I started canvassing the 5600 homes in Ward 6 of Barrie in June of last year. And at first I wasn’t sure if I should cover up my tattoos; I still had the belief that stigma associated with them would exist. But then after a few days of wearing a jacket, and pretty much dying of heat stroke, I couldn’t take it any longer and started to wear t-shirts.
My tattoos are very important to me; they share my recovery stories from PTSD and addiction. I love the art of tattooing as well, and feel proud to wear such amazing talent on my arms (Kudos to my artist Scott at Lucky Devil in Barrie). Needless to say I was a bit nervous about what people would think when they opened their door to a full-tattoo-sleeved female asking for their support. But I didn’t need to be nervous for long! I got so many compliments on my tattoos and they became an icebreaker many times at the doors. Some even said they would vote for me because of them!
I did have one experience where a man opened his door and looked at my tattoos and immediately shared that he wouldn’t vote for me. I asked him why, (to confirm whether or not his comments were about my tattoos), and he continued to say that he found them offensive and that a politician shouldn’t have tattoos. I kindly thanked him for his feedback, left the door step almost in tears, pulled myself together and knocked on some more doors.
I totally understand that there is still stigma surrounding tattoos, but I found that very genuine and kind people get them as well so that they can permanently remember something or someone in their lives. Just because I have tattoos doesn’t mean that I am in a gang, am an ex-convict, or that I have a violent side of myself. I just simply love expressing myself through art on my body.
It took me several months so show up to a city council meeting wearing a sleeveless dress that would most definitely put my tattoos on display. And I was so happy to not hear a negative comment about them once – thank you!
What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear them!