Why would I do this to myself? It's who I am.

My tattoos are as much a part of me as the air I breath and the blood in my veins. So when people ask me why I would do this to my body -- I them it is simply who I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve in a literal sense. 

I cannot count the number of times in the course of my life, that I have been told that I wouldn't amount to anything because of all of the ink I have in my skin. In the early years this always bothered me and I would try and justify my position to these people -- I could have spoken in ancient Mayan for all the good it did. Now I couldn't care less. I am who I am, take it or leave it. I hope that others can adopt this mindset and live their life as themselves. 


Now the sentiments towards me have changed. Now people are always telling me that I don't need anymore tattoos. I have this to say, at this point would more ink really even matter in the larger scheme of things? I long ago made the decision to finish my body suit, to become one complete giant tattoo. And with the way the stigma around ink has been changing over the last few years, let's face it, just to continue to keep some originality I am going to have to continue to push the boundaries of what is considered respectable. I do encourage those thinking about getting tattoos, whether it is their first time in the chair, or just another step up the ladder -- do not be afraid to get what you want. Don't let other people dictate how you chose to decorate your own body.  

I hope to be able to live the rest of my life with people judging me by who I am as a person. I want to be able to find work based on my credentials and abilities and not on the ink poking out of the collar of my shirt or the cuffs of my sleeves. 

I am not ashamed of who I am, are you?


 Alex Scantlebury

Alex Scantlebury is a married father of two young daughters, as well as being a very vocal tattoo enthusiast.

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