I’m standing in the line with my grandson waiting to check out at the grocery store. There are two women and a little girl standing behind me. I hear the little girl say, “Mommy look at that lady’s drawing on her arms.” I didn’t look back, but immediately knew she was speaking about me and my tattoos. I hear a woman say, “Honey don’t point it’s not polite.” I thought to myself it was nice that she was teaching her daughter some manners, when I hear another woman say, “That’s crazy, I can’t believe people do that to themselves.” I hear the first woman say, “Yeah, there’s no way I could get all them tattoos like that. What kind of parent does that? What is she teaching her son?” The second woman says, “Not only that, there’s no way she’ll ever have a decent job with all that mess on her.”
I thought, “Do you really think I can’t hear you, or do you really don’t give a damn that you are being completely rude to a complete stranger?” Even though I wanted to, I didn’t turn around and say what was on my mind. I had my grandson with me and didn’t want to expose him to that type of confrontation, so I will address it here so many people can read what I would have said, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop one person from being such a complete ass.
To the women that stood behind me in the grocery store:
First, I can hear you. You are not being at all discrete in your complete bias judgement of me. Your ability to insult someone without any hesitation is beyond sickening to me. Do you not care at all how you made me feel, or my grandson for that matter? I have a seven year old standing with me listening to you degrade his grandmother (even though you thought he was my son, thanks for that.) You are obviously a rude, insecure, and hateful women.
Second, to address what am I teaching my children. Let me tell you what having tattoos has taught my actual children. I raised two boys, by myself. They learned to be creative and critical thinkers that can think outside the box. They learned it was ok to be different and that being yourself is the most important thing you can ever do in life. They learned it doesn’t matter what you look like, you can never know what is in someone’s heart by merely looking at them. They learned to be accepting of other people’s differences, and that those differences are what make people unique and special. They learned tolerance of other people’s views on life, whatever they maybe. They learned it was ok to be an artist, a musician, a poet, or a writer, instead of being what society deems they should be. They learned to embrace their own differences and build on those, use them to their advantage. They grew up to be well rounded, loving, intelligent, critical thinking men that don’t tolerate hate and injustice. They strive to help the ones that cannot help themselves. This is what I have taught my children by having tattoos. I am certain my grandson will learn these invaluable lessons in life as well.
I feel sorry for your children that will grow up thinking it’s okay to degrade a complete stranger and judge people by their appearances. I feel sorry for them because you are instilling hate and intolerance of people that don’t think or look the same as you. I will hold hope in my heart for your children, and believe they will, in spite of you, become loving and caring adults.
Third: You doubt I can have a decent job with all this mess on my body. I have had the same job for 10 years; I believe that makes it a career. I have been afforded a job that not only allows me to have tattoos and express my individuality, they encourage it. I am a massage therapist. Having tattoos has actually helped put my client at ease. When they see me covered in tattoos, they know I am not going to judge them. Many people come to my spa and are nervous and uncomfortable, but I put them right at ease. 90% of my clients have tattoos… 90%. Even the little old ladies that you would never even think would have them, have complete back pieces. They see me and automatically are less nervous. My job obviously affords me to pay my bills, have things I want, do things I want, and pay for these expensive tattoos on my body. Did you think they were free? Quality tattoos cost money. You thinking that people covered in tattoos don’t have decent jobs is an uneducated, ridiculous, and an absurd stereotype, and aren’t you a little too old to be stereotyping and gossiping still?
So really, you insulting and hateful women, the question should be, what the hell are you teaching your children?