Stories From Ink: Beauty in Tattooed Bodies

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I have been seeing tattooed bodies being celebrated more and more, and it makes my heart sing. Obviously, I believe all bodies are beautiful, but tattooed bodies don’t always get a good rap. Body ink seems to be getting more popular and acceptable as time goes on, and I’m here for it!

When I was a teenager and got my first tattoo, I remember having teachers tell me to cover it. I also remember hiding my growing collection of tattoos at my various jobs through high school and college. Now, I see them being hid less, and that makes me want to celebrate even more.

My Ink Origins

Growing up, my dad would constantly say that women’s bodies were works of art and they should not have tattoos on them. He would complain and ask why someone feels the need to clutter up artwork. Of course, I would roll my eyes while looking at his tattooed arms.

I used to admire my dad’s cursive tattoo with my mom’s name. Every time, he would try to convince me that tattoos would take away from my beauty, it went in one ear and out the other. I got my first tattoo a week before I turned 18.

I have a family member on my mom’s side, who also happens to be my dad’s childhood best friend, and he owns a local tattoo shop. Anytime I wanted to experiment with piercings, he would also let me go a bit wild without calling my dad. I have had my tongue pierced, multiple lip piercings, a septum piercing, a standard nose piercing, my belly button pierced, and my ears pierced. My real love was always with tattoos though.

My first tattoo was a simple black peace sign. It’s on the right side of my chest, slightly below my collarbone. This tattoo is also slightly tilted. I didn’t just want it to be perfectly upright. I wanted to show that while peace is an ideal and an incredible concept, it’s hard. Total peace and getting to a place of complete peacefulness isn’t easy, so it’s at an angle. It made sense to 17 year old Jenni, and I still adore it.

Started with One

When people say tattoos are addicting, they aren’t kidding. I did get some flack about my first tattoo from teachers, friends, and obviously my father. But I didn’t care, because I loved it so much. From there, I kept steadily getting a tattoo every year or so until I had kids. Currently, I only have 7, but I definitely want more.

Not all tattoos have to have a giant philosophical meaning. My tattoos do all have a special meaning though. I also always think for while before just choosing a design. Honestly, I wanted to have a half sleeve or cuff before I turned 30, but life happens. Plus, tattoos can be expensive. Honestly, the tattoos I do have keep me pretty content.

After my peace sign, I got a purple and green flower tattooed on the back of my left shoulder. There’s a small peace sign in the middle of the flower too. Then, I added a symbol from my favorite tarot card on my right wrist. I also have a Harry Potter tattoo on my left forearm. As the years went on, I added smaller tattoos as well.

I have the National Eating Disorder Awareness symbol behind my right ear, and a semi-colon on the second toe on my left foot. These means so much to me. As someone who battled an eating disorder for many years, I wanted to show myself that I’m proud of my recovery with the tattoo behind my ear. The semi-colon has multiple meanings, because it symbolizes my survival against a suicide attempt, depression, and anxiety. I also have a degree in English, and it’s my favorite punctuation mark.

Jenni, the author of Housewife Hustle, is seen sitting on a stool. Her body is bare but posed so you only see her side profile, including the back of her left shoulder. A purple and green flower tattoo are seen on her shoulder. A green peace sign is in the center of purple flower.

Not All Perfect

If you look closely, there are imperfections in my ink, especially as I get older and my body changes. I think I love this the most about them, because they are growing and changing with me. I also don’t really have a cool story or meaning behind my Harry Potter tattoo.

Harry Potter was series that I read a lot growing up. It really helped me when I felt alone. Honestly, it’s also something me and my husband both love, so I knew I’d get one at some point. This was a tattoo that a friend bought me, because she wanted one too. Our friendship didn’t last, but that doesn’t change how much I love and appreciate this tattoo. Those imperfect moments and backstories are another aspect to tattoos that I genuinely enjoy.

Beauty in Tattooed Bodies

In college, I tried out to be a Suicide Girl, which was kind of like Playboy on a smaller scale but with tattooed girls. Back then, I was in the thick on my ED, but I still always felt that my tattoos were beautiful. Even when I didn’t have confidence in my curves like I do now, my tattoos gave me some semblance of confidence.

I’ve always admired the ink of others. Tattoos are like snowflakes, and I love that diversity. Even if two tattoos are matching, there aren’t two people with the exact same skin, so they are all different. I love that, and I love to celebrate differences.

During my body acceptance and self-love journey, I’ve seen so many women with tattooed bodies celebrating themselves and their tattoos. It makes me incredibly happy. Tattoos add to our individuality, and the idea that beauty is beyond a set of perimeters.

I love the permanence of tattoos, and even though you can get them removed, it’s not easy. To me, they are works of art that take dedication. They can reveal so much about a person, or they can just be something cool that someone wanted. The variety in what they can be is something else I adore about them.

Works of Art

Now, I tell my dad that tattoos are artwork just like our bodies. Having multiple pieces of art is never a bad thing, and he gave up arguing with me when I kept getting tattoos despite his disapproval. I love seeing others express themselves and being unapologetic in who they are, and tattoos are apart of that.

My next tattoo, although I have a few planned, will be the word warrior on my arm. The “a” will be the NEDA symbol, and the “i” will be a semi-colon. Again, they help tell my story and mean so much to me. I also want my kids names and a few that are dedicated to them. Mountain silhouettes are another tattoo that I will eventually get, because the mountains are my happy place.

Honestly, I could go on and on about tattoo ideas. I think they are an incredible way of celebrating our personalities and great loves. They can also just be cool to look at, and that variety is why I think I’ll always be fascinated with tattoos.

I’d love to see your tattoos. Share pictures and comments, and tell me all about them.

-With Love,

Jenni

Here’s a few more of mine.

Jenni, the author or Housewife Hustle, is seen sitting on a deck in a black polka dot tank top. A black peace sign tattoo is visible on the right side of her chest. A tattooed "G" is seen on her left ring finger.
Jenni, the author of Housewife Hustle, is seen sitting on a stool. Her right arm is held upright, showing a tattoo on her right wrist. The tattoo is a symbol and a bird. On her left arm is another tattoo. This tattoo is Harry Potter themed, and it shows Harry's glasses with a red scar above the glasses and the word always under the glasses.

15 thoughts on “Stories From Ink: Beauty in Tattooed Bodies”

      1. That’s awesome! Thanks. If you do, it’ll be great, and I’ll definitely read it.

  1. Never got a tattoo but thinking about it a lot recently. However I can not stand pain and cry at the littlest pinch. I don’t know how I would handle lol

    1. I understand. I have a high pain tolerance, so tattoos don’t bother me. The one on my shoulder was a little sore since the artist was heavy handed. Honestly, my septum piercing hurt way more than any of my tattoos. Being vocal about your pain level is important with the artist you pick too. Sending you best of luck and good vibes.

  2. Tattooed mama over here- I think I’m at over 20 now- most recent a tribute to my dad- it’s a note he wrote to me I found when cleaning out his house. All my tattoos are meaningful and I already have several ideas on deck for my next session. It’s like therapy to me!

  3. I wanted one that I created with my children’s initials. Then I told my brother, he has gorgeous tattoos where I wanted it, my inside wrist, and he talked me out as it is painful . Still scared and cannot take myself todo it.

    1. I’m sorry. My wrist actually wasn’t painful at all. There was a quick burning feeling around the veins at first, but it went away quickly. Everyone feels them differently, so it may not bother you.

  4. I have 2: a Fleur de Lis to represent my love for NOLA and a chain with ivy growing on it to symbolize regrowth. I’d get more but with my autoimmune disorder it’s not wise so I’ll just enjoy my husband’s. He’s totally addicted I think he currently has 12 but is always thinking of his next. Fun post. Thanks!

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