“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.” – Johnny Depp

If you follow the Be You. Instagram page (@BeYou_Lifestyle) then you’ve seen my newest art editions from Bang Bang Tattoo in New York!  Kristi, Georgia, and Turan have hooked me up with some of the most amazing art; better than I ever could have imagined!

Above you’ll see a lioness with a Lotus flower crown, a quote from The Lion King: “Remember Who You Are,” and a bonsai tree. It’s important to me that all of my tattoos speak to me, like Johnny Depp alludes to, they tell a story of my life and my journey. You should NEVER get a tattoo because you think it’s the “cool” thing to do, your bored, or you were pressured into it. You will end up regretting it and tattoos are one mistake you can’t undo. Be very careful and make sure that you take time to think about what you want, sit with it for a while and choose someone who is great at what they do. Don’t choose someone that’s just good, because this, again, is a life-long piece of art. Choose someone that is great, amazing, inspired, etc.!

 

The symbolism of a Lotus flower is akin to a Phoenix rising from the ashes. The Lotus is a beautiful flower that grows in the most ugly of places. It’s a swamp flower, so it’s surrounded by dirt, mud, and guck. Nonetheless, its unpleasant surroundings give birth to one (in my opinion) of the most beautiful flowers the planet has to offer. The lion is a symbol of strength, leadership, courage, focus, the power of silence, the importance of family; I could go on for hours. But I chose the lioness because she is majestic. She does the hunting, childcare, is patient, gentle, does not just work as a leader of the animal kingdom, but knows the importance of groupwork within her community. She is a symbol of everything I have worked so hard to be and everything I am still working to become. Each tattoo I have has an equally long and meaningful story.

 

People sometimes say to me, “I didn’t even know you had any tattoos.” And to me that’s the best thing to hear. I choose to have my tattoos hidden for two reasons. The first: Because I work in a corporate environment where tattoos are still considered taboo and inappropriate in the workplace. The second and most important, is because they tell my personal story. These are pieces of art I got for myself to enjoy, not to show off or seem cool to anybody else. My story stays mine, and I choose who gets to be a part of it. I share with you guys today only for those who may want to get tattoos in the future. This is my journey and my choice, and I hope by sharing to educate or help those who may want something similar.

 

BUT, if you want to show your art, do it! I hold no ill feelings towards those that do! This is the tattoo experience I chose to have. Be sure to keep in mind your work setting and what you will have to do on a daily basis if you choose to have visible tattoos. But also, do what feels right for you. Do what you love and not what society tells you is going to make you feel better or be cool. Do what you feel and make sure you love it, because every morning you will wake up with just you, not with the nay-sayers and opinionated nobodies. Just Be You., with every decision you make!

My only goal is to make a difference, increase self-acceptance and self-esteem in youth to young adults. Being young is hard, trying to find your way is even harder, and with today's culture being yourself has become a fuzzy concept. Join me as I navigate my way through, fashion, fitness, and the overall struggles of growing up. Wear what you want. Do what you want. Be Different. And NEVER be afraid to 'Be You.™'.

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