"You're too pretty for tattoos!" My uncle, who I had not seen in three years, pulled up the sleeve of my jacket to get a better look at the tattoos on my arms.
My aunt nodded in agreement.
"You don't seem like the kind of person who gets tattoos." I hear that all the time. "What kind of person is that?" I ask, because I'm genuinely curious. & usually they respond with some sort of variation of, "I don't know." But I imagine they do know & are trying to be polite.
"What are you going to do when you have court?" My peers, law students, ask me that all the time.
"I can't imagine being in court without a blazer...or at least long sleeves."
For a long time, I exclusively got tattoos in places no one could see if I were fully clothed. Getting a tattoo on my arms was a decision that kind of happened organically. I got to a place where I didn't care anymore about the kind of things someone might infer about me because of them.
"I just think it's really unprofessional," is one I hear a lot.
& maybe, all of those people are right.
Maybe there is a kind of person who gets tattooed,
maybe my tattoos are unprofessional.
But, I AM the kind of person who gets tattoos because I want people to know I'm more than a job. I want people to know I'm not afraid to be myself. It's taken me a long time to get to that place. There have been times where I thought I was being true to myself only to realize that I spent too much time censoring myself for others.
I think part of success in your career and relationships is knowing when to censor yourself and I accept that but I don't want to be performing a part. I don't want to play a lawyer.
I want to be one.
One with tattoos.
"People will judge you."
"Aren't you afraid of what employers will think? It's a tough economy."
I accept the fact that I'll be judged.
I accept the fact that there are some people who won't want to hire me based on my tattoos.
But also, I think that by having gotten a large visible tattoo, I've already made a statement to others: I don't want to work for anyone ignorant enough to think they can tell how smart or hard working I am based on my tattoos.