Wednesday 5 November 2014

An open letter to my mum about my tattoos

Dear Mum,

I understand that you don't, and never will, like tattoos. That's the way you feel, and I can't express how much I appreciate and respect that.

You are making a choice not to get tattoos; I am making a choice to get tattoos, and that's the only difference. We are both making choices, and in reality neither of our choices affect the other person. I don't mind that you and millions of other people don't have tattoos, so I am always left confused when people genuinely mind that I do have tattoos. It's my body, and isn't it something to be celebrated that we live in a time and place where women can make choices as to what they do with their own body?

Tattoos make me extremely happy, which is why I choose to decorate my body. In a world that sees so much terror and negativity on a daily basis from all corners of the globe, it seems honestly ridiculous to not do the things that make us happy. Some people hang their art work on a wall, and I have mine inked across my skin. I get to see it wherever I am and remember what was happening in my life at the time that I had each piece done.

Getting a job might be difficult in the future, or it might not. I don't have a crystal ball and neither do you. I know you worry about it, and sometimes I do too - but in all seriousness I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and I'd kick myself for everything I missed out on. Not just tattoos, of course, but that's what I'm talking about here. And on the other end of the scale I could win millions on the lottery and never have to work a day in my life: you'd probably still hate my tattoos but maybe in a different way.

The world is evolving every single day; years ago nobody would have believed the technology we have in our lives, or the crazy and wonderful things people get to do as their careers.

In my personal opinion, tattoos don't change who we are as a person. Some of the most awful people in the world have no tattoos at all, and some of the kindest, bravest and most amazing human beings I've ever met have been covered in them. I hope you don't think I'm an awful person because I'd like to think I'm not. I'm far from perfect but that's not down to my tattoos - I'm still me, just with a rose on my foot and a moth on my ribs.

I've never liked my body: from my belly to my awful skin I've always wanted to change something, and being able to get beautiful tattoos has made me happier and more confident to show off who I am. How can that be a bad thing?

I like tattoos. You don't like tattoos. You like carrots. I don't like carrots. But I would never dream of making you feel bad for eating a carrot in front of me. Maybe it's not the same, but in a way I think it is. I know I've broken your heart my colouring in my skin, but I waited until I was legally old enough and I had wanted my first tattoo for two years before I finally got it. I was certain, and I have no regrets about anything I've had done.

I love you and I am sorry for not always being who you want me to be. I wrote this letter because I wanted you to understand how it makes me feel when you get upset and angry about my tattoos: I feel like a disappointment, like I'm not good enough to be your daughter and that it's wrong to do things that make me happy. I'm sorry.

All my love, Katy xxxxxx

This is a bit of a different blog post, a bit personal - as I read it back now, 5 and a half years after I first wrote it, it all still rings true. So whilst it is a bit cringeworthy I think I'll keep it live for now - I've added some photos of some of my tattoos, too. Let me know in the comments if you have a similar struggle with your own parent(s).


  1. Aww darling what a lovely honest letter! You have expressed yourself very well and I think that the way you approach the problem is very mature. I hope your mum gets to read this one day, I think she would be very proud and would see things slightly different than now. Never hold back what you want in life because someone else is being negative about it.

    Such a pretty blog! Thank you for sending me your link sweetie.

    Collette xxx

    1. Thank you so much that really means a lot. She knows about my blog so she might read it at some point, or I might send it to her in a few days when everything has settled down!

      Thank you! Your blog is fab too!

      Katy xxx

  2. I just wrote something on here but it decided to delete itself I think - argh! Unless you have comment moderation?

    Anyway, I think this was a wonderfully mature post and despite me not having tattoos (which everyone I know finds surprising!), my closest friends, exes, boyfriend and sister all do, and I love that they can choose for that.

    It is tough, often we love our mothers unconditionally and want to show respect, but this was perfectly thought out and handled well.

    Loved your writing style and will keep my eye out for more!

    Claire Louise (


    1. Oh that's annoying, I don't have comment moderation (as far as I know!)…

      Thank you lovely, it's so hard because I want to make my mum happy and ensure that she's proud of me but at the same time I want tattoos, it's difficult trying to do both!

      That means a lot to me, thank you xxx

  3. I love this! Do what I did, get a tattoo and show her infront of her boss on the shopfloor where she works so she can't shout at you ;) xx

  4. This letter is my feelings exactly! (except I do love carrots). So beautifully written, calm and kind! I love this!