Bad tatts can happen to anyone, so be nice
I WAS watching the Bachelor on Thursday night when a tweet crossed my screen about how many of the girls had "trashy tatts".
The implication that Jen won't win The Bachelor for any other reason than that the token villain never wins is outrageous and a prime example of the type of discrimination anyone with a shit tatt faces.
Just recently I was with a group of people I didn't know very well when they started talking about "trashy tattoos".
My stomach dropped - I'd been here before.
They weren't privy to the fact that I was indeed the owner of one very crap tattoo and soon I'd be forced to either own to up to it or prepare to never, ever bend over wearing a pair of jeans in front of them.
I decided if our relationship was going to go further, honesty was the best policy.
The conversation went how it always does.
Me: Nervously laughing followed by "I actually have a tramp stamp".
Them: "Really?! What is it?"
Me: "I was really young... "
Them: "What is it?!"
Me: "It's a Chinese symbol."
Them: "What does it say?"
Them: Lots of laughing. "Are you sure it actually says that?"
Me: "Yes, I'm sure."
Them: "Can we see it?"
Me: Lifts shirt up to show lower back.
Them: More laughing.
I got my shit tatt when I was 17, living in Belgium and pretty much thought I was the best thing since sliced bread.
I chose the Chinese symbol for adventure because it felt very apt at the time but nowadays I'm more likely to be found binge watching Netflix, safely tucked up in bed by 10pm on a Saturday night.
More than 10 years has passed since I had my lower back printed forever and the world has since taught me I'm nowhere near as good as sliced bread and people can be cruel when it comes to misguided pieces of body art.
Now I know I'm not alone, one in five Australians (19 per cent) has one or more tattoos, according to a study by social researchers, McCrindle, last year.
For females the number is even higher with 24 per cent sporting some kind of ink.
Can I just make it clear, when it comes to shit tatts I've found it's very rarely the tattooist's fault.
For example, my pal's butterfly on her hip bone is a fine piece of artistry - it was the fact that she wanted a butterfly on her hip that let her down.
With so many tattoos floating around it stands to reason that some of them are going to be rubbish.
McCrindle's study found 27 per cent of Australians with tattoos regret it, and 15 per cent have even started or looked into tattoo removal.
Anyone who has had to bare their soul or skin to reveal the shame of a bad tattoo will know only too well the damaging effect tattoo discrimination can have on your confidence.
Don't worry about job prospects, an embarrassing tatt can make simple things like swimming or wearing low rise jeans an impossible task.
Just yesterday, I found out one of my colleagues dumped a girl because she had a Beatles lyric tattooed above her bum.
It was "ticket to ride". She was young and maybe a little dumb but he didn't care. The poor woman felt, probably not for the first time, the stinging consequence of tattoo discrimination.
It's time it stopped.
Instead of looking at a sprawling tramp stamp, a tribal inspired arm band, an artfully placed frangipani or even a dolphin on a shoulderblade and thinking "what an absolute trash bag" try being compassionate.
After all, a shit tattoo could happen to anyone at anytime.