Hey friends it’s ya girl,
So, I am sitting here during this pandemic as an extrovert and I am STRUGGLING, but I promise to stay strong and keep y’all entertained with some posts. 🙂 So, I wanted to be able to share what my experience outside of the house tends to be.
Nevertheless, I should give you a little detail on what I look like to give you an idea of why my experience tends to be a little different than some. I am a black woman covered in tattoos, all varying in size. My tattoos mean a lot to me. They all stand for something in my life no matter how silly they seem. They make me, me.
With all that being said, they definitely make my life a little harder. Growing up black in a predominately white community was a struggle. I remember like it was yesterday when I first realized being black was different. I was in the first grade when an older boy made a racist joke and broke my illusion. Since this experience I have always been extremely aware of the color of my skin. I noticed my blackness when my mom and I would be followed around the store, or when I heard comments such as, “you’re pretty for a black girl”.
I noticed something a little different about being followed and watched after getting my first tattoo. It wasn’t a huge change in my experience, but I definitely felt more targeted when I entered various places. My first, and biggest, tattoo takes up the entire left hand side of my thigh… definitely a big step for a first timer. I got it when I was sixteen, and that’s when I started my tattoo journey.
Fast forward to three years later, and here I am turning 19 years old in about three weeks. I can happily say the number of my tattoos have successfully surpassed my age. My experience now as not only a black woman, but a black woman being heavily tattooed, is something I would have never expected.
I have been followed around a countless number of stores and side-eyed by way too many white men with badges, all because you could see my arms. The most memorable experience occurred this summer. I was in Avon, North Carolina with my white friends celebrating the end of senior year. We were in all in some weird, little beach shop looking around. Of course I was the only one to notice, but the shop owner had been staring bullets into my back as soon as we walked in. I brought it up to the group, and of course they couldn’t understand why they would be watching me and told me I was just overthinking it. So, I parted from the group to look at the back of the store. The owner decided to step from behind the counter and followed me until I very loudly pointed it out and left the store. I was dumbfounded. Nothing about this made sense. All this man knew was that I was black and had ink, so he decided I was some hoodlum. To think… my signature,”Thug Life” tattoo wasn’t even showing.
However, I just laughed with some friends and brushed it off. We as black womenare taught how to handle this and warned about this all of our lives, so it was sadly just part of the course. Alas, no one warned me how fetishized I would become.
As we all know black women are constantly made out to be sexual objects and fetishized to high heavens. No one told me it would be heightened when I got tattoos, but goodness me it’s bonkers. I can’t even tell you all of the nasty things that I have heard, whether it be through direct message, yelled from car windows, or whispered in lines. It was honestly shocking. I always knew men could be gross, but come on now!
Thankfully, I have people in my life, such as my beautiful mother, that has supported me through all of this. If I didn’t have her, I probably would have stopped getting tattoos a long time ago and would keep them covered at all times.
With all that being said, don’t let comments from gross people keep you from expressing yourself. That could be through body modifications, barely being clothed, or being clothed head to toe. BE YOU!!!
That’s all from me my loves!
Hope y’all enjoyed. Stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy,
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