Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman.
Firstly, self expression; my way of telling the world, straight up, who I am and what I stand for. Granted, this doesn’t always work with everyone; even those who are passionate about expressing themselves in other ways don’t always feel compelled to cover their bodies in permanent ink. Sometimes, there’s no problem here, but sometimes they don’t understand why others do. I’ve met people in the past who outrightly block every explanation a tattooed individual will attempt to give them. It’s shocking to see that there still exists a kind of person who thinks that, if someone does something differently to them, they’re obviously doing it wrong.
Finally, tattoos remind me where I’m heading. I have the lyrics “No one shines forever” from AFI’s On The Arrow inked into my left forearm. I had it written there for the specific reason that you see that part of your body so much every day. It’s a warning not to give up; to make the most of the time we have here.
But of course, my tattoos are also my own personal works of art. All but one of them have been done by the girls at Spear Studio, Birmingham, (Leah Moule, Sofie Simpson and Sarah Tracey) and I trust them all with my life.
So when I walked into this year’s Manchester Tattoo Tea Party at the Trafford Centre’s Event City, and Sofie told me that she had a slot, I immediately jumped at the chance. Here’s what happened:
For me, and for more and more people these days, fashion is also a work of art. But I find the art in mixing and matching different elements, more than anything else. People find it strange when they see me in a “normal” top, yet covered in tattoos. I wear what takes my fancy that morning, and sometimes, just one “normal” element can make an outrageous outfit suddenly look really professional, whilst still being true to yourself. That’s the most important thing, as far as I’m concerned.
Shopping in charity shops and acquiring hand-me-downs from friends have served me well lately, allowing me to inject new life into old outfits. So I’ve been experimenting with how this works… whilst trying desperately not to get bepanthen on said clothes, of course!