‘She said, ‘That isn’t going to look as good after 30 years and a baby.’: Woman responds to body shaming, ‘Tattoos are not for everyone, and that’s okay’

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“I wanted to talk about something important to me, and that’s my tattoos…well, tattoos in general.

I have three, but one is a fairly large cover up. I plan to get more in time, but I always like to sit on an idea for a year or so before committing — just to make sure I don’t change my mind. But that’s just me.

Tattoos are a personal thing. It’s artwork that shows so much about you. The way you think, what you see as beautiful, all the way down to the way you see the world. Right there on your skin. I love it. Tattoos are an expression.

I don’t have any tattoos in visible places. But that is because I have a very suit and tie job, and unfortunately, not everyone shares my opinions on tattoos. It is what it is.

My favorite expression to hear is, ‘That isn’t going to look as good after 30 years and a baby.’ Well DUH! I’m not getting this for 53 year old me; I’m getting this for 23 year old me. For the me that feels this way in this moment, at this point in my life. Not for 30 years down the road…I’ll have other tattoos for that me.

All of my tattoos have a meaning or reason behind getting them. Not to say everyone should look at getting ink the same way. I’m just telling you about me.

I have a swallow on my left shoulder blade, with Joshua 1:9 written beneath it. My Papaw passed away when I was in high school, and it also happened during a very trying time in my life. I decided on the swallow because it signifies a safe trip home. My Papaw was the type to go to church on Sundays. Even though I am not religious, it felt right to do that, as well as have his favorite bible verse added.

Courtesy of Harley Murphy

I have a short bit of the song ‘Summertime’ on my left rib cage. When I was little, like when all kids are little, my mom sang to me. That was the song she would sing. It’s a bit of my childhood I get to have with me all the time.

Lastly, I have two large flowers that cover what was a phoenix. The phoenix was awful! I was embarrassed to get into a bathing suit because I didn’t want anyone to see it. This is the only tattoo I didn’t take years to decide on. I just knew I needed it covered. So when I went in for a consult, I told the woman who would be doing it I just wanted her to do what she wanted. Make it pretty, but she had all the freedom to do as she pleased.

Tattoos are not for everyone, and it’s okay for people to tell you they don’t like tattoos, just as it is okay for you to like them. It’s all about the person.

My tattoos are for me, not you.”

Courtesy of Harley Murphy

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Harley Murphy. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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