AlannaCA

Dropping the Bomb, how your parents found out about your first tattoo!

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My dad discovered mine a few weeks ago. My mom found out the night I got the outline done because I kind of casually mentioned it (parents are divorced).

I was leaning against the couch and the very bottom of my tattoo was peaking out from under my shirt. My dad walked up and yanked my shirt up on my side and goes, "Does that come off?"

My sarcastic reply was, "With laser removal."

After about two days of him not talking to me he finally came around. It's kind of become a running joke with family friends because my stepmom told them, and they all know I'm the least likely person to get a tattoo the size that mine is. He's still not happy and doesn't understand why I had it done, but he's kind of brushed it off now.

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Honestly, I feel extremely fortunate. I grew up fascinated by tattoos, even the little temporary ones, and my parents, one being fifty and the other being late-forties, aren't very old in my opinion. They don't like tattoos at all, mind you. My father hates them more openly than my mother, but to be fair to them, their only experiences with tattoos were old biker/sailor/prison culture myths and the occasional dolphin tramp stamp or fairy tattoo that my babysitters would get with the money my parents paid them to look after me. My parents are lovely people, so they never told other people how to parent their children, nor did they stop allowing those teenage girls with silly tattoos to babysit me, but when it came to their own daughters, they vocally expressed their dislike of tattoos.

There weren't many threats. Just a calm "I don't like tattoos for reasons x, y, and z." and my sisters all agreed. It wasn't until I was a teenager and announced that I thought tattoos were beautiful and planned on getting one that the threats came out. Not from my father--my father would rationally talk to me about possible repercussions when he saw me contemplating a "bad decision", but ultimately, he was willing to let me live and learn from my own decisions as long as I listened to his perspective--but my mother. This surprised me because my mother was always the lenient parent, grew up on a farm with a very large family full of odd characters, whereas my father was authoritative, the youngest son of strict Dutch immigrants who stressed the importance of professionalism and hard work.

I'm disabled and do not drive by choice. My mother tried to dissuade me by saying she wouldn't drive me to a tattoo parlour, therefore I was never going to get one. I pointed out that I was not an invalid, I would not live with her forever, and furthermore, I have friends and access to the public buses. When she realized how serious I was, she started getting aggressive and said she wouldn't help me move into my first apartment if I was going to get a tattoo once I lived independently. I told her that was fine, I was not an invalid, I had friends who could help me or hire help. I was responsible with my money and I always saved for unforeseen disability-caused complications. I said that it was her choice and that, if I was to live independently, it was fair for her not to assist me in moving.

Well, I got unconventional piercings at age seventeen in my ear (daith and triple helix). She had no problem with them since the ear was "socially acceptable". Seventeen was the age I started university, but since I was still a minor, I needed her consent and assistance in finding disability-friendly living. She suspected that I would go out and get a tattoo if she let me leave, so she simply did not provide consent. Well played, mom. There was no fighting and we mutually agreed that I would just have to suck it up and live at home for my first year of study.

At eighteen, I moved up to a septum piercing. She was disappointed, not as much as my father, who kept looking at my baby pictures wistfully. My sisters refused to look at me. I, however, had a huge self-confidence boost after my piercings. My mom has always wanted me to wear a light amount of makeup to "enhance my nice features!" and, wouldn't you know it, after getting my piercings, I started dressing nicer and wearing makeup more frequently. I would often catch glimpses of myself in reflective surfaces and squeal "I love my septum so much!" to which my mother would reply "I'm glad you like it!" I realized we were making progress and wondered that, if I were to be patient, if I could warm her up to tattoos...

I got my dahlias pierced. They caused a lot of complications during healing and I had to get assistance to adjust them (palsied hands) which angered my mother, who hated getting involved, but hated making me suffer just because I'm disabled. All in all, she went above and beyond to help me, even though I didn't ask and kept saying "they're my responsibility. You don't have to help. I'll take a bus to get help from my piercer." She grew to actually like the dahlias and when I said I'd take them out when I go to graduate school, she seemed sad and said "I don't think you should have to. People are becoming more accepting. Maybe you can get your masters without having to take them out!"

Now they're all healed up and we haven't had any issues with balls falling off or coming unscrewed for a few months. Thank goodness! My second year of university rolled around and my mother hinted that she wouldn't mind me continuing to live at home and it made her happy to watch me be successful every day. The savings on living expenses also gave her some peace of mind for my future. I agreed and thanked her for her generosity...Then I accompanied my parents and younger sister on a trip out of town. I casually asked if they could drop me off at a tattoo shop where an APP-level, semi-renowned piercer worked. They didn't blink an eye. They also didn't think to ask me what I was getting pierced until it was over, they had picked me up, and I was at Target, buying mild soap to clean the sites. I was nineteen and figured saying "you don't want to know" would be enough. My mother got her taut face on and her judgmental tone ready and insisted, so I coughed up the information: I had gotten my nipples pierced. She threw a fit right in the middle of an aisle about how it was wrong, disgusting, perverse, what-about-infection, etc. I was trying to shelter my fourteen-year-old sister from overhearing about her older sister's nipples, but it was impossible to keep her oblivious with my mother in a tizzy. She ended up storming away from me and we only made eye contact again that night at the hotel.

My father was in the bathroom, my little sister was asleep, so she just said "show me". After mild protest, I did. I mean, she was my mother, she's seen worse. She was noticably relieved to see barbells instead of captive bead rings, and remarked that they were nicer than she expected.

Eventually, I just mentioned in passing that my friend was taking me to get my first tattoo on my birthday. She seemed rather disinterested and replied "Oh, that's nice of him. Will you be home for dinner?"

I came home with it, she saw it, asked "what does it mean?" and all that LA-ink-propagated crap, my dad noticably disapproved, but he knew I was getting it, made a couple good dad-jokes about the design, and that was it. I was never a rowdy daughter, I never went out drinking or even had sex while underage, and never fought or challenged authority. I was "the respectful one" who never got grounded once growing up, simply because I was content to smile and nod rather than experiment with pushing the boundaries of rules. Once they realized that the tattoo hadn't suddenly changed their obedient, well-tempered little girl into a delinquent, they were actually proud in a "my-daughter-has-a-tattoo-and-she's-not-in-prison-or-pregnant" way.

Took some warming up for sure, but both my parents are extremely proud of me, and they've been relieved to notice how normally I live. My mother's biggest worry was that being disabled, pierced, and inked would be too much for society to accept all at once. Even in our conservative, rural area, I've managed to bring home lovely boyfriends who have impressed them both, I'm getting a great education, and I work at great internship firms every summer, building up my resume. Parents will be parents and they'll worry, but all my body modifications are done the clean and smart way and I'll do my best to make sure that their fears are never realized, haha.

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Good on ya, Emily. I suspect there are more personal (not institutional as it is illegal) prejudices against disabilities than non-traditional piercings or tattoos. You get to enjoy them all! Good to see you bearing them all so well.

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@pidjones Oh for sure! I'm lucky in the fact that most of my emotional hurting about my disability actually doesn't come from malice at all. It's just people trying to be nice that mostly hurts me (praying for Jesus to "fix" me in my high school classes, in front of my friends, saying I was born this way for a reason, calling me an inspiration, saying I exist to make others feel more grateful for what they have, all that supposedly "nice" stuff actually hurts me deeply), and I'm actually grateful for that, because I've traveled to places where the things that hurt disabled people aren't accidents. They're inherently malicious and sickening!

I'm lucky my cerebral palsy is mild. I often joke that old ladies assume disabled people are angels who can do no wrong, but also condemn body modification, so they'll be conflicted whether or not to smile at me or clutch their purses to their chests as I walk passed. I also get mistaken for a drunk quite a bit, and I'm actually surprised I've never been refused for a tattoo or piercing and had to explain why I walk the way I do. Maybe tattooers just have so much experience with people coming in the shop ACTUALLY intoxicated that they know the difference? Haha.

Either way, I'm already extremely used to people staring, so no reactions faze me anymore. I am abnormal by birth, but I'm also abnormal by choice, and every little modification makes me feel like I'm retaking ownership of my body from the clutches of my disability and the prejudice that, because I'm disabled, I must be chipper, optimistic, and "otherwise normal".

I don't want to be otherwise normal! In addition to that, most of the time, I'm quite frustrated and non-optimistic about my situation, but I recognize the fact that I am who I am and I own it, so I walk in a room with confidence. I've had roughly two decades to get comfortable with my body's abnormalities, both the ones I obtained voluntarily and the ones I did not. I don't mind if it takes the general public some time to get comfortable with it, either. It's only fair to give them time, too. I'm not owed acceptance by anyone, but I'll treat anyone and everyone who does accept me like they've done me a great service and respect them, too.

All in all, the tattoos only make me more comfortable with being different and give me more perspective on the psychology behind prejudice. I know how to act for first impressions, and I'm good at making friendships and relationships work, so I must be paying good attention and learning the right things from this life. I may not always be happy with the way I am, I sure as hell don't aspire to be anyone's inspiration porn, I just focus on liking myself and conveying that to the world. It's happiness in ourselves that matters.

Thanks so much for being awesome about my post and not being one of those silver-liners. We all bear discrimination, prejudice, and other petty trials in which we are put on the defense stand without a justifying reason, and I'm just glad the tattoo community is a place where we do it together.

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i hid my tattoos from my dad for 10 years. Cuz after he found out my sister had tattoos he did not talk to her for 4 years. On the way to my sister's funeral I turned to my further and said, "dad I have a lot of tattoos, and I don't want to die hiding anything from you. Or hide who I really am" he said "ok, I'm not a dipshit David, your a tattoo artists I assumed you have been tattooed for years.

The end.

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My father was heavily tattooed. Full sleeves on each arm, hands done, chestplate, some on his stomach and back. He was in fact the reason I always wanted to get tattooed. I remember being a little kid and thinking what a badass he looked like. My mother was just the opposite, no tattoos, no desire to get tattooed. She did not like my father's tattoos. He got many of them after they divorced. I was not at all concerned about telling my father about my tattoos. On the other hand I was a little concerned about telling my mother considering her dislike of them. I was afraid she would think that I was going to be "just like my father." So I told her when she was drunk haha! The next day she called and said I remember we talked and I think I remember you telling me you got a tattoo? I said yeah mom and you said you thought it was awesome remember! She ended up seeing it later when she was sober and all she said was hmm I don't really like that. But she's always treating me just the same. Moms have a way of doing that. I guess what I'm trying to say is break the ice when the parent is drunk if you can...

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My mom likes my tattoos, she doesn't like the pain I cause to myself with them.

When I went to get the first one, I left home with moderate sized picture. The result was twice as big as the picture, because the tattooist quite reasonably refused to tattoo medium sized phoenix on my large back. She almost fainted when she saw it, but more out of the thought of pain I had to endure :D

She is my first caregiver and always washes and creams my tattoos patiently.

Other relatives are too distant to matter. I regret only that my granduncle is blind, I think he would enjoy looking at them.

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Recently my mum has found out I am heavily tattooed, she was a lot cooler than thought. she doesn't want to see them or know what they are but she saw my hip twin Celtic dragon one, well part of it and said, "You're covered!" I replied, "Yeah, pretty much" she should shook her head wondering why her little girl would do such a thing to herself. No other family members know but <shrugs>

Suppose, recently she's changed her mind about tattoos, which is a good thing.

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It's fascinating to me the reactions that some parents give their kids over something as seemingly innocent as a tattoo. It really gives perspective to how much things can change from just one generation to the next. I can remember my mom saying that she thought tattoos looked so trashy on women, and my grandma saying that no one would want to hire someone with tattoos. In their generation that's how it was and its really hard to change an opinion that's so ingrained.

I've never officially told either of my parents, mostly because I live so far away from them and it didn't cross my mind to tell them, but my dad has seen it loads of times and just says nothing or maybe something like "everyone has tattoos these days". My mom said "I saw your tattoo on Facebook and I don't even hate it! I'm coming to terms with it." I asked her why she thinks it's a big deal and she said "Sweetheart. Imagine you have a perfect baby girl, beautiful, perfect in every way, and then she goes and draws permanent pictures all over herself!"

Good point I guess? Ha.

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It's fascinating to me the reactions that some parents give their kids over something as seemingly innocent as a tattoo. It really gives perspective to how much things can change from just one generation to the next. I can remember my mom saying that she thought tattoos looked so trashy on women, and my grandma saying that no one would want to hire someone with tattoos. In their generation that's how it was and its really hard to change an opinion that's so ingrained.

I've never officially told either of my parents, mostly because I live so far away from them and it didn't cross my mind to tell them, but my dad has seen it loads of times and just says nothing or maybe something like "everyone has tattoos these days". My mom said "I saw your tattoo on Facebook and I don't even hate it! I'm coming to terms with it." I asked her why she thinks it's a big deal and she said "Sweetheart. Imagine you have a perfect baby girl, beautiful, perfect in every way, and then she goes and draws permanent pictures all over herself!"

Good point I guess? Ha.

It's nice she's coming to terms with it!

I have a little girl, beautiful and perfect in every way...and the other night when @DJDeepFried was reading her bedtime stories I overheard her saying she wanted to cover her arms in tattoos, "like mama's." I just smiled and thought that was so sweet. Whether it happens or not, she will always be beautiful and perfect to me. That's the generational difference!

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My mom found out when I spilled a bottle of Indian ink on her bedroom floor and tried cleaning it up only making a bigger mess. Ahh, the good 'ol days of ink needle and thread. Don't remember what she did, but my arm swelled up pretty big.

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My first tattoo was a big bird-girl with wings and tattoomachine in her clutchs on the top of my back. All picture concealed clothing and i don't want to show it to my mother. At that time I was working as tattooartist about 2 years. But I hidden tattoo from parents one year ) But once upon i time I was in parent's home and was drawing something and my head was bowed to the paper and my mother saw the upper part of the figure due to the T-shirts. About an hour she walked me around the apartment and asked to see the picture. Six months later, I showed the whole picture together with a new tattoo on the hip. =)

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...so my Mom decides to clean my room one day when I was living at home. She was flipping all the mattresses in the house.

And she finds this ziplock back of epsom salts.

So when I get home I find Mom sitting quietly and anxiously tells me to sit down we need to talk.

She says she found something under my bed ... I'm like oh shit mom just found my best porno mag.

Then she asks me if I was on drugs. I'm like Mom!?! WTF!?!

Well I guess dear old Mom was really upset and concerned all afternoon, thinking i had started a cocaine habit !!

So I had to come clean and tell her they were epsom salts for soaking my fresh nipple piercings LOL.

That ended the conversation right there, she didn't want to hear about lol.

She didn't find the dirty magazine stash...yet...that's a different story and my younger brothers fault.

ok not about my first tattoo, but about my first piercings

RIP Mom <3

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...so my Mom decides to clean my room one day when I was living at home. She was flipping all the mattresses in the house.

And she finds this ziplock back of epsom salts.

So when I get home I find Mom sitting quietly and anxiously tells me to sit down we need to talk.

She says she found something under my bed ... I'm like oh shit mom just found my best porno mag.

Then she asks me if I was on drugs. I'm like Mom!?! WTF!?!

Well I guess dear old Mom was really upset and concerned all afternoon, thinking i had started a cocaine habit !!

So I had to come clean and tell her they were epsom salts for soaking my fresh nipple piercings LOL.

That ended the conversation right there, she didn't want to hear about lol.

She didn't find the dirty magazine stash...yet...that's a different story and my younger brothers fault.

ok not about my first tattoo, but about my first piercings

RIP Mom <3

LOL great story :)

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I always knew I was going to get tattoos & had a folder full of artwork since 6th grade! My mom would just laugh it off when I'd show her my ideas...well when I turned 18 back in 1993 I got my 1st tattoo on my lower back a little black panther lol she was just like why? why do you feel the need to deface yourself? and that it was going to look like crap when I got older,etc.......here I am at 42 15 tattoos later & she still is just like why?????? She doesn't hate tattoos she just doesn't see the point in them....she knows I'm getting ready to start working on my half sleeve soon so I'm sure I'll hear her commentary lol and don't get me started on my septum clicker according to her its disgusting & doesn't like me wearing it around her lol My dad could careless about either.

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Ive replied here about first tattoo, but I didnt get a semi negative experience until my pipes on my arm.

Id been planning (im a planner, I like to work out how it will look in the end) my arms for some time and had most of it worked out (family men theme going on). When my paternal grandfather passed , on a whim I went stuff it im starting it now with his. Which actually has ended up being for both grandfathers (both avid pipe smokers. Maternal Grandfather had pipes for all occasions, Paternal Grandfather just had his favorite ) .

Anyway. That afternoon I am sitting in the car, waiting in a carpark when Dad spots me and pops over for a chat. I moved my arm, resting it on the door/open window as I normally do when Dad sees my tattoo and screws his face up asking what it was (really meaning why there) so I said in my usual smart arse fashion... its a pipe tattoo.

cue further grimacing and a question what for. I told him for pop and he was obviously not super impressed. Either because its a fairly constantly visible tattoo or because its his dad (issues there, bad history).

Anyway a few hours later he must have got over himself because he ended up texting , probing more about the tattoo and "so what are ya gonna get for me when I cark it? "

To which I said id get it before he did, told him what of and he jist said "cool!" Which, is a lot coming Dad. Man of few words lol.

So that was that. No more grief.

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I was meant to be having an interview for a job (i jumped in on a cancellation and missed the interview...oops) and my mum texted me asking how the interview went and i replied with

"it didn't"

and she was like "what do you mean, didn't you go, why didn't you go"

and i sent her this picture and then she told me off for missing the interview but said she wanted a picture once it was done

as for my dad I tld him after and he was like "i'm not into them myself but it's your body,you can cover it with tattoos for all i care"

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I just told my mom that I was getting a tattoo. After the session she got to see it and her words were something like "that's a nice tattoo but I don't like it" which as been a reoccurring theme for every new tattoo I get. Dad is not a fan for sure, but he just ignores them for the most part.

I think until I get my hands done, they'll be accepting of it.

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My mom actually bought my first one. She's not one for tattoos but she said she didn't care as long as it's meaningful. My daughter was born the year before so we took one of the cards the doctors used to stamp her birth foot prints on and got it tattooed on my chest with her name. My second one I tried to hide until she came in to my room to wake me up and saw it. By my third(most recent) I just didn't care anymore haha. It's my body, I'll do as I wish. Not all of them can be meaningful

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I snuck it into a conversation a few days ago with my mom that I was getting the rose tattoo I'd been wanting. Then I just posted the before-and-after pictures on Facebook when it was done. Neither parent responded for a while. My brother and youngest sister did. My sister saying she'll still get a tattoo at the youngest age and my brother saying he still did it first. My dad responded to his cousin asking about the pain with "I hope that can be washed off." After talking to my mom, I found out he's kinda mad about the size and how he thinks it'll be hard to cover. Yeah, a short sleeve shirt won't cover it, but my professional clothes will. I made sure of that. My mom was more full of "Was the place clean?" "Was everything sterile?" "Did he stop for breaks?" "Did he give you care instructions?" In addition to the "It's nice, it's just huge." Oh, and telling me to go buy vitamins.

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A few weeks before my dog had passed away, I told my dad that I'm going to get a tattoo of his (the dog's) head. And my dad already has a few tattoos himself, said he was gonna buy it for me for my 18th birthday. My mom basically told me no, (parents are divorced, and I'm living with my dad) but after I told her why I was getting it and what it was, she just said to make sure the shop is clean and sterile.

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I come from a strict religious upbringing. One day, when I was 18 or thereabouts, I woke up and told my mum I was going to get a tattoo that day. She begged me not to (which made it even more appealing). I went out, got inked, came home, rolled my sleeve up and showed her, only to see her cry. I think she realized about 5 years and a few tatts later that the tattoo does not changeth the maneth.

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My Dad saw it first, I think. He was not a fan. He told me he hoped it was fake. I told him it was and didn't say anything else about it. It was very, very small (and not very good). He really hates them still, but he's come to accept them. He jokes about them now.

My Mom wasn't thrilled, either, but she was more accepting. She now tells all of her friends about my tattoos and makes me show them when I'm with her. Hahaha. She still doesn't love them, but she is used to them now, and she appreciates that they are well done. She told my artist, when we ran into him one day, that his work was beautiful — she just wishes t wasn't all over her daughter. Hahaha.

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