I Refuse To Apologize For My Tattoos & Piercings

I Refuse To Apologize For My Tattoos & Piercings ©iStock/Jeff Bergen

Body art and jewelry isn’t for everyone, and that’s fair enough, but I love it. I don’t care if you think I look unprofessional or like I just stepped off the stage at a rock concert — I like the way I look. If you don’t, then that’s your problem, because I refuse to apologize for my tattoos and piercings.

  1. I don’t regret them. I know that they’re permanent and that they’ll look like crap when I get old and wrinkly, but guess what? I still love them. You can complain about them all you want, but you’ll never change my opinion about them.
  2. My body isn’t any of your business. Your opinion means nothing to me and my body shouldn’t mean anything to you. So worry about your own life and stop focusing on mine. You don’t know what you’re talking about, anyway, because my tattoos and piercings are badass.
  3. They help me express myself. Believe it or not, I don’t drunkenly stumble into tattoo parlors and ask them to draw the first thing that comes to mind. My tattoos are meaningful. They represent the people and places that matter the most to me.
  4. They don’t change who I am. And they shouldn’t change the way you view me. I’m no more of a dirtbag now than I was before I had the needle against my skin. Don’t judge me based off of my looks.
  5. Hating them is an old-fashioned idea. Don’t tell me I look unprofessional. Everyone has seen tattoos and piercings before. My employers don’t give a damn about them, because they realize it doesn’t impact the way I do my job.
  6. I’m not a cliche. I’m not some unemployed scumbag. I have a “real” job, a respectful boyfriend, and table manners. My tattoos and piercings don’t make me any less of a lady, so don’t act like I’m a drain on society.
  7. I got them because I wanted them. I didn’t get them, so I could look nice for others. I got them, because they make me happy. I’m sorry, but I don’t live my life for other people.
  8. They make me feel more confident. There are aspects of my body that I can’t stand, but my tattoos and piercings have helped me learn to love my looks. They embellish my body and make me feel more like me.
  9. Most people love them. Even if I cared about what others thought of me, I wouldn’t have a problem. For every person who hates my tattoos and piercings, there are two people who love them. I’m not going to cry about your bad taste.
  10. They set me apart from everyone else. I don’t want to be like everybody else, and my tattoos and piercings help me feel like I’m my own person. They give me a sense of individuality.
  11. The world is changing. Look around you. Everyone has tattoos and piercings nowadays. If you’re going to criticize me for it, you’re going to have to criticize hundreds of other people, too.
  12. I look damn good with them. Come on. You know they look sexy.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.