I have twelve tattoos, five of which are Disney related (with several more planned in the future.) I generally receive compliments on my artwork, but I also encounter condescending comments. My favorite is “Wow… you must really like Disney.” This comment makes me feel more judged than if someone blatantly tells me my tattoos disgust them. I don’t know why it irks me so much. I think it the patronizing tone or the implication that my art work is immature.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you don’t like my work you don’t have to say anything. The truth is I wear what I love, and my tattoos are for me and only me. Disney has been such a huge part of my life that I wanted it to be on me forever. I know any tattoo is an invitation to disapproval, but I don’t want to be called childish because I carry permanent artwork of something that is very dear to me. You should never judge a book by its cover; or a person by their seemingly childish tattoos.
So how do I respond to negative comments? I usually just smile and walk away, but sometimes I take it a bit further. Sometimes I share a piece of the tattoos meaning. This simple action of personally opening up to a stranger has changed how some people react to me. The best example I have is my tattoo that says “You are my sunshine” with a classic Winnie the Pooh. The handwriting is my mom’s and she’s called me Pooh for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen people’s faces totally change after hearing the background. Another positive story, one time I was given V.I.P. seating at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular just because the Cast Member really liked one of my tattoos.
I’m going to wrap this up now by proudly saying yes I do have Disney tattoos. No I do not think they’re childish, and I will never regret them! Do you have Disney tattoos? How do you handle any negative feedback? I’d love to see your art and hear your stories. Hit me up on Twitter @hoodie_life.