• Emilia Hargreaves

My First Tattoo

I am nineteen. I do not have a single piercing on my body and I am absolutely petrified of needles. So obviously, I got a tattoo…

Before I even begin to write this post, I have to start by saying: Sorry Mum. I know you don't like it and you probably wont ever like it. But honestly, I love it. And I don't care what you think about it. You never have been a fan of tattoos. Whenever you see someone with a tattoo, you say something along the lines of “Oh dear, someones written all over him”, or “Ew, how horrible, someones drawn on her!”. So I am sorry that I have permanently drawn something on my body that means so incredibly much to me.

Here’s the story of how it happened:

I had been thinking about it for a while. But I was so aware that the design had to be unbeliveably perfect for me to be okay with having it on my body for the rest of my life. I was constantly googling images and doodling up my own designs. I knew pretty much what I wanted from the start, but I had absolutely no clue where abouts on my body that I wanted it to be positioned.

I was given loads of (pretty shitty) advice from my boyfriend about where not to get it. Avoiding the areas that were particularly more bony was the most common suggestion, but as a rather large woman, that was going to be quite easy. I’m fleshy everywhere dude.

Thinking strategically, I was adamant that I would not be going on my own, because, knowing me, something would go wrong. I would end up breaking down in tears or passing out in agony. So, the good old boyfriend decided he’d come along and get one too. Considering he already has about 30, this was and easy breezy little day out for him. We booked in with an old pal of his, who is a tattoo artist in training, and apprenticing at a place in Bexley Heath. We were given a date months in advance, so obviously I had the perfect amount of time to dwell on it. Rethinking my decision which changed every few days. ‘Am I ready for this?’, ‘Do I really want something on my body forever?’, ‘This is going to hurt like a bitch’, ‘Are you sure you really want to do this, girl!?’.

And yes. I did want to do it. And I am so glad I did. Because I love it. I wouldn't even call it a tattoo. I would call it a piece of art. Because it is done so well. It is beautiful. I feel like a new mother with it. Protecting it at all costs.

However, getting the damn thing wasn’t all so happy clappy.

The night before, I had accidentally got so drunk that I spewed all over the floor in the pub, so I was hanging like a horse the morning we went. I was so mad at myself that I’d gotten so pissed so I had plunged myself into a shit mood, and my head was pounding like a drum.

I thought I was going to die. I felt sick with nerves and thought I might spew on the artist when I got on the bed. I went before my boyfriend, because at this point, all I wanted to do was get it over and done with and go back to bed. At this point, I nearly shat myself. As nervous as I was, I was surprisingly excited. I had heard so many people talking about the feeling of getting a tattoo and I was so ready to experience it for myself. With a design that meant so much to me.

When, I saw the stencil, I knew I was in good hands. They shaved the area and cleaned it so it was all ready for the needle, but at the very last minute, I decided I wanted it in a different position. The side of my left thigh. Perfect. Looks just like it belongs there.

I hopped on the bed. Preparing for the worst. Ready to cry my eyes out, or completely chicken on the whole idea and just leave. I didn’t look, for the whole time. The whole two hours, I didn't look once. But actually, it wasn’t that bad! Like a slightly sharp tickle. Or a tiny but constant electric shock. My boyfriend had previously explained to me that it would feel like scraping off sunburn with a plastic fork. Really Chris? Seriously?

It did not feel like that at all. It wasn’t that bad.

But it’s different for everyone. And getting it on the thigh is quite possibly the least painful place to get one. After a while, it did hurt a tad. But, I was able to take as many breaks as I needed. (Only two, for your information. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance).

I’ll explain the story behind my tattoo, but it wont mean anything to anyone but me and the two fabulous people that it is for.



The Bee represents my sister. Beatrice. Bea. Bumble. The little light in my life. My irritating little sister, but my best friend.

The Circle around, is for Hugo, my brother. Hugs. Who had actually told me that he would disown me as a sister if I ever got a tattoo. Good news is that he hasn't yet. The comedic genius of the house. Who refuses to sign cards with kisses, just ‘Love from Hugs, OOO’. Three hugs from Hugs.

These two gremlins keep me going and I love them both forever. No matter how much they annoy me. The joy that they bring to those around them is now constantly with me.

Sometimes now, I forget that I have it. So every time I go to the toilet, I get a little surprise. Every time I see it, it cheers me up.

Mum, sorry if you don't like it, but I do, and so does Dad!

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