My body, my tattoos, my regrets!

Tattoo | Tyranny of Pink

I’ve heard it said about a million times before, to me, to others to the world in general.

Oh you’ll regret them when you’re older…

It’s tiresome, it’s boring and it’s not really helpful in any way.

I often want to say not as much as you’ll regret being an asshole but the truth is, that assholes very rarely realise that they are being assholes anyway.

And yes, you’re being an asshole if you say this to people with tattoos – because people with tattoos don’t care what you have to say, really they don’t. We KNOW that tattoos are permanent, we pay enough money for them to hope they bloody last forever. That’s the idea!!

We know what we are getting ourselves into I swear. So please don’t tell me that I will regret my tattoos… because even if I do, it’s not ever going to be your business.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. ― Shannon L. Alder”

The reason I will never regret my first tattoo

When I was 19 years old, I walked into a tattoo parlour, picked a design off the wall and said, “I want that lizard on my back!” I paid for it and a few minutes later, I was sitting in a small room and shocks of electricity went zinging through my body. FUCK. This was a lot more painful than I imagined… “oh you’re done with the outline? Okay that’s cool, you can stop there… ” The tattoo artist was having none of it. So I sat there for a while longer and he filled in the colour. A solid black lizard tattooed on the right side of my back.

I left feeling empowered.

Why was this tattoo life changing for me?

It might seem like a silly thing to many but I grew up in a really strict home. A home where I didn’t get to make choices just willy nilly for myself.

I pierced my belly button when I was 16 and my father was none the wiser until I was 18 and I accidentally flashed it at him while sitting on the couch one day. He was unimpressed. I was big-mouthed and brave and when he asked when I got it, I said “two years ago, are you going to punish me now” and he said nothing but I knew he was “disappointed”.

I wasn’t allowed to do these things you see.

And when I left home finally, for university, the world was new and open and I was still a little girl, terrified of the consequences of not doing the right thing.

A month later I pierced my tongue. When my father saw it during lunch a few weeks later, he lost his mind and started screaming and shouting at me.

I walked away – defeated.

A tamed woman will never leave her mark in the world. ― Robert M. Drake Click To Tweet

I didn’t own the rights to me.

There I was, 19 years old, living in a new country all on my own and still just a little girl.

So you see, getting that first tattoo was my way of taking back me.

Taking ownership of my life. Stating loudly “this is me” – a girl who loves tattoos.

Good girls don’t get tattoos! 

So when I got that first tattoo, I thought about hiding it for the longest time. In the end, I decided that the only way to really stand up for myself was to show it to him and make no apologies for it. So I did. He reacted surprisingly calmly. He didn’t say very much at all.

And when I got my next one, I would have shown it to him too but he died before I had the chance to. I remember standing next to his bed, in ICU as he lay dying – confessing about my tattoo as if telling him would absolve me of the guilt I felt for getting this done. To my own body. I guess I was still just his little girl.

As the years go by and I add each tattoo to my body, I think about what it means to own your own body.

Bee Tattoo | Tyranny of Pink

A “B” for Bonnie (My mom).

I think about having the right to put each tattoo permanently on my skin and it empowers me more and more. This is my body and I have the right to do with it as I may.

And when you ask me “don’t you regret getting them?” the answer will always be no. I know what I’m getting myself into. I know what it means to have ink inserted into the layers of my body. I choose them.

Because as much as you may hate my tattoos, or they may not be “to your taste” they empower me and remind me that this is me, this is my body and I can do with it as I please. Some of my tattoos have meaning and others don’t. I don’t need to explain or justify them to you or to anyone.

This is my body.

These are my tattoos.

And no, I don’t regret them!

“Death is the easy part, the hard part is living and knowing you could be so much more then you’re willing to be. ― Robert M. Drake”

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12 Discussion to this post

  1. Tamarah says:

    I love your bee, too! And I am so sorry you needed to take ownership of your own body, but I am delighted you found a way you love and that expresses who you are. I love tattoos, on other people. I’m a total wimp and I would need a very good reason to get inked, but I probably will, eventually. My big downfall is that I love the artistry of a really good tattoo, it’s a darned difficult medium and I always, desperately want to see and inspect other people’s tattoos, but I know that’s super rude and that sucks a little for me, I won’t lie…

    • Hahah Tamarah you have me laughing over here. Thank you for the kind words, it feels weird to say out loud that I had to claim my own body. I wonder if parents know how much power they have over us! I love looking at other people’s tattoos but I’d never dare inspect closely because it’s the number one thing I hate. And people OFTEN ask me to lift up my top – how creepy is that? I think if you ever decided on something you love enough, you will get it done but they aren’t for everyone. My husband isn’t a tattoo person either (even though I’ve tried over the years to persuade him) and though he loves my tattoos, I don’t think he’d ever actually get one. That’s okay too 🙂 I love your honestly hehe

  2. ChevsLife says:

    I am itching to get inked! I got my first one while in Pretoria – think I was 19/20, and I felt really great when my parents frowned upon my inked expression.

    Please do share more pics of your ink. The B for Bonnie looks great!

    • Thank you 🙂 You should definitely do it! I don’t have many visible ones but I love knowing they are there even if on a day to day basis people don’t see them! They are so much a part of me!

  3. Zoe says:

    Yay! I love how tattoos mean something different for everyone. So powerful, and yes – an important way to claim your own body.

  4. The bee is so cute 🙂

  5. Wenchy says:

    Loved your post. My reason for my tattoos are different but no regrets either.

  6. Bonnie says:

    Your tattoos are beautiful and you are beautiful. And I especially love your new one. I may be a little biased here. ♡
    Keep on being you. Fearless and awesome.
    I love you as big as the sky.
    Xoxo

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