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

Does My Tattoo Match My Shoes?


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.