Discovering tattoos at the age of 17… a time when being tattooed placed me in the minority but would soon become a major fashion trend…
Simply wanting a tattoo because I liked the look of them: why, I did not know, nor did I ever bother to stop and question this need at that time.
Over time, I have observed that tattoos have almost become a common ‘fashion accessory’ – a trend, something everyone ‘must have’. Today, they’ve gained wide-reaching acceptance with a broad spectrum of people now being tattooed: musicians, actors, sportspeople, mothers, fathers and grandparents all are succumbing to the latest fad.
And as they have become so prevalent and socially accepted, no longer are you asked why you have a tattoo but why you do not. Also, they’re bigger than ever now – not just a little star, a butterfly, a unicorn or bluebird anymore – they’re now large enough to cover almost an entire limb or the whole back.
The Addictive Nature of Tattoos
Once tattooed, I found there was a need for another, then another, each one bigger and bolder than the last, as if the tattoos themselves were an addiction. For they had become so for me, in the sense that once I had a taste for them, I couldn’t seem to stop myself from getting more.
Looking back I can see that this addiction to tattoos was very similar to other addictions I used to keep me numbed to feeling what really was going on, and from how I was truly feeling; things such as alcohol, marijuana, shopping or over-working.
What is it that makes tattoos so addictive?
I’m not the only one of course – many have taken tattoos to an extreme. But what is so appealing about tattoos that we do not question them and have allowed them to become so prevalent?
I know that I never stopped to consider why I would do that to my body, even when asked by my parents. Great question, but something I had no answer for at the time. It was only after I had made many other changes in my life that I began to ponder.
Was it possible that tattoos fooled me into believing that I accepted myself? Or did they allow me to focus on something else on my body – rather than on my body itself?
I used to think my tattoos beautified my body; that my body was not beautiful enough without something else. Clothes, shoes and accessories were one thing, but once they were gone, my body remained, raw, uncovered and exposed – a body not accepted, a body always needing ‘to be improved upon’, to fit the unrealistic picture the media constantly presents to us. I see now that I was using tattoos as a way to hide my body and myself, and as a form of protection.
I eventually realised this protection did not work
No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.
Attending workshops and presentations with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I began to discover that there was so much more to my tattoos and my life than I was allowing myself to feel. I was able to accept more and more of me as I am, and that I am so much more than my tattoos.
The need to hide behind something or someone was falling away. I realised it was ok for me to just be me, and that the only person that needed to accept me, was me.
It took a little more time to break down the ideals and beliefs I’d ‘picked up’ and held on to around not being enough; to realise that I am not the clothes I wear nor the hairstyle I have – to know that I am what is within – and it is that beauty within that is now able to shine, without the need for any form of fashion accessory or tattoo.
By making choices in my life that are supportive and loving, allowing me to feel who I am without the façade, I have been able to end my addiction to tattoos and see my body and myself for who I truly am, the amazing, delicate woman I have always been and shall continue to blossom to be.
The Next Step: Tattoo Removal
Now I am choosing to go through the procedure of having my tattoos removed in a loving, supportive process with Dr Anne Malatt.
Part of my development has been about reclaiming myself and living the naturally beautiful woman I am. The laser tattoo removal process is just another part of this development, along with other changes I made and am still making in my life.
Each removal session supports me to feel more of me. Now I am able to look at myself in the mirror and see and feel me and the body I am in – not the tattoos I chose to hide behind.
Through the presentations and support of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon I have been able to look at all areas of my life, making loving choices that support me and my body. My journey from tattoos to tattoo removal, from addiction to self-acceptance is an extension of that life now lived. I accept and appreciate the body I have, no matter how it may look, and know that I could never become addicted to tattoos again.
By Nicole Serafin, Tintenbar, Australia
Is True Beauty Really In The Eye Of The Beholder?
The Man Beneath the Tattoos and Dreads
My Tattoo Removal & The Power of Stillness
Tattoos are not an anomaly but a symptom of the way we choose to hide and cover up our light. Whether it’s a job, or anxiety and stress it just distracts from the true beauty of who we are. None of it is needed when we embrace our Love – it’s this that is at the root, not fashion or bad habits. Thank you Nicole.
We have so many ways in which we can be self abusive to our bodies this is just another clever way.
‘I am not the clothes I wear nor the hairstyle I have – to know that I am what is within – and it is that beauty within that is now able to shine, without the need for any form of fashion accessory or tattoo. ‘We are born beautiful and this never leaves us, a message every child should get and I have to think of the amazing book ‘I am beautiful’ from Sunlight Ink Publishing with this same powerful message.
I cannot imagine how painful it must be to get a tattoo let alone getting them removed.
Addictions are purely based on an image and a tattoo fits nicely into a false image, as are all images, they are deceptive, because they hide us from the true connection to our divine light.
It is incredible the lengths and extremes we permit ourselves to go to, to seek recognition or acceptance, which only gives us a false sense of belonging and no connection to who we really are. As at the end of the day this seeking outside of ourselves only takes us further away from appreciating how absolutely gorgeous we all naturally already are within.
I agree Carola we go far and wide, abusing ourselves in all manners and ways and not only that we champion each other for it so that the pact will not be broken and no-one will go off and seek salvation within.
The massive increase and trend in tattoos and tattoo parlours is very alarming with the reality and harm to our bodies it does and this is hidden in fashion and trends and lack of self worth and acceptance of being simply who we are with our innate beauty within.
The massive increase and trend in tattoos and tattoo parlours is very alarming with the reality and harm to our bodies it does and this is hidden in fashion and trends and lack of self worth and acceptance of being simply who we are with our innate and beauty within.
It makes sense Nicole when you speak about tattoos offering a protection so people do not see and feel who we truly are.
Tattoos are becoming more popular than ever and more extreme, but at the same time, there have been reports that indicate that the ink is collecting within the lymph nodes of the body and could be causing other health issues. I just wonder where it will all end, after all, we never really get off scott free with our wayward behaviour – our behaviour gets extreme, and the body has no choice but to try to correct the situation, no different than the earth.
Nothing external can ever take away the pain of being disconnected from ourselves.
Wisely said Elizabeth – everything we ultimately seek is already within, as has been shared and lived through the ages by various masters of Soulful living.
The problem is, that you get recognition for actually harming yourself. No wonder the vicious circle gets fed and stays more easily alive.
“Or did they allow me to focus on something else on my body – rather than on my body itself?”
A simple, interesting angle you offer here. If I have something to look at at my body it does indeed distract from all the bits I don´t accept and like. Receiving attention and recognition for that, helps me to hide my own insecurity and to identify with the tattoo and the feedback. No surprise people want more, as this kind of identification needs to be fed constantly, as you are dependend and needing it from the outside.
During a trip to London recently, I saw a lot of clothing shops that promised the same beautification of the body as do tattoos. A promise of something gained when something is adorned. And it was interesting to observe how the beauty of the person buying the clothing was actually not more or less for buying these clothes, they simply remained the same gorgeous person, just with a new outfit. So the promise is empty, because it gives naught as what we have naturally is already enough.
The clarity you offer in the “after affects” of the tattoo, and how like many aspects of life it did not really fill the hole that was there, is monumentally helpful for anyone considering a tattoo. Just like taking drugs, bingeing on alcohol, or even overeating, there is no substitute for a connection within.
‘No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.’ yes fix its don’t last do they, what was there that we were trying to conceal is still there and until it is addressed more fixing will always be needed.
” succumbing to the latest fad. ”
It’s quite shocking to think that putting a tattoo on the body can be a fad , when one considers the possible risks involved for the body, such as infection , blood poisoning and other life treating risks.
It’s very interesting to understand the psychology behind why so many are being tattooed — IT IS making that connection to your essence that is pure in delight and already the most beautiful intricate intimate sight — No tattoos needed.
We seek all sorts of camouflage in life, whether that be a job or role, designer clothes or tattoos they all obscure what is naturally already there in me and you. We are rich beyond our dreams, innately – all we need to do is accept our beauty and let ourselves be seen. Thank you Nicole.
So many people are now getting tattoos, which means that as a society we are trying really hard to avoid the tension that we are feeling. The truth is however that no matter how many tattoos we get, how much entertainment we indulge in, how much alcohol, drugs or food we consume the tension will not go away as it is there to remind us that the way that we are living is not truth and so only when we address this will we understand what tension is all about.
Beautifully expressed, Elizabeth! Running away from hurt will never heal it. Feeling it and then letting it go is the only way, talking from a lived experience.
Thanks for sharing this Nicole. To be honest, when I was young I used to be wary of people with tattoos in the past as they went hand in hand with being hard and tough – a stereotype I know, but one that wasn’t completely unfounded. Understanding why many people choose to get tattoos, as you have illustrated here, supports in understanding what lies beneath that choice. However, when I connect to the essence of someone who is hard it is easy to see and accept that there is a sensitivity there which can’t be hidden, no matter how many tattoos mask the skin.
I love this sharing Nicole, of realising that this addiction (like other addictions) came from being in a tension with yourself and then learning to feel and deal with the tension allowed you to let go of the addiction.
” to know that I am what is within – and it is that beauty within that is now able to shine, without the need for any form of fashion accessory or tattoo. ” This is a huge transformation, the individualness of the expression of our essence can only come from us ,anything that does not support this, dulls the expression and leaves everyone less, including ourselves.
‘No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.’ yes what ever the addiction unless we address the underlying cause it remains and so the need is there for more and more to stop feeling what is there.
The city in which I live now houses many tattoo parlours, along with this many are offering tattoo removal in a kind of flippant statement saying its ok you can always have it removed. Ask anyone who has been through the slow, painful and expensive experience of tattoo removal of where they where at when they made that original decision and we start to get to bottom of why there is such demand.
The increase is evident in many cities with a climb also in the sizing and designs that are often difficult to distinguish due to the volume of work being placed on body parts.
I saw on Facebook today that there is a new technique that gives tattoos shine and sparkle. It seems so strange that we should deny our own shine and sparkle that naturally comes out when we really lovingly connect to others and that we should want to replace it with a false layer of something that gives an impression of sparkle and shine but is literally only skin deep.
How many people that get tattoos these days really stop to consider why they are actually getting them because now days it does seems that more people are getting them than not. In most restaurants in London all the staff have them and I have often wondered how many tables you have to wait to pay for them especially the ones that cover whole limbs.
Nicole it is great to have an understanding of why people get tattoos as I have never been drawn to getting one, mainly because of the pain factor, but what you have shared here can help others to get an understanding of what place they were in before they chose to get them and then perhaps start the healing process.
It is interesting to read how one tattoo was not enough. How there was the need or desire for more and more. I can relate to this with alcohol or drug taking and that feeling of no matter how much was consumed there was still a need for more. This would mostly come about through not wanting to be aware and wanting to suppress my sensitivity, which mostly happened due to a lack of resources or practical tools for knowing how to be in the world in a way that retained and supported the sensitivity that is not only always there in myself, but is in everyone else too. Sensitivity I have come to learn is actually one of our greatest tools for life, because it supports us to discern and to be aware, and to see the love that is innately there in everyone even though we may be acting in contra to it.
Tattoos have become a fashion trend and what has recently come to light is that the ink within the body accumulates within the lymph nodes, so may not be harmless as everyone has led to believe.
It may depend – while she still feels the same as when she got the tattoo she may even feel good about it everytime she sees it.
It is interesting how much society’s perception can change. There was a time when tattoos looked like a disfigurement. Society’s perception has massively changed on this.
I have observed that nearly everyone that has a tattoo of some description also seems to have a sense of self-neglect and disregard. This is not a judgement or criticism just an observation which makes me wonder if the fact that tattoos are becoming so much more common nowadays is also a sign that there is also a great level of self-disregard among many in society.
It’s interesting the things we choose to hide behind. The ironic thing is just how much we make ourselves stand out, with the intention of hiding. It feels nonsensical. Whilst never getting any tattoos myself, I know I’ve done similar things to fit a picture of what I think I should look like (mostly to be accepted by some people, but fooling myself into believing it’s for me), getting a nose ring for example, or wearing certain clothing or wearing my hair a certain way.
In a world where we think we are not beautiful enough just as we are we will always be vulnerable to looking for external sources to artificially boost us only to realise that any artificial boost will always come down as it is not sustainable – this leaves us empty and wanting more… and so the cycle continues.
So love what you share, I am sure many people can relate, we really need to ask at a societal level what is going on when so many people are opting to get the skin tattooed.
It’s been quite something to observe that a few years ago tattooing and body piercing were quite rare, but now have become a very common and popular phenomenon. To hear about your experience and why you chose to have tattoos, Nicole gives a real insight into why some choose to have them. Tattoos are pretty permanent and my understanding is that they are painful to remove… I wonder how those that have them when young, feel about the tattoo when older?
The amount of body art that is becoming ever more popular that is on display everywhere and growing. Does this show the level of lack of self-acceptance is going through the roof? It was once a small little thing, often hidden from general view for women, now it almost is like an open competition. Tattoos are like winning a race, it takes a long time, and a lot of pain and when the race and tattoo are over, there is just a fleeting moment of relief.
‘No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.’ This reminds me of the thrill of a new relationship, of a new car or bike or even a new gadget for the kitchen. When we let this thrill be bigger than us we can lose ourselves to it and get swallowed up in the excitement. It is an emotional situation that drains us because just like a sugar rush our body needs energy to bring us back to balance and if we don’t have a connection to ourselves we can get toppled again quite quickly.
Your blog is a support for many to come Nicole.
Love to read it again as it keeps me wake in understanding around me when i see bodies getting more and more full with tattoos nowadays. It is sad to see and evil for all children to see as their example how to be with their body.
With your choice you support others to claim themselves as this is felt by all who meet you.