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A lot of people look down on tattoos, and see the people who have them as unprofessional or delinquent. I don’t really know or understand why people with visible tattoos are automatically judged by other people. I’ve always thought tattoos are a beautiful thing. Some people paint, some draw, some write, some get tattoos or piercings. It’s an art form, a way to express yourself. At least, that’s what it is for me.

When I decided to get my tattoo I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful. As I struggled with depression, I felt unloved and unwanted. I’m not saying I was unloved and unwanted, I’m just saying that’s how I felt for a very long time. My depression constantly whispered very untrue things into my ears and convinced me to believe them. It convinced me that no one loved me, that I didn’t even deserve to be loved. Then I read this quote “Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” This amazing quote, by the poet Hafiz, taught me that unconditional love is a beautiful and precious thing. It helped me see that it may be near impossible for humans to experience such a love, as we are flawed beings, but it is still very prevalent in the world. This is what I wanted my tattoo to show. I also wanted it to show that tattoos themselves are art.  That they are capable of beauty and not something to be judged. This world all too often makes judgments and assumptions about people based solely on appearance when there is so much more to the story. So, I decided to put the words “you owe me” under an image of the earth at sunrise. People may read the words and think I’m entitled or conceited. People can go ahead and think that, but that’s not at all what it’s about. Those words show me that even if something is originally conceived as bad, it can actually turn out to be beautiful.

People get tattoos for many reasons. Some people get tattoos to outwardly show and express what they feel but can’t verbalize. Some people use them to release stress. Others use it as a healthy way of expressing feeling, instead of cutting or binging. Some just want a tattoo. Every reason is right and valid. What a person looks like on the outside, or the label a person may be given by others, doesn’t at all tell you who that person is on the inside. Keep this in mind next time you see someone whose appearance doesn’t quite fit your standards of normal. We are all unique, and we all deserve to be loved.