When I met the love of my life, I also fell in love with a new way of self-expression.
My husband, Kevin, is a huge fan of Asian culture and influence. When I met him his tattoos, (one on his neck with the Chinese inscription “eternal courage” which carries a deep meaning for him), caught my eye along with his beautiful personality and charm.
While many folks’ rite of passage to adulthood is a fresh tattoo at 18, I was grown with three children before I faced the needle to get inked. I’d always been intrigued by this art expression and wanted to get one. When the opportunity arose, I took the leap.
My tattoo artist was an Octane client who entrusted me with managing his social media and email marketing. I knew we were already in sync and understood each other’s communication style. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed from having seen so much of his work.
After collaborating on the design, my right arm became his canvas.
While many may get a small piece as their first tattoo, I went big and got a sleeve!
Starting at my shoulder and extending to my wrist , my flesh is wrapped in a festoon of blooming florals, representing growth and love.
I believe we should honor ourselves in the skin we’re in. We each have a story. Tattoos are a form of visual storytelling.
And my story isn’t done.
It’s true once you pop you can’t stop! I plan on creating a matching floral piece on my upper leg by next summer.
My kids also want to get matching tattoos someday, and I approve of it.
July 17 is National Tattoo Day, and at Octane, we celebrate self-expression and art. However, we also realize that while tattoos are popular and accepted, (and not just for biker gangs and servicemen), in the work industry there are still instances of tattoo discrimination.
According to Modern Gentleman magazine:
- Tattoo discrimination statistics reveal that tattooed women are more discriminated against than inked men.
- The type of profession dictates the tolerance for tattoos in the workplace, statistics show.
- Six in ten employers wouldn’t hire a candidate with a face tattoo, tattoo discrimination statistics show.
Currently, around 46% of the US population is tattooed, making it the third country in the world by the percentage of tattooed people. Also, about 65% of tattooed Americans had more than one tattoo in 2019, and 3% had over 20 tattoos, according to the 2021 article.
Knowing that discrimination is still very much alive, as a working professional, I intentionally choose to work with people and in spaces where tattoo culture is accepted and appreciated.