Let me start by explaining my absence. When I tried to start writing again, I thought I was ok and dealing with my issues and head space well. I wasn’t. I was struggling to find the passion to write again after loosing my Grandfather, the man who straight up believed in me more than anyone else. Don’t you worry, I’m back now, for good.
Today I’m going to talk to you about tattoos, my tattoos and why the fuck I get tattooed.
So I got my first tattoo at 17, it was a small purple star in an act of rebellion. Since then I have added a further 25 tattoos (at the time of writing this) to my skin. People question why I get so many tattoos. So I’m going to tell you here and now so I can just point people to this blog when I next get asked.
I get tattooed to cover my skin. I am someone who never felt confident in the skin she was given. Always feeling ugly and not quite good enough, I cover myself because adding artwork to the parts of me I hate makes me able to look at myself in the mirror. It makes me bearable. If that makes sense. My tattoos give me the confidence I lack.
My artwork also tells a story. Everything on me means something, holds some sort of memory, they all relate to me and my life in some sort of way or were chosen because the design added confidence to me. So below I’m going to take you through each of them and what each of them mean or why I got something . Lucky you!
1 – My mother’s name on my foot – well this one is kind of obvious. The woman who spawned me. I got this one done at 18, I think?
2 – Blue rose with my grandparent’s first initials on my foot – This piece hasn’t been finished yet, it’s missing a chain going round my ankle and linking the letters but fuck me, this is one of the most painful pieces I have ever had. For those who know me personally, they know how much my grandparents mean to me. This was my way of honouring them.
3 – Three hearts on my ankle – This was a fun day out with my old housemate and one of my closest friends. I let her pick and we both got matching ones.
4 – Playstation buttons on my ankle – The triangle of this piece started out as a stick a poke, done on a night hanging out with a good friend of mine. The triangle alone became known as little pointy boy. The other part was added on another night with the same good friend. I have always been a Playstation gamer so it seemed right for that to be the total of the tattoo.
5 – As The World Falls Down by David Bowie part of the lyrics on my ankle – If you want to hear the song you can hear it here. I got the following lyrics tattooed round my ankle.
“As the pain sweeps through,
Makes no sense for you, Every thrill is gone, Wasn’t too much fun at all, But I’ll be there for you
As the world falls down“
I got this piece as a hommage to someone. There is only a few people who I would get their name or initials tattooed on me. This was my way of giving them a nod on my body because they meant something to me.
6 – Snowball song name on my leg – Snowball is a song by Dave McPherson. You can listen to it here if ya fancy. This piece was done whilst hanging out with a good friend… again.
This song spoke to me. I listen to it a lot when I’m having a low day. It’s all based around having a partner whilst you’re in the throws of depression, well it is when I am listening to it.
The line that will always was stick with me is “Don’t let me go, I’m not the same as I was before“
I related to this line hard because I was so carefree and fun when I was young and my depression didn’t control me as much as it does now. It doesn’t just relate to a partner but my friends who also support me during the harder times.
7 – Blood Buzzards on my knee – Another one done on a night with a very good friend of mine. Blood Buzzards is the name of the punk band I have been drumming with for around two years now.
Here comes the shameless plug but check us out on Facebook here, Instagram here and check out our bad ass demo on Sound Cloud here.
The reason I had this one tattooed on me is because these boys have become my family. They believed in me when I didn’t. When I didn’t think I could do it, they made me believe I could. They aren’t just band mates, they are my brothers. I’m lucky to have them and honestly, they are some of the best people to have entered my world.
8/9 – Swallow on each of my thighs – So I have a swallow on the top of each of my thighs. Swallows are associated with love, loyalty and peace. So I got these on my legs to remind myself of those values and try to make sure I was keeping myself to them.
10 – Memorandum piece on my thigh – This piece is incredibly important to me. A few years ago I lost a very, very good friend of mine. His name is Ryan Carney and he was the most wonderful, delightful, pain in the ass I ever had the pleasure of having in my life. It took me a while to get this piece because I wanted to honour Ryan correctly. I picked a Dr Seuss quote which fit him as a person perfectly.
On his behalf, his friends and family raise money for DSUK.
Recently the incredible Troy Atkin (who you can stalk on Instagram here, mans a lawyer to be and hench as anything) swam the length of Lake Windermere. That’s 840 lengths, 16.8km and took him 8 hours 20 minutes.
I’m incredibly proud of this human for raising money for this worthy charity. If you’d like to donate to DSUK, you can do so here.
11 – Rose and thorns on my thigh – So this piece was done on the thigh I use to cut up during the worse of my self harming time. I got the rose and thorns to cover the pain I felt with something beautiful.
12/13 – Leopard print star on each of my hips – So I love stars. The whole reason I got the leopard print within the stars is because a leopard never changes it’s spots. It was done to remind myself to say true to myself and not change myself for anyone.
14 – Best friends initials on my hip – He’s my best friend of 18 years. I love this human. He also told me I wouldn’t do it and I’m stubborn. Proved him wrong.
15 – Small purple star on my tummy – My first tattoo ever. My first rebel moment. I walked into the tattoo shop on my 17th birthday and told them it was my 19th.I guess that’s where it all started.
16 – Pin up girl on my tummy – I got this piece when I was hating on my body. I have always had a bit of a tempestuous relationship with my belly. The reason behind the pin up girl was to get something beautiful on something that I saw as so ugly.
In recent years I have a better relationship with my belly.
17 – I adore you on my ribs – I got this piece after my heart was broken by a friend. In fact it was the guy in the Friends Can Break Your Heart Too piece, which you can read here.
I was listening to Adore Delano’s, I Adore U on repeat during this time because it spoke to my feelings. You can listen to that here. The song is more about love but I related to it in a friendship way. I got this one to remind me of the pain that person caused me and to remind myself that I need to be careful with who I give my heart too.
18 – A Street Car Named Desire quote on my ribs – I got this done after reading A Street Car Named Desire in one of the few English Lit classes I actually turned up to in college.If you haven’t read the play, I suggest you do. It’s a classic and something I have read more than once. If you’re feeling lazy, there is the old school film!
So I have the famous line “We have had this date with each other from the beginning” which is said before an incident between Stanley and Blanche.
This line stuck with me because it came as I started to take control of my mental health. It just stuck with me hard.
19 – Diamond chandeiler under boob tattoo – This is another one to cover my belly. I’ve always found under boob pieces so beautiful. I love looking at my belly and chest in the mirror now. It’s made me 100 times more confident in myself. This piece was done by the utterly wonderful JME at The Freakshow in Newbury. You can check him out on Instagram here and the piece I wrote about him tattooing me, here.
20 – Nautical star tattoo smack bang in the middle of my rack – This piece was done the day after my 18th birthday by Tim at Lost Design. This piece was the second tattoo I put on me. As I said before I love stars and this piece certainly added to my confidence. Tim has done 15 of my tattoo’s in total and I’m also proud to call him a personal friend these days. Man’s a pretty big inspiration to me and has always been one of the nicest humans I have ever let near my rack.
21 – Photography half sleeve – Photography is my passion. It’s my first love and I guess the one thing I actually believe in myself enough to think I have a talent at. This was another piece done by the wonderful Tim. This piece means a lot to me because of my love of photography. It’s not quite finished yet.
22 – Drum piece half sleeve – If you haven’t worked out that I play drums by now, you’ll be shocked to learn that I play drums. Jme once again inked me with this half piece on my left arm. Its a nod to the many many years I have played for. The piece is yet to be finished because it got the point that if Jme had touched me with that needle again, I would have likely cried because I was just over it.
23 – Kiss of Beth’s logo forearm – This one is pretty obvious. Jme drew me this logo which will end up being the icon of KOB. After all the success that KOB has had, it just seemed right to put it on my body for life. The only reason this little old blog has been going so well is because of all the support from my friends, family and you lovely readers. So thank you, this tattoo is for you!
24 – I Am Ghost lyrics bottom of the back – The less said about tattoo the better. I got it because of a boy. It’s spelt wrong. Let’s leave that one at that.
25 – Semicolon on my wrist – Another tattoo relating to my mental health. This one was added to me after reading about the Semicolon Project. If you haven’t heard of it, you can check out the project here. The whole point is a semicolon is used when a writer could of chosen to stop their sentence, but they took a breath and carried on. It’s the same with me and my life. I could of stopped but I carried on.
26 – Pool (No water) on my hand – This is a play by Mark Ravenhill. I performed it within my time at Godalming College in the Drama Department. Shout out to Andy who dealt with me and my lack of turning up to shit. Sorry Andy. I related with this piece and it was one of the most fun times I have ever had, thus why i got it tattooed on me.
So there you go. That’s the list. Am I done? No I am far from done. I have several more planned and I’m sure there will be several more after that.
I do also want to talk about some tattoo etiquette while you’re here. I don’t mind people asking me about tattoo’s however when people grab me and touch my ink it drives me bonkers. Please, don’t touch me without asking. My art isn’t for you to touch.
Also where my ink all has a meaning or memory as I explained earlier, that isn’t always the case for everyone. Not all ink needs to have meaning. Please, stop telling us that everything needs meaning.. maybe someone got that pineapple tattoo because they liked it.
The other thing that drives me bonkers is when people tell me they are permanent and have I thought about how I am going to look when I am old. First of all yes, I am aware they are a permanent fixture on me. Trust me, I am fully aware. All my pieces are on me and I’m happy with that.
Second of all, I’m going to look cool as shit when I am old. So y’know, you don’t need to keep asking me if I’ve thought about it. I’ll be like Baddie Winkle. If you don’t know who she is, check out her Instagram here.
So there you go, you know all about my ink now. Lucky you. I bet you’re thrilled you read all that aren’t you!