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Let's talk about tattoos for a minute.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:42 -- Jess

You may have noticed that over the last year or so, I’ve accumulated a couple more tattoos. Seeing as they didn’t just accidentally show up there in my sleep (I’m a very light sleeper), I figured I’d explain some of my reasoning behind it. I know that people have a wide variety of opinions on tattoos, especially on women, and I wanted to explain why I personally went from having very few to much more visible ones.

You may recall that on the 10th anniversary of Jessicurl, I got the Jessicurl Logo Lady tattooed on my upper arm. That was my 3rd. I got my first one when I was 17, but not for the reasons you might think. I wasn’t trying to rebel against my conservative parents or any of that. (If you know my parents, you’re DYING laughing right now.)  In fact, I was SO well behaved that my father was genuinely worried about me, and would give me lectures when I’d, in his mind, pass up the opportunity to do something “normal-kid-bad”, like stay out late or whatever. So in order to prove that I COULD do something out of character, I got that tattoo. I went by myself to get it; it wasn’t like a big fun trip with the girls or whatever everyone else was doing in 1993.

Anyway. I got my second when I was 20 and really didn’t think I’d get any others until the idea struck to get my logo on my 10th Jessicurl anniversary. That just made sense. I loved it. As before, I really didn’t think I’d get any others. Famous last words.

Here’s something you may or may not know. Since 2000, I’ve had heart surgery 6 times, the most recent being in May. This last one was the most intense and certainly the most painful. (Comparitively, yes, the others were easy.)  I’d known for about 2 years that I would have to do it but was putting it off because… well … pain. :)

So over the years, with all those surgeries, a lot has been done to my body that I didn’t have any control over. There are scars I’d prefer not to have and pain I’d rather not have felt. Getting these tattoos has been a way to take some of that control back, in very decorative, beautiful ways. (That last part is clearly subjective and merely my opinion. You certainly don’t have to share that opinion.) For most of my adult life, it's felt like my heart has been in charge, and when I'm deciding on how to decorate my arm or leg, that puts me back in charge. 

Will I get more? Yeah. I might end up with a pacemaker at some point and those suckers show a visible lump through the skin. I don’t want that. I’d much rather disguise it with a tattoo. I have no intention of being totally covered, but I do enjoy the process and experience. I don’t find it painful in the least.

Will I regret them someday? I doubt it. I think they’re beautiful. Besides, I’ve always been into decorating everything around me. :)

Do I care that they’ll be all saggy someday? Nope. All skin sags, tattooed or not. I’ll just be glad to be OLD enough to be saggy, you know?

Does it bother me that people judge people with tattoos? Yes. Because nothing about me has changed. So to think that I could be thought of differently upsetting. But when I need to, I can wear clothes that cover them up.

Let’s remember the Jessicurl tagline and how I’ve always said it’s about so much more than curls. You Have The Right To Remain Curly extends beyond hair, to you have the right to be yourself. To like yourself. To express yourself. To feel comfortable in your hair AND your skin.

Here’s a picture of the decorations I got around my Jessicurl logo lady. I love it. Shout out to Dean at Visual Tattoo in Arcata for being so awesome.