Sunday, June 14, 2015

To tattoo or not to tattoo?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,                                           

My mom has a lot of tattoos. My friends have bugged me about this since I was little. But now I am graduated from high school and I am thinking about getting tattoos also. Two of my friends went crazy about this when I mentioned it.

Not only did they say really mean things about me but they said horrible things about my mom. They said I will be just like her and have tons of boyfriends and not have a job most of the time.

My mom loves me a lot and has sacrificed for me.

One of my friends even went so far as to put it up for a poll on her Face book. It’s like I’m not even living or something. I feel like I am being bullied.

I think I’ll just do it when I’m eighteen in August and go to college. They keep telling me I’m insecure and making a big mistake. I don’t feel that way about myself.

I like tattoos. Why won’t they leave me alone?

Tattoo Girl

Dear Tattoo Girl,

Twenty years ago, tattoos on women were acknowledged as edgy statements about the tattooed woman. Today, it’s ordinary. It’s still self-limiting by trying to define yourself with words, phrases, or pictures that don’t portray who you really are. It’s a distraction and misinterpretation about your civility, courage, confidence, creativity and elegant carriage. These are our 5 C’s to Define Yourself Before Others Do.

The truth is, the world is visual and society does define others by what’s “inked” on their bodies. It is still viewed as an impulsive, immature and insecure act. Definitely don’t “get ink” or not “get inked” because of peer pressure from bullying.

Tattoos can’t symbolize all that you feel, think, and care about yourself and others. Instead it can present how vulnerable you are. It causes you to be an easy target for victimization. It can’t show how you grow, evolve, gain intelligence, and wisdom.

We live in a very judgmental society. Twenty years ago, it took someone 20 seconds to judge your socio-economic status, intelligence, political and religious values, and virtue. Now, it is only 8 seconds before someone else defines you.

Tattoos that you might think are cute now might be immature later in life, like a kitten or cartoon.

It’s wrong for your friends to bully you and your mom. Obviously your mom’s love and care for you are not defined by her tattoos. Explore the reasons your mom got the tattoos and ask her opinion about you doing the same. She may well encourage you to wait and take more time to make such a life altering decision. Show her this column and discuss it with her openly and with love.

We would like you to remember the top ten reasons not to have a tattoo:

10. They can’t embody your true character and heart.
9. You and your tattoos will age. The number one plastic surgery is tattoo removal.
8. Employers, more often than not, won’t let you show them.
7. You will define yourself differently as you grow and mature.
6. It won’t mirror the many talents, qualities, virtues and characteristics you have.
5. If you have to explain what your tattoo is or means, then it isn’t effective.
4. People often can’t discern what your tattoos are (or mean) in a short period of time.
3. It’s very expensive to change or remove and usually “good ink” costs a lot, too.
2. It’s too commonplace today and not a unique or defining trait.

And the number 1 reason: You don’t need a tattoo to broadcast that you have worth. 

We hope you do not get a tattoo and at the very least, we encourage you to wait before getting a permanent statement on your precious body. Even temporary ink will help you feel the pros and cons of tattoos. Define yourself with extraordinary excellence.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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