Name: Charlene McElhinney
Age: 19 years old
Occupation: Soon to be a Student (September 2016, eeek.)
Tell me about your very first tattoo:
I was 15 years old. I didn't tell my parents. I went and got a tattoo done illegally by someone who was training to be a tattoo artist. I got the word 'Gran' on the inside of my left wrist. I was so pleased with it. My parents were not so pleased...
Do your tattoos effect your job, have they in the past?
They have never affected any job I have had. However, as I got mine underage, I encountered a few problems when I was studying higher drama at school and had to play certain roles – I had to make sure I kept them covered. Oopsies.
What, if any, discrimination or bullying have you encountered due to being tattooed?
I haven't actually ever encountered any bullying or discrimination about my tattoos – I don't think. I guess when I was younger people told me I would regret it etc but that's something that everyone with tattoos tends to hear.
Are your friends and family into body modification too? If not what do they think of yours?
My dad has lots of tattoos – and my brother. Some members of my extended family weren't too keen on the idea but that didn't bother me. I also have my tongue pierced and a few other piercings which some family members didn't approve of but at the end of the day – it's my body – and I guess people just learn to accept you as you are.
Show us your favorite piece and talk us through it.
My favourite tattoo would have to be my thigh tattoo of two large roses. Ever since I was a young girl, I despised my legs, one of the biggest reasons being that I had two large freckles on my top right thigh. I always got hit with the “freckles are a sign of beauty” patter but I just couldn't learn to accept them. I didn't like where they were. So, as soon as I turned 18, I got two large roses to cover them and I have never looked back since. I love them. I am still not 100% confident in my legs but it does help me feel a lot more comfortable in my skin.
Which tattoo of yours has the most meaning or sentimental-ness behind it? Do you think all tattoos should have meaning?
I guess my first ever tattoo has the most meaning simply because I got it for my Gran and she is no longer with us. I am glad that she was able to see it. I am glad she knew how much she meant to me. Also, my mandala on my back has sentimental-ness too because when I got this tattoo: It was the last ever day I saw my Gran. I'm pleased she was able to see it. Following her death, I got rosary beads tattooed around my ankle in memory of her as she was a very holy and religious woman. Each of these tattoos hold deep meaning for me.
Of course. I have lots of ideas. I just don't know where exactly on my body to get them yet.
In one sentence what would you tell someone who asked, 'Did it hurt?' ?
Not at all. I'm strange: I like pain. Getting a tattoo is therapeutic for me.
Leave us with some words of wisdom regarding body modification.
It's your body, lovelies. Do whatever the hell you want with it. If you want a tattoo or piercing just go for it – never mind what people think/say – people are always going to talk anyway. :)
Huge thank you to Charlene for taking part in this months Inked and Awesome! Make sure to pop over to her blog here and as always if you would like to contribute, pop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'INKED & AWESOME' in the subject line!