No, I Won’t Regret My Tattoos and Here’s Why
“My body is no longer a prison, but a beautifully decorated home that I am supposed to be living in.”
Words by Emmie Cosgrove
I’m a pretty open person so when people ask me about my tattoos and their meanings or how much they hurt I don’t mind answering these questions. However, usually they will round up the conversation about my tattoos with the big ‘what if you regret them?’ question. This is the question that makes me want to roll my eyes and sigh. I love it when people want to learn about the experience of getting a tattoo or want to find a good artist and respect the idea that some tattoos can have strong sentimental values, whilst others have no meaning at all. But, when regret is the main topic of discussion surrounding tattoos and what I have chosen to do with my body, it feels somewhat disrespectful. I know people don’t mean any harm by asking this question, they’re just curious because tattoos are a lifelong commitment. This question is just a big pet peeve of mine. So, instead of having to continuously answer if I will regret my tattoos I have decided to write this article because the answer to this question is a solid no. I will never regret my tattoos and this is how I know I will never regret them.
I’ve always tried to love and accept myself and I’ve become better at practicing self-love over the years, but feeling at home in my skin, and the body I have, is one of the hardest things for me to do. I always felt as if I looked wrong and had a strong disconnection between my mind and body. At times my body is almost like a prison, a cage my soul and mind are stuck in and need to escape. Sometimes these feelings would get so strong I would dissociate, get urges to harm myself and not be able to go outside because the idea of other people seeing me was terrifying. This may sound completely irrelevant to tattoos, but for me it’s not. I remember how amazing, and so much more myself, I felt at 18 walking out of a tattoo studio with my first ever tattoo inked onto my left wrist. It made my insides flutter and I couldn’t stop smiling at it. Though getting it done had stung a bit, it was worth every second of pain. I knew that I wasn’t meant to bare skinned.
Over the last three years I have had 15 tattoos and each time I walk out of a tattoo studio with a fresh tattoo on me, I still get that fluttery feeling. My tattoos have helped me love my body and, the more tattoos I get, the more accepting I am of the way I look. My body is no longer a prison, but a beautifully decorated home that I am supposed to be living in. I love art and looking at my skin as an empty canvas that can be decorated however I want it to be is one of the most comforting thoughts. My tattoos helped me fall in love with myself. I am so used to them being there and being a part of my identity and physical being that I could never regret them. They cover up the scars from the times my body felt too much and I wanted to try and get out of it, they remind me of who I was and who I am currently. They’re almost like birthmarks to me, except I get to choose the shape and colours, and they are always going to be there. Someone else’s artwork is on me forever; I am a walking art gallery and this makes me so content with who I am. That is why I will never regret my tattoos.