Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roadmaps in skin.

You may or may not be aware dear reader but I am a huge lover of body modification in many many forms.

I have had a lot of piercings over the years, currently I'm down to my lip ring and shrunken holes in my ears.

I have two tattoos that look like one piece. My (I know this term is terrible but I just LOVE saying it about my own piece) tramp stamp is awesome.

I also plan to be one tattooed up little old lady at some point. I'm talking full sleeves, back piece, I have some doodlings I want on my legs. A shit load of tattoos.

I do really love tattoos.

I've been into tattoos since I was about 13-14 years old, as in into the serious artistry and history of tattooing etc.

By the time I was old enough to do things like buy tattoo magazines and dip my toes in body mod culture beyond reading about it in books, I saw a pattern.

Every magazine had pages of thin white cis-gendered women with (sometimes) really great work and some few guys, but all White thin people. Except for the occasional fat man but that's a whole other topic.

As I said in my entry about femmeness here, there is not a damn thing wrong with thin White cisgendered women. Nothing.

Now yes I was a very naive kid (remember please I was 17-19ish) but I had hung a lot of hope on the idea that an "alternative" crowd would be more diverse.

I thought I would see a microcosm of the regular world, all shapes and sizes and whatnot. I had a Utopian image in my head that was just not really supported.

It took me awhile to make peace with this.

I still haven't made entire peace with it if you want to know the truth.

When my experience of modded people started to broaden in my early 20's when I finally got on the internets, I had that same sense of disappointment.

I didn't know how to navigate this supposedly Alternative world as a Fat Black Woman.

Sometimes just between you and me I still don't.

Now fast foward to about five years ago.

See I had kind of given up the idea that I could fulfill my dream about being an Old Fat Black tattooed as fuck lady. I thought that I was too fat and as so many people have said it just wouldn't "look" right.

I had a wake up moment.

I realized that no one else dictates to me what I wear, no one dictates to me how I wear my hair or anything like that. Why would I let the opinions of some people, most of whom will never lay eyes on me tell me that I was too fat to want to be so tattooed.

Well fuckaduck.

I also have to give some major props to the Fatshionista LJ community because I have seen some of the most beautiful tattoo work. I've seen beautiful tattooed big fat bellies, I've seen fat rolls with intricate and beautiful color, I've seen that well yes, if I find the right artist my dreams will come the fuck true.

So just to reiterate here, I can do what the fuck ever I want with my ass.


Yes I had to yell, it bears yelling.

Holy. Shit.

It amazes me that it took me almost a fucking decade to extend to myself the kind of freedom and right to be who I am that I give the whole rest of the world.

Sound familiar?

How many of us fat people will give all the love and props and whatnot to every other fattie in the universe except for ourselves?

How many times have you caught yourself looking at a picture of some fabulously decked out fattie and thought, oh wow look what X can get away with. I wish I could get away with that.

Fact is my darlings, you absolutely can.

Changing your outside is not always the yellow brick road to total aesthetic freedom.

If you don't believe that you are awesome enough to merit a shitload of tattoos, or red lipstick or kick ass shoes now, chances are you won't believe it 20 pounds from now or seven dress sizes from now.

Not to mention, if you spend all this time like I did pining and wishing, look at all that time you wasted.

I wish I would have pulled my head out of my butt years ago and I'd be way further along on my road to Old Fat Black lady with a fuckload of tattoos.

To quote the Joker, Y SO SRS?

Fuck it.

If someone decides that you are not awesome or cool enough for whatever thing it is that your wee heart desires, fuck em.


Fuck em if they can't take a joke.

Fuck em if they can't take your awesomeness.

Now with all that said.

The next tattoo I want has to do with some of my spiritual beliefs/other really complicated things in my brain and happens to be a word in Old Norse.

So show and tell darlings.

Show me your tattoos, show me your mods. Share your favorite artists, show me the thing that is really fucking awesome that you absolutely are awesome enough to rock.

Bring it.

Homo Out.


Sarah B. said...

This is sooo timely for me as I'm considering getting upper arm sleeves so I can be proud of my arms. I gave up on skinny and started lifting and my arms are strong but I still hate how they look. It sucks to work so hard and not be able to show them. I am totally bestretchmarked!! Do you know how tattoos do over stretch marks? The one on my back only grazes some and I am hoping for a covering effect.

Raven Nightshade said...

I'm glad you managed to find a good tattoo artist because I feel like it's doubly important for Women of Color to find one, especially WoCs on the darker end of the spectrum.

I'm a bit darker than you, and I wanted a tattoo for my 30th birthday next month, but I worry about finding a good artist that knows his colors well enough to know if purple will show up on me. Also, the whole fat thing gives me placement issues when added to having to work in a conservative environment.

alice said...

Great post. I keep putting off upper arm tats until I lose some weight - fuck it! As soon as I gather some cash, I'm going for it. If I can be a big girl with pink hair, I can sure as hell have some kick ass tats to go with it.

stacey. said...

I decided a very long time ago, that being fat was my problem and ONLY my problem. Tattoos, hot clothes, stilettos and just generally being fashionable, are not reserved for the elite and skinny. They're reserved for those who have the self-esteem to and guts to wear it. Being down on myself because I'm fat has never been my thing. I get the same treatment as a fat girl, that my skinny girl friends get, but I get it because I KNOW I deserve it. If anything, my skinny girlfriends struggle harder to be at ease with themselves and their body image than I do, because stopped caring what other people had to say about me about the same time I decided that 5 inch heels were hot.
If I waited until I was thinner to get tattoos, wear those Jimmy Choo's, or rock that hot jumpsuit, I'd been naked and miserable. All. The. Time.
The whole world is watching. True enough. But the whole world is watching THIS fat girl, show her titties, her ass, her tattoos and her damn fine selection of shoes. And if you don't like it, look away.

Michelle said...

I've got three tattoos - one on the back of each calf and one on my left hip. I got the one on my hip when I was younger and much smaller, and now it's distorted because of stretch marks - I was originally really upset and pretty horrified to see it, and now I'm thinking I'll probably get the old tattoo covered (since it's distorted) and then come up with excuses to show it off :)

it's true that the alternative community is really not very alternative, most of the time. sigh.

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