Removing the Tattoo Stigma

By JONATHAN PEREIRA

When I presented the idea of a tattoo to my mother, she immediately said ‘no.’ She always gave me the best advice. However, she knew how I was—and to cover all bases, she gave me the best lecture ever.

“When you get a tattoo, it is permanent. There is no going back. It will change the way people look at you, and you will ultimately not get accepted to many jobs because of it,” my mother said.

It stuck with me for a while. I didn’t want to grow up and go through years of schooling only to be rejected because of a tattoo. She completed the lecture with a final piece of advice. She told me to really think of a tattoo that I want to get, to remember that picture and look at it whenever I could for a full year.

Initially I felt like this was her way of saying no, but fast-forward to now, I think it is one of the best lessons that she taught me. I haven’t gotten my sleeve because of this reason but I am currently building it as time progresses.

I understand fully that the things that I like are always susceptible to change. So, I gathered things that have heavily impacted my life from a young age; small symbols that have helped me overcome my own obstacles and get to where I am right now.

With the tattoos that I’ve gotten, I feel confident with them. They both hold a dear value to who I am and what I’ve done up to this point in my life. Although my parents have been living in Canada for the past 23 years, they are still old-fashioned in some ways.

They were taught that you wouldn’t get jobs with a tattoo, and it did actually happen with young Catholics who had received a cross tattoo on their hand. These individuals were denied a job position within the Air India Airlines because of their tattoo—a symbol of their devotion to their faith. (Read more on cabin crew standards here)

Today, Canadian society has changed a drastic amount. Tattoos aren’t really associated with negative characteristics they once were. We have police officers and corporate executives sporting sleeves and full body tattoos with no repercussions. Why is this allowed?

It is because having a tattoo does not affect your skillset or your ability to get work done.

After explaining the world of tattoos to my parents, and what they mean to me, it’s safe to say that we are making headway towards a new understanding.

Looking forward to getting your new tattoo? Check out some quick tips you must know by Katrin Berndt!

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