Thursday, April 14, 2011

Attacked for my tattoos on Facebook.

I knew it would happen. I knew my tattoos would bring about some sideways looks and maybe a snarky comment or two.

But it still hurt my feelings.

I posted a photo on my personal Facebook page as my tattoo artist was scribbling some ideas on my arm: And then... the barrage...

I simply posted a photo on my own wall... and, unbeknownst to me, other random people somehow found it. I am not sure how or why they came across it, but they felt the need to make comments like, "Gross." "I hate tattoos." "Walking billboards."

I was completely taken aback. I know that people have negative opinions on tattoos, but how do they find it appropriate to personally attack me and my body. Obviously they are a permanent part of me and something I can no longer change. It would be like me walking up to someone and saying, "Brown eyes... Gross!"

If I were part of a conversation wherein people were discussing their aversion to tattoos and voicing an opinion... that would be one thing. But to simply spout off mean-spirited things at a photo on my personal FB page... well, it's just mean. It's sad that social media gives people this ease to just bully and attack. I mean, I don't think these same people would walk up to me in person and say, "Gross." At least, I hope they wouldn't... would they???? Are people that cruel?

What made me the saddest were the thoughts that quickly rushed to my daughters. I can handle the ignorant attacks. I can reason within my head that these people are callous and close-minded. But what happens when a 10 or 11 or 12-year-old is attacked with such unkind words? Will they have the strength to look beyond the words, to dismiss the ignorance? It scares me to even consider it....

And, as a side note, after all the sketches, all I added to my tattoo was a pretty new butterfly surrounded by some greenery:

*You will notice a comment from 'Claudia' in the FB convo is a different font. As I was screen capturing, she erased her comments... so I pasted back in from my email notification. She seemed to have a change of heart... maybe she will think twice before attacking other strangers with no just cause.


  1. Facebook has an awful lot of grown ups acting like children anyway so I would pay them no mind at all. As far as the the tattoo goes, well that is a personal choice that is made by the individual. I have a lot of friends that have them, some more than others. It doesn't make them anymore LESS human though.

    By the way, nice art work on the butterfly, looks great!

  2. Well, hey there. I've been following your blog for ages but I don't think I've ever commented before. So hello! :)
    You know... I think it's great that people have opinions, I really do. I say good for them for having something they believe in and are willing to stand up for. That being said, I think we all have a responsibility to stop and say "is my comment appropriate? is it helpful? am I saying this in a rude way? do I NEED to comment?"
    How are the tattoos you choose for your own body any of their concern? At the end of the day, does it change their lives in any way? No, it doesn't. If they don't like your tattoos, um... don't look at them?
    It's no different than walking into some one's home and hating the art (the same art that apparently belongs only on walls) - would you say "oh, that piece is hideous??" probably not. You'd probably have the tact to keep that little gem to yourself.
    It's so easy to sit safely behind your computer screen and say whatever you want without consequence. In this age of ever expanding technology, where information is literally at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I think we're all losing a little bit of our humanity.

  3. I love what Sarah said. I feel the same way about my real fb friends sometimes. They aren't hateful, persay. But, sometimes I wonder... "what did that comment really have to contribute to the conversation?" and "was THAT really necessary?".

    My Grandma always taught me - If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

    The artwork is gorgeous. Maybe if the viewers saw the end product (not the rough draft) they might like it a little bit more.

    Also, I'm a bit nervous now... um... how did these people get on your personal page? Is there a security bug I should know about?

    You rock!

  4. First off, what a beautiful tattoo! I have been reading your blog for a long long time and just had to comment as a fellow tattooed Mama. I agree that it is sad that adults felt the need to go onto your personal FB site and post unkindness... very childish in my opinion! And, as a mom you do worry about your children's welfare in such a place as this. All you can do is raise them to rise above the nasty words and see people for how they really are, just like you do. Just look at your awesome art and know that it is a part of you that people can't hurt!

  5. First, let me say that I love your blog and am an avid follower (even though I have never commented).

    Second, your tattoos are beautiful! That artist did an AMAZING job! Love, love, love the way they turned out!

    Third, You are beautiful. Nobody in the 'outside world' will ever be happy with 100% of the choices you make for yourself, but that is ok. If you can't live your life for yourself and you family then who can you live it for? I have always thought that people who say rude, hurtful, or miserable things are miserable themselves and may just never know what it's like to truly be happy.

  6. Ugh. I'm so sorry you had to endure this. And I totally get your thoughts about your daughters having to face something like this. It's scary no doubt. I have the same fears for my kids.

    It's kind of like the whole breast or bottle debate. There are strong opinions on both sides, but adults with class simply look the other way when they see something that they don't agree with. I will never understand how someone can justify tearing someone down over something that doesn't directly affect them.

    The people who belittled you on FB are childish at best. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let them bring you down. You are a beautiful woman, an amazing mother and an incredible artist. I for one think your tattoos are gorgeous and wish I had the guts to get some of my own.

    Keep your chin up and ignore the simpletons. The people who are most important will build you up, not tear you down. *hugs*

  7. Michele,
    I have found that when it comes to facebook most people post things they would not say to anyone, and the rest are just dramaholics, and have nothing better to do but post drama, so they can get attention. Why anyone that does not know you would post that on your wall is either jealous of you or your tattoos. Your tattoos are beautiful.

  8. Ugh, that is so disappointing. Your tattoos are beautiful, Michele....YOU are beautiful!

  9. Some people just *need* to stir the pot. I think it helps their ego or something. But on a more positive note, I think they are BEAUTIFUL and I'm totally curious as to where you get them done...

  10. I can't believe I missed all that! Is our page open to everyone? Is that how they were able to comment/harass you like that? Crazy, bitter people. You a beautiful inside, and the artwork on the outside is really nice, too!

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  12. Damn! You were a victim of cyber-bullying. You are in a good position to have experienced it before your children will (because they will, I can guarantee it... unfortunately). Now you can teach from experience and help other parents stop the haters. I also want to say that I am sorry you had to deal with those miserable people...yes, now I am judging them!

  13. You are gorgeous, your arms are gorgeous, and your tattoos are gorgeous.

    Your choices are gorgeous, your freedom is gorgeous, and your strength in the face of assholes is gorgeous.

  14. Before I had kids I used to work at a high school and the viciousness of the girls never ceased to amaze me. It looks like some just don't grow out of it.
    Your tattoos are really beautiful. My mom (!) has many in a similar style to yours and while tattoos are not for me, I can appreciate art in all its forms.

  15. Why can people that aren't your friends even comment on your picture?? I think you can change that in the settings. You may have it set to friends of friends or everyone. I would just change that so that people can't just give their two cents on your life! That would really piss me off. I don't know why people feel so empowered to be so rude! I would never say that to anyone even if I felt it. I guess that "generation" doesn't know how to mind their own buisiness.

  16. Your tattoos are absolutely beautiful. I am a mother of two young boys (with a few tats of my own!) and I LOVE your blog. You are so inspiring. Please try not to let those people who feel it's okay to say negative things to total strangers bother you. Some people have nothing better to do than troll the internet and make ugly comments, and honestly, I am sorry for them. Just imagine how all that negativity must affect them and everyone around them! So sad. Stay positive and just keep being the wonderful mother, wife and INDIVIDUAL that you are! You rock!

  17. That's ridiculous!! I have to say your tattoos are lovely and I have great admiration for you. You are the woman I hope to be for my children (when I have them). I know how it feels to be judged just because you have tattoos, I have ten myself and a lot of people think I'm "ghetto" because I have portraits of my two pit bulls on my back. But what they don't know is I do pit bull rescue and have decided they are the last dogs I'm going own. From now on I'll be a foster parent to dogs that are in transition between homes, so I wanted a great way to commemorate my love for them and the fact that they're the reason I do what I do. But because people are so simple-minded they don't think that the tattoos could mean something deeper.

    I hope the one's attacking you wake up and open thier minds a little wider! Good luck and I look forward to STILL reading your blog!

  18. I have tattoos and I love mine. They are part of my life's story.

    People need to learn to keep their opinions to themselves. It is not their life, it is not their choice, it is not their body.

    I love your tattoos!

  19. Your tattoos are beautiful.

    Your comment about social media allowing people to bully made me think of Brene Brown and this (

    I hope you don't ever have to feel badly about your beautiful body art again.

  20. You put yourself and your oddness out there. Does everyone have sleeves? Nope. Do people hold strong opinions about tats? Yep.

    So, were you naive in thinking that you wouldn't comments back? Yep.

    Honestly, seems a bit dramaqueen to me.

  21. I think people can say a lot on paper, text, email, fb...very empowering to not have to own up to your words. Doubt they would ever speak like that to your face. Ridiculous!

    Be who you want to be!

  22. Sadly.... I know how this feels personally... I am an artist and I have quite a few tattoos myself now. I recently got engaged to a Thai fellow who has a mother who dislikes me for no other reason than my tattoos. Its hurtful. I had a few tears shed over the issue, mostly because my fiance decided to push back our wedding date because she doesn't agree with me to make her "feel better"... I was always one who believed people are beautiful with or without ink and I have to say.... Tattooed people don't go out of our way to say non-tattooed people are ugly or unprofessional (and there are those out there) why is it people insist to judge to people who ARE brave enough to wear their hearts on their skin??