Body image, etc

When I was 15 or so I got my first tattoo. My mom was understandably annoyed. Over the years I got more. I don’t care that she doesn’t like tattoos, it’s the idea that she doesn’t understand the way I feel about my physical self, or something, or why I would want them. I want tattoos because I like how they look and because some of the remind me of certain times or events.

My mom thinks it’s a horrible thing. I would agree that, since it’s permanent, you should think tattoos over very carefully. But in the end, it’s my body. The most perplexing thing was when my mom (many years ago) said “A guy will never find that attractive!” I was quite confused. I wasn’t even considering what a guy would think, the idea meant nothing at all to me. Who cares what a guy would find attractive? I never planned to marry or anything. My body is my own. Some tattoos I’ve never even shown to anyone.

It got me to thinking about when I got Norplant (birth control) at 17. I had to sign something about the scar, I think, or the nurse talked about it. The incision was minuscule! The scar can barely be seen. But some people freak out about scars. I understand being afraid of getting disfiguring scars, that would be life changing and people may treat you differently. But a 1 cm little thing on the inside of my upper arm? Who cares. Apparently, some people do. Is this the same thing, the idea that a potential partner might freak out if you have an “imperfection?” That amazes me. I’m proud of my scars from doing sports and crazy stuff as a kid.

What I mean is that it amazes me when people think so much of what other people think of their bodies. I can understand being fit and caring about yourself like that, but not much like the commercials for weight loss products telling you that you have to do it or no one will want to look at you. And people who routinely say awful things about ugly, fat, or old people. Why is their ugliness or whatever offensive? I can understand having aesthetic preferences for one’s own partner, but so often people also want to spend a lot of time criticising the appearance of others. That’s something I can’t understand at all, except to just conclude that people are both mean and shallow.

Anyway, it just sort of takes me aback when people tell me I should care deeply about whether or not others find me attractive. I don’t. My mom think tattoos ruin a person’s appearance. I disagree, but if they did, so what? Some tattoos on my legs aren’t ever really going to interfere with my life, I don’t think.

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