I have tattoos. I enjoy them – to me, my skin is a canvas.
Sure, I have to live my skin my entire life – but that does not prevent me from scarring it accidentally, and does not prevent the changes to it that come with age. To that end, I may as well mark it as I see fit.
Some of my tats have meaning, and some were just designs I liked, not put on my body for any particular purpose other than that I liked the artwork. this does not mean my “meaningless” tattoos lack meaning – they develop meaning on their own over time. They are tickmarks on the timeline of my life.
A lot of my tattoos are science, atheist, or skepticism related. Here, you’ll see.
p.s. Some pics below the fold may not quite be safe for work.
On my back, are three panthers.
The one on the right I got when I was 21. I chose it from some artwork on the wall of the tattoo parlor, then made my appointment for a month and a half into the future, reasoning that if I still wanted it after a month and a half, I’d go get it. I did.
The one in the middle I got when I was 24. I had an artist draw it for me. Looking at it now, it is the one tattoo I don’t like – one day, I plan to get it removed and put something else there. What exactly I’ll put there, I’m not sure. Any ideas?
The one on the left I got when I was 26. One of these days, I am going to get the lines thickened to match the one on the right. Last year, my husband got the same tattoo on his chest.
This phoenix/Trans Am firebird is on my left lower quadrant.
Normally, I am not the type of person to get a pink tattoo. However, my sister and I decided we were going to get tattoos together. She has this pheonix (much larger) on her back, and she has my left panther on her left lower quadrant. I got that one about two years ago. My brother and I also plan on “trading” tattoos with each other, and my brother is going to “trade” tattoos with my sister. Disguising, I know.
Here’s “One Life” on my thigh.
I got it about a year ago. You can guess what this means. The black mark below it is a gnarly bruise from accidentally slamming my leg into my stairs.
Here’s one you’re sure to love:
It is an artistic rendering of “Shadows”, a magic trick Teller, of Penn & Teller, performs. To me it represents atheism and skepticism. Here’s a clearer pic, taken about an hour after completion, so in this pic it looks a little red and angry:
This is a fractal tattoo that took several sessions to complete, and represents science and math. Here it is partially complete (it took three sessions)
Here it is, all done!
Lastly! I have the American Atheist logo tattoo on my wrist, done in white and pink ink – no black. It’s quite subtle – then again, no one can tell you’re an atheist just by looking at you, either.
After! How cool is this, Dave Silverman?
Since I am a professional, I suppose I can’t go overboard with visible tattoos. This is the only “visible” one. It looks more like a scar than a tattoo, and when I point it out to people, they always want to feel it. It feels like regular skin.
My friend Sarah decided to get this same tattoo on her wrist after I got mine, though I can’t find a pic at the moment!
Yes, I’m going to get more. I’d like to get something that represents meaning – like something “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” – ish.
Tattoos are kind of addictive. I won’t fault people for not liking them, or not liking them for themselves, but I’m obviously a fan. We don’t pick our bodies, but once we have them, they are ours, and we can do what we want with them.