I read an article the other day on The High Tea Cast
, by Kate Henley
. Talking about how it sucks that people judge other people on things like having a tattoo. It got me thinking.
You see, the thing about having tattoos is, people will judge you. I'm not sure why. In this day and age where it is acceptable to interrupt a meal to talk on your phone [I don't find that very acceptable unless it's an emergency], where it is acceptable for our society to be overtly sexualised [I don't find that particularly acceptable], when we live in such an 'anything goes' society, why on earth does anyone bother if you sport a tattoo or not?
My own little story goes like this. For my 32nd birthday, I treated myself to a tattoo, which I had known for years and years that I would eventually do. It took me years and years to decide on what tattoo to get [read: it took me years and years to develop the courage to wear a half sleeve tattoo].
Knowing the general judgements our society makes about people with tattoos, I essentially locked myself out of any corporate career [hip hip hooray!], assigned myself to the ranks of the underclass [and we need a class system why?] and became an anomaly ['why on earth would anyone do that to themselves' thought the crowd].
I was quite prepared for all of that. What I was less than prepared for, was the one openly negative comment I received. Just the one.
"No-one will ever marry you, unless he's a big fat truck driver with a beard down to his belly and covered in tattoos."
Man, there's so much going on in that comment that I don't even know where to start. And I'm not going to.
Okay, so this comment isn't the end of the world, I'm a big girl, I can smile politely when someone drops one of those on me. A private tear may have been shed. My gripe here is, why on earth did that person have to say anything at all? In what way, shape or form did it affect that person's life, such that they felt the need to say that to me?
I'm still me! I'm still the person you liked okay before you knew I had a tattoo. What changed?
Anyway I guess the point of this blog post, is to share my views on dealing with such judgements. I believe judgements are a reflection of the person making them. In making that comment, I believe that person was really saying 'I am insecure in myself, I am judgemental, I am superficial'.
So, as easy as it would be to form my own judgement back, it's best for everybody's sake that I don't. Instead, I will recognise the comment for what it is, realise that this person has their own issues going on, and develop compassion for them.
[I make no pretence that it's easy to hold the judgement and instead offer compassion. It takes much practice and the need to dig very deep at times. And don't beat yourself up when you fall short either.]
I love my tattoo!