Today was one of those days when I really wasn’t with it while shooting the basketball game. It was one of those days when I’d settle for any photo that was in focus, because I certainly wasn’t.
I just couldn’t get into the game today. Instead, I was oddly fixated on this:
The first time I watched this player dribble down the court I thought, “What a thug!” Followed closely by, “How can anyone look at her—and those tattoos—and not think the same thing?”
I’m pretty old school about tattoos and I have never liked tattoos on anyone, male or female. I don’t see the body as a canvas upon which ink can be applied. The only tattoos I have accepted are ones like this one, which covers and celebrates a mastectomy scar.
My opinion about tattoos is that the wearer is probably going to regret them as they grow older. And even if they don’t, those creative pieces of art will likely stand in the wearer’s way more often than not. They will run into people with knee jerk reactions like mine, who will judge and condemn.
Appalled by my own reaction, I turned to Google to tell me why Janeesa “Chucky” Jeffery was sporting so many tattoos on both arms. What I found is that Chucky is probably a really nice young woman, as this video interview shows. But I worry for her. I worry that many people will just stop at that first impression, the black girl with cornrows and half sleeves of tattoos. They won’t hear her gentle voice, her articulate words, see her passion or feel her energy.
Even with all she already has, there’s one more that she wants: her mother’s name, Alana, across her back. I’ll hate it, but not the woman who wears it.