Does My Tattoo Match My Shoes?

06/05/2012 04:29 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT

Or my bag. With this particular tattoo of mine it could really go both ways, but that is if you're the kind of person who frequents animal-themed accessories, which I am. Now there was a time when the kinds of people who squeal at the sight of shoes with ears would never get a tattoo; luckily I've been born into a more accepting time. More than that, I've been born into a time when I can sport tattoos as I would Hermès bangles... again if I were the kind of person who owns plural of the aforementioned bracelet, which I do not.

My first tattoo, three jaggedly-drawn stars on my left shoulder, was inked into my skin by a 60-year-old lady in Cornwall, Ontario as I blasted Franz Ferdinand into my ears on my pink iPod Mini to drown out the buzzing. It didn't work, I could still hear her needle working, and I moved almost immediately adding even more 'character' to such a character-less tattoo. I was 15 years old with that first one, now I'm 22 and I have stars all over that left shoulder (when your ex writes a play about you, you react by seeking the prettiest pain) and a few more.

Recently my pets have started dying. That came out of nowhere I realize, but I'm going somewhere with this, I promise. I'm at that age when all those beloved furry friends I begged for as a child are nearing their end, and my way of paying tribute will result in a tatted dead-pet-collage on my inner ankle/calf. We had this tiny little cat named Coco, obviously for Coco Chanel because preteens lack creativity, and she died so unexpectedly I knew she had to have a tattoo immediately. I started Googling any and all combos of 'Chanel', 'Coco', and 'cat' and wound up with a drawing I then personalized for my little Coco.

Now (meow) there is a Chanel bag on my leg, with a cat in it. I carry a Chanel purse most days of the week. When you turn 19 and that play-writing ex-boyfriend dumps you, your parents overreact in Chanel to your gleeful, and legally drunken, benefit. Have I gone too far in inking a brand onto my skin? The double-C logo is even on a shopping bag. Personally, I love the tattoo, it's just all of you who see it and react to it like all of a sudden I'm less of a person and more of a shopping caricature.

There is a reason I use my actual Chanel purse so frequently: in my opinion it goes with everything. And I think the newest addition to my collection, though in two-dimensional form, also goes with everything. I suppose the reactions to this latest tattoo mimic sentiments to my more outrageous fashion choices, but then I suppose the problem lies with those too afraid to throw caution to the wind. I am fearless when I walk out my door in a cape and fur stole though I am met with stares, yet when I feel a critique on what is now apart of my skin all of a sudden insecurity creeps in.

Part of my identity is represented through fashion, and we have all felt it before -- the want to distinguish ourselves from the status-quo. I realize this sentiment may send me more judgment, but I treat my tattoos like my fashions. I am quick to act, commit whole-heartedly, and am always a bit off beat -- so if you wouldn't judge me on my shoes, don't comment on my tattoo.