The Daily Prompt: Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us PERMANENT.
Rarely do I post on a Sunday, but today’s Daily Prompt caught my eye because it is something I love: Tattoos!
I have three tattoos, so far!
In 2003, a young, college kid at the age of 23, I got my first tattoo. I was out with a few girlfriends enjoying dinner and drinks. Our fizzy concoctions were starting to get to our head, when someone exclaimed, “We should all go get tattoos!”
And so we did.
I ended up getting a butterfly with purple wings and my initials at the bottom. Body Location: my lower right back or the infamous tramp stamp (as some like to call it). I honestly hate that term “tramp stamp” because I don’t consider my tattoo or the location of my tatt a tramp stamp.
My First Tattoo!
Okay, I lied. Maybe just a fib. When thinking back to what I did after getting my first tattoo- I always wore tight-fitting tops to display my new body art- I can see how it can be construed as a tramp stamp. I took pride in that little tramp stamp. I really thought I was hot-stuff with my little, purple-winged butterfly tattoo. It made me feel crazy, sexy, cool.
But that was when I was a carefree, socializing, young, 20-something. Back when I felt I was invincible and you couldn’t tell me nothing.
At the time of getting my first tatt, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I was scared to get a tattoo, so I chose the smallest thing I could find. But I wanted it to be sexy, so I chose the placement of my tatt on my lower backside.
I don’t regret my first tattoo. It turned out to be cute
and I’m just glad I didn’t get a tattoo of my boyfriend’s name or a cartoon character. Although my first tattoo was inspired by a Fuzzy Navel (the name of the drink I had, what did you think I meant?!), it was still a whimsical idea. It still tells my story: a story of my early 20s.
It’s in the Stars
Five years later, I decided to get inked up again.
This time I put more thought into my next tattoos. It took me a year to finally settle on what I wanted my tattoos to be.
I knew I wanted a tattoo of my zodiac sign, but I didn’t want to get the typical scorpion or Scorpio symbol. My sister had recently got her second tattoo of stars flowing in a chain along her neck and shoulder. And that’s when it hit me: I wanted my next tatt to be my zodiac sign as the form of the constellation Scorpius– the Scorpion.
Scorpio Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I did some research on Scorpius and read up on the Greek Mythology of Scorpio. I learned from the myth Scorpius is connected with Orion, the Great Hunter.
…the myths associated with Scorpio almost invariably also contain a reference toOrion. According to one of these myths it is written that Orion boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion. However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride.
“Scorpius” –Excerpted from Wikipedia.
The scorpion constellation and the Orion constellation are positioned opposite each other in the sky.
So for my next two tattoos, I got the Scorpius constellation tattooed on my right shoulder, and a week later I got the Orion constellation tattooed on my left shoulder. This way the two are directly opposite each other.
Photo taken when I was 29. My scorpion tattoo.
My scorpion tattoo also features the initials of my two older children Elijah and Mj. Baby Zhen wasn’t born at the time (b. 2012).
I’m really proud of my shoulder pieces. I want to add more detail to each piece. I also plan on getting a few more tattoos, possibly three more. I am thinking about getting half-sleeves on both arms, but I’m still thinking about it.
What I Love About Tattoos?
Tattoos are art. They tell a story about the person. It’s not ruining your body. When someone chooses to get a tattoo, it’s because they want to share their story. Maybe it’s to keep a loved one in memory or maybe it’s to remind you of a great accomplishment in your life.
For me, my tattoos hold great meaning, even that little ol’ tramp stamp. This is why now I am careful to select my body art.
Photo of my Orion tattoo on my left shoulder- opposite from my Scorpion tattoo.
I love when people put a lot of thought into their tattoos. Tattoos have very significant meanings to the individual. I learned after getting my first tattoo, it’s not wise to get an impulse tatt. You should really think it over: tattoo design, meaning, placement, etc.
Also, if you have a concept you are thinking about, but you don’t know how to design your tattoo, you should consult with a tattoo artist. ( I definitely recommend shopping around for a tattoo artist/tattoo parlor.) More than likely he/she is an artist who draws/sketches/paints, so she will be able to sketch your tattoo on paper first. Sometimes it will take a week or two to finally decide on your tattoo design. Patience is a must.
When you take time to design and plan your tattoo, that’s when you know you have a very special tattoo which is unique to you.