Underage Tattoos

Updated on January 25, 2018
PoeticApparatus profile image

Bella is a student in Houston Texas, always reading, writing, loving and learning. She is bold, for well-behaved women rarely make history.

I made a dumb decision when I was fourteen years old. I've made plenty more since then, don't get me wrong, but I mean god this one was one of the dumbest of the dumb: I got a tattoo. A little one on my ankle that even today I really do like. Needless to say, it didn't go over very well with my family. Deciding not to wait until I was an adult has now cost me years of criticism and has been the ammo in my family's metaphorical guns ever since then. Now, let's delve into the details, shall we?

I was fourteen years old, struggling with massive amounts of anxiety and depression, not thinking clearly at all, hurting myself, hurting others, and because of all that, sometimes I was, what one would call, a bitch. That wasn't how I liked being perceived and it wasn't the way I wanted to act but I just couldn't get myself together at the time. I was the black sheep. I didn't look like everyone else or act like everyone else or agree with everyone else's opinions. And it was then that with my mind in a state of constant duress, I decided to get a tattoo. Based on my actions leading up to this point it was clear that my mind wasn't focused on the consequences of my actions, it was focused solely on the present moment and what I selfishly wanted to do in that moment. I know now that healthy living requires a happy medium, or general balance, between the two, however, I digress. After getting this tattoo (which is a black ink semi colon located on my inner right ankle) I felt pretty awesome. It had a meaning to me, it was simple but elegant, and I was satisfied.

Now that the events surrounding the tattooing incident have been explained a little bit, I'd like to fast forward to when my parents discovered it was an actual tattoo and not just a sharpie drawing I had been repeatedly sketching onto my leg. They were livid. There were tears and screaming and endless looks of disappointment and shame. But I was the black sheep. Or at least, I thought I was. Looking back on this I can understand my parents point of view, confused and angry and upset at me for acting out because they didn't understand why I was doing the things that I was and unfortunately, it's unlikely that they ever will.

Religiously, my parents raised us in a faith that has labeled tattoos as disfigurement of our bodies and mistreatment of them. I do not hold any arguments against this, and I understand that viewpoint even today. I have not gotten any more since that time and do not plan to do so again in my life, not because of the judgments of others but because of the understanding that I gained as I grew. I don't want any more of them because of the faith that I have made the choice to live by, not because of pressure from family, friends and strangers alike.

At this point in my life, I have come so far from where I used to be, though I still have a long ways to go. I am proud of the person that I am, but I still have to figure out how to move forward when the past is permanently visible for all to see. I have to learn how to accept my mistake and continue instead of letting mistaken judgments shake me. I have to learn how to be unwavering even when everyone around me is not. It's hard being the black sheep. Though that title means something different to me now than it did before.

I don't want my younger siblings to look at the tattoo and aspire to be like that - one of them has already stated this to be the case - I want to be looked up to as I am now. Strong and sure, capable of hard things, hard working and kind, and most of all I hope, good. I do not feel right about having the tattoo removed or hidden. It's a symbol to me of constantly working to become better, while still being satisfied with who you are. It's a reminder to me of everything that once was, and everything I know now. I am facing pressure on all sides to have it removed or covered up but I refuse to refute my gut feeling.

Finally, I want to make it known that I am not endorsing underage tattoos, nor am I claiming that I regret having it done. I'm a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and that everything I have done and everything that has happened to me has made me into exactly who I am supposed to be, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

-Much Love,


© 2018 Bella Marie Poetry


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    • Leonie Manguilin profile image

      Leonie Manguilin 3 months ago from Belgium.

      Very interesting article.!

    • PoeticApparatus profile image

      Bella Marie Poetry 4 months ago from Missouri City

      I love that! Not everything that looks nice actually is, and that's so true. Thanks again for stopping by!


    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 4 months ago from Ohio

      I still love my tattoo! I have a tiger's face in the shape of a butterfly. People think it is a butterfly at first glance. To me it means not everything that looks nice actually is. I'm 55 now, so I have had it for 30 some years. I still think I may get another before I die, lol. Maybe around the ankle, or upper arm.

    • PoeticApparatus profile image

      Bella Marie Poetry 4 months ago from Missouri City

      Thanks so much Kari, how long have you had your tattoo for now? Do you still like it or do you wish you'd gotten something different or not at all?

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 4 months ago from Ohio

      I'm sorry you get so much grief for having a tattoo. I am surprised you were able to get one at 14. I thought tattoo parlors proofed people to make sure they are old enough. I was 20 something when I got my tattoo. It took me a year to work up the courage to show my parents. They were not really supportive, being religious like your parents. But, luckily I was 20 something, so they were not totally unsupportive, lol.

    • PoeticApparatus profile image

      Bella Marie Poetry 4 months ago from Missouri City

      Thanks so much Kathy, it's great to see you here! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and you're right I did choose the semicolon for that reason and it really is powerful.



    • KatWin profile image

      Kathy Burton 4 months ago from Florida

      A semicolon can be used when a sentence could come to an end, but instead continues. I think you already knew that. It was a powerful symbol to choose at the tender age of 14. Be well


    • PoeticApparatus profile image

      Bella Marie Poetry 4 months ago from Missouri City

      Thanks so much for the comment Larry, and at this juncture in my life I would agree with you about waiting until your older. I really like the idea of youthful fluidity, it's very inspiring.



    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting read. Glad to be following you.

      I kind of lean to the argument of waiting until your an adult to make a decision like this just because they are so hard to get removed if you change your mind and one of the beauties of being young is that society gives you the fluidity to change your mind.


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