So hanging out at my favorite watering hole this evening I noticed my server just got a fresh tattoo – her first. I of course congratulated her for it but she confided in me that she didn’t dare show her parents because they are very religious and hate tattoos. I did give her some bold advice and I hope she takes it to heart. I’m sharing that advice with you all here because I’m sure you fellow inked folk out there have had to deal with this yourselves.
I will be working under the assumption you are all legal adults in your jurisdiction as every place I’ve ever lived you had to be of the age of majority (18 here) to get a tattoo. Assuming you are of the age of majority my advice is simple: it is your body and your choice and you need to assert that simple fact. I don’t care if it’s a parent, grandparent, spouse/significant other or even a friend, it is your body and your choice and if said family member has a problem you tell that person where he/she can stick it!
I know I deal with this all the time. I have a grandmother who is very anti-ink and she never ceases to remind me every time I see her. She even asked me what would happen if my boss were to let me go over it. Well first of all, tattoos in the workplace aren’t that big of a deal anymore, but second of all is the bullshit: she acts like it is her body and she had ink forcibly injected into her body against her will.
No, I won’t apologize for my tattoos and I hope you don’t either. I also refuse to cover them just to appease her and I hope you don’t cover yours to appease someone either. You are old enough to make your own decisions and you stick by those decisions. I know my grandmother likes to play the “but God gave you great skin” nonsense with me (she doesn’t know I’m an atheist and I don’t tell her because of the drama that would ensue). My response to her the last time she brought that up was simple: “I agree, my artists agree that I take ink so well that it’s like it is just supposed to be there!” (which is true, I take ink very easily).
Whatever the case, don’t back down. You are your own person and if someone wants to constantly give you grief about your ink, my recommendation is to cut that person out of your life. You don’t need that bullshit. Your tattoo is a work of art and it deserves respect. That’s the bottom line.