Welcome back to another installment in our new series – I’m A Mom With Tattoos. In case you have missed the last couple, don’t forget to check them out here.
Go get your cup of tea or coffee ready – there’s lots to see in today’s post.
I’m always so interested in hearing the stories of other young Moms out there, that also got married young and are still sticking it out together today. Maz is one of those Moms AND she has some awesome tattoos to boot. Let’s get to know a little more of the story behind her tattoos.
* Your name: Mariza, but everyone calls me Maz
• Your age: I’m turning 25 this year, which also raises eyebrows most of the the time. I am an old soul.
• Your Occupation: I am a Fashion Designer specializing in Ladieswear, Kids wear & Layette. I currently work for one of the leading retail suppliers in the country.
• A Mom’s favourite thing to do is talk about their children – tell us about your family: My husband and I have a beautiful little 3-year old girl, Mikayla Rose. She is as cute as a button and the most beautiful thing you will ever see. She always has the biggest smile on her face, even when she is ill. She has the ability to light up any room she enters and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I’ve been happily married for almost 3 years (yes, my daughter was at my wedding and that made it 100x more special). Mikayla loves doing ballet and purple is her favourite colour. We are also currently obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! The other members of our immediate family include Rhino (our oversized cross-breed rescue cat) & Green Pepper (our 3-month old black & white kitten – Mikayla named her)
• If you work, tell us a bit more about your working environment – are you regularly in contact with new “clients/public”. My working environment is great, our office is filled with very diverse people from very different backgrounds. I never had any problems with my tattoos at work… Except from the lovely old seamstresses and pattern makers, but even they joke about it and tiptoe around it lightheartedly. They never try to force their beliefs on me and it does not make them like or respect me any less. In my line of work you meet very important and professional clients and also very creative and arty clients. I am always complimented on my tattoos. It has never costed me a contract or a business deal.
1. I have my husband’s name with a couple of cherry blossoms behind my ear – that was spur of the moment, but I love it.
2. I have a modified Viveros artwork on my left upper arm, along with my favourite Billy Talent song title. In this artwork/tattoo power and femininity collide, the look in the eyes isn’t exhaustion or fear: it’s a challenge.To me it is a look of victory. Personally, to me this tattoo means empowerment. The mix of over-implied femininity and equal give and get of violence is a clear message: standing up in a fight does not emasculate a woman.
5. I have a completely horrific misformed dragonfly on the right side of my abdomen. I got this horrible tattoo in a container at Upington expo after my boyfriend at the time dumped me, this is my first tattoo… And I will never remove or cover it.
6. I have a cupcake on my upper thigh, done by a friend while she was apprenticing. This will always be a reminder of the friendship we share and our love of all things sweet.
7. On my right leg I have a traditional style rose & heart locket, this was done by another friend of mine so that is also special to me.
• How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I was 17…
• Which tattoo is your favourite and why? The rose on my hand, because it is a big middle finger to conforming to what the ideal stereotypical surburbian mother/wife/woman should be. I love it because it is bold and strong – so am I.
• Do you plan on getting more? Definitely!
• How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? I grew up in an open-minded yet somewhat conservative family and knew hardly anyone with a tattoo. My parents don’t love it, but they have learned to accept it. My mom is an artist and she understands that this is my way of expressing myself. My husband is also tattooed, so it doesn’t bother him at all. My husband and I have laughed about the fact that Mikayla will either think we’re super cool or super lame. And that’s okay. I couldn’t imagine having a Mom that had her arms, hands, legs, etc. tattooed but this is all Mikayla will know. And because she’s surrounded by our tattooed friends most of the time, seeing beautiful colors and pictures on peoples’ skin is completely normal to her.
• What is the general reaction that “the Public” have towards your tattoo’s? Have you run into any negativity or adversity because of them? I understand that when you get big tattoos, you sign yourself up for people staring and asking questions. People are curious and that is fine. I am just completely shocked at how some people think that because you have tattoos it is okay to be inappropriate and disrespectful. All of a sudden you are not a person anymore, you are a thing – a freak and normal rules and manners do not apply anymore. I cannot stand it when people ask me how much my tattoos cost me… Would you ever ask a complete stranger how much they paid for their clothes? Her car? Her house? Also, because you have tattoos it seems to be okay for complete strangers to touch you… I was grocery shopping the one day and the lady at the till pulled my top down over my shoulder to see my tattoo, is that accepted in society now?
I do sometimes feel a bit like a circus freak.
The worst is the reaction my husband and I got at Mikayla’s previous school. It broke my heart that people could be so horrible. None of the other parents would talk to us. Unfortunately, Mikayla got the worst of it. She was treated unfairly because of our lifestyle choices. We removed Mikayla from the school, her new school is so much better. Not once have we been treated differently, we have only experienced love and acceptance. So far.
People find it hard to wrap their heads around the fact that I have tattoos and that I had a baby at 21, got married young, but I have a happy marriage, a successful career, a house in the suburbs, and.. I am actually I nice person, a human being with feelings, I have morals too.. I am a great mother and my husband is a great father. We have tattoos, that does not make us drop-out druggies and alcoholics. Society is so misguided. I always wonder how our tattoos will affect Mikayla, I hope they do. I hope they teach her to be accepting of different kinds of people and to never base her opinion on someone’s looks alone. If more kids had that lesson growing up – we’d have a lot less adults who are quick to judge solely based on appearance and stereotypes.
• Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed? Do your research. Make sure what you are getting is what you really want. Pick the artist carefully… Don’t go for the cheapest option. You pay for what you get and you get for what you pay.