Let me first preface this by saying that I am in no way an expert on tattoos. I only have one tattoo, however I don’t think you need to be totally covered in them to have an opinion on tattoos. This is a post documenting how my tattoo has changed my body image.
I was not expecting my tattoo to have any impact on how I see my body, but over the past few months since I have been tattooed I have noticed a difference in how I see myself and my body. This difference was more noticeable at first when I was caring for the tattoo through the healing process, but even as I have got used to having it I still feel like it has shifted my point of view somewhat.
The image of my tattoo in this post is from when it was still healing, so it looks a little bit dry and flakey. I am including images because I love my tattoo, and I am trusting you all to not steal the design. Although I realise that this is quite an unusual tattoo and purely to my taste anyway.
So my tattoo is of a bee and it sits above my belly button on my stomach, not quite a sternum piece, but nearly. Since having the bee there I have had a constant thing to compare my size too which has resulted in a more constant body image, by that I mean that my feelings towards my body have been a lot more consistent. Also, while the tattoo was healing it needed constant care to make sure it healed well. This forced self care for an area of my body that I am not completely happy with started to shift how I saw my stomach.
Actually getting tattooed and having your skin out for hours while someone works on a piece of art is an amazing experience and quite empowering too. There is nowhere to hide, but my tattoo artist was so lovely and professional I completely forgot that I was lying down with my tummy out and was totally at ease. These positive experiences have also helped with my body image.
As quite an active person I am often getting changed in public changing rooms. I feel like a lot of the time when I think people are looking at me now they are in fact looking at my tattoo, and in some ways it is like a shield. I also get some amusement from when people are trying really hard to not look at my tattoo!
I would consider getting more tattoos in the future when I know what I want, for me choosing a tattoo is a long process. I am not getting tattoos to ‘fix’ the way I see my body, but because I think that they are beautiful pieces of art, and if they help my body image then surely that is a benefit worth talking about. I said to begin with that I didn’t expect my tattoo to change how I saw my body, now I am tattooed I realise how integral body image is to the whole process, as you are literally changing what your skin looks like permanently and so it would be strange to see yourself in exactly the same way after being tattooed.
I’d love to know your opinions on this and if you aren’t tattooed would you consider getting tattooed and where? Your kindness is appreciated.