I started getting tattooed in March 2014 after almost 10 years of wanting to get tattooed. I always loved them. I loved seeing beautiful ladies covered in pretty pictures and bad ass men with mysterious patterns on them, and I wanted to be one of those pretty ladies. As a young teen, I loved punks and goths and counter culture. I read BME Zine, and realised that there was this whole world of body modification and self expression that I knew nothing about. As I grew older, I knew I wanted tattoos, but I also wanted to wait to get them. By 21, most of my friends who had been tattooed were getting cover ups and reworks, or longing for them! So I waited, and I read, and I learnt as much as I could, until I knew I had found the right person for what I wanted.
This was my first piece. I travelled to Manchester to Loaded Forty-Four and got tattooed by Keely Rutherford. I'm now one session off a completed lower leg sleeve, and have no plans to stop from there. To be tattooed by Keely I've travelled to Manchester, Leeds and London. Because the cliche is true, 'good work ain't cheap, and cheap work ain't good'! I'd rather travel and really get the perfect artist than settle.
Before I started getting tattooed, I lived in full length leggings. I hated my legs. I have eczema scars, weird patches of pigment, and I also have have sort of weird red blotchy pores on my legs. It's always bugged me, even though I'm sure no one else really noticed it! But that's kind of the thing with insecurities, they bother us, even if no one else has ever mentioned them before. When my eczema was bad, or when my scars are obvious, people have pointed them out to me. Still do actually, because I still have eczema. And knowing that it's something people notice is hard. When little kids ask their parents what is wrong with that ladies leg, or someone blunt just outright asks, you realise it's not all in your head.
But since I started getting tattooed, I feel so much more confident! I'm no longer worried about what people are looking at on my legs, instead I know they are looking at my tattoos! I love the colours, I feel like they are an extension of me and I love my body so much more for having them. I can't imagine my skin without them, I feel like I'm becoming the 'me' I was always meant to be. I used to be convinced people could see all the things I was insecure about, and now, even if they can, I don't care, because my body is becoming beautiful art.
Who wouldn't love their body more for being covered in art? I know tattoos aren't for everyone, the world would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things, but they are for me. And that's what I love about my tattoos, they are for me, and no one else. I feel beautiful and special with them. Even when no one can see them because they are covered up, I feel amazing. They make me smile every single time I see them!
I'm more inclined to have my legs out, to wear short leggings or none at all. Loving yourself is such a hard journey, and tattoos have helped me love a part of myself I've always hated. And that can't be a bad thing.
I have ideas for my other leg, and ideas for more tattoos elsewhere. Sorry Mum! Do you have tattoos? Where are they? Who did them? I love seeing work from artists I haven't discovered yet.