell you how freeing it is, how, from the time that needle first pierces your skin and the ink begins to seep in, you're reaching a higher place. I firmly believe it takes a special kind of a person to get a tattoo themselves from head to toe, or cover themselves with ornate back, chest or sleeve pieces. The mind set you must put yourself in, is in itself, a type of Euphoric Nirvana, in my opinion. My tattoo represents so much and although my mother found out about it soon after (perhaps getting tattooed by a friend of the family when you're trying to hide your tattoo isn't the smartest idea, ha)I will never regret my tattoo. It was my way of freeing myself and making me realize that the world will not end if you do something your parents don't a gree with. My tattoo was more than a tattoo, it was a religious experience, a true ascension of my mind, body and soul.

So thats my experience, perhaps a bit cliche.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Jessica
Studio: Redhouse+Tattoo%27s
Location: Lancaster%2C+NY

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