People with Tattoos are TrAsHy … I’m told

Tonight I had a little party with about 8 girls.  One of the girls asked what was on my arms in front of the other kids and her Mom.


“Oh, my Mom says people with tattoos are trashy,”  she responds.  Immediately her Mom starts apologizing and saying she had never said that.

But, I am sure she probably did not think that it would be repeated.

Now, I am not one to blow up a parents spot.  We have all told our kids little white lies to make our lives easier.

My kids think you have to be married to have babies.

tattoos are not trashy

My nine year old thinks she still has to be in a car seat or we will get in trouble with the cops.

So, honestly I don’t fault a parent telling a white lie trying to steer their kids away from something.  I can understand not wanting your kids to get tattoos!  I certainly don’t want mine to until they are older and wiser.

But how can I let my kids hear me be called ‘Trashy’ and not do something about it.  How do I contradict this comment without undermining the other peoples parenting?

I mean my normal comment would have been “There are lot’s of people you might call ‘trashy’ that don’t have tattoos.”   But, again I didn’t want to undermine them.

So, finally I said.  ”God loves me, tattoos or not.”

How would you have handled that?


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About Patti P

Hi! My name is Patti and I am a blogger, travel planner, real estate appraiser and mom. I love all that I do! If you are planning a trip soon I hope you will let me help you.
I specialize in Disney vacations and can be reached at 302-5Mouse6 or


  1. Carrie Phelps says:

    I think you handled it well, considering. I have a half sleeve on my right upper arm, in honor of my family as it tells about my life and those I love. Here’s hoping this Mom learned her lesson. My grandchildren (as were my children) are (were) raised to accept others based on their personalities and values rather than their appearance. Here’s where the old adage “never judge a book by it’s cover” comes in handy.

    • Thanks Carrie, it mostly just bothers me because my kids heard her say that. I talked to them about it this morning focusing more on name calling than anything else. We don’t call people names and they know it.

  2. I think you handled it well. I think I would also have a discussion with them about not judging a book by its cover. Lots of highly educated professionals have tattoos these days, not just sailors and carnival workers. We should never judge people by how they look. I think this mom has given you a great opening for the lesson.

    “Trashy” girls unite! :)

    • Thanks Christine! We did talk about not judging. It is hard when one of their peers thinks something, especially for my nine year old. I think it bothered her, but she was more upset with her friend. People really do need to get over the tattoo thing, all kinds of people have them.

  3. I think your comment was perfect! I have to confess that I was charging all over here to be like ” we so are NOT!” but then realized what the post was about.

    Thanks for addressing this issue. I’m really surprised that more people around you don’t have tattoos in your community. It’s pretty prevalent, even in my family. My mom even has one!
    Maggie C recently posted..Too Cool for School Giveaway Hop – Win a wireless mouse and $5 Paypal! Ends 9/9My Profile

    • Most of my friends do. And really, I think it would be hard to not know at least one person that does! But this mom is not friends with us. She’s the parent of one of my daughters class mates. Thanks!!

  4. Jeff Akston says:

    Unrelated to your tattoos, but it is a serious mistake to have your 9 year old in a car seat. You are actually exposing them to far greater risk of injury due to the car seat.

    Unless your 9 year is exceedingly short for their size, you should have them in a regular seatbelt. All of the research i’ve seen is that it car seats are more dangerous than seat belts for any children over 5 or 6.

    Obviously do your own research, but I think you should revisit your position on that.

  5. Chris says:

    It’s hard to tell how I might have responded to being called a seeming unwarranted name. So much of communication depends upon tone, context and intention.

    As a parent of two young boys, I have a constant internal battle between teaching what is right and what is real; coupled with the hypocrisy that accompanies the discrepancy in my life. For me this would be a great example of “do what I say, not what I do.” Like most of the world, I regularly judge people by their initial appearance, and call people names–especially when the cut me off in traffic or try to write a check in the express lane.

    It is right to call people names, no. But, I’ve not met the person who doesn’t. So perhaps the greater issue was doing so in an inappropriate situation. Most ‘name calling’ or labels are based on differences between people along with what each finds appealing or unappealing. You have one definition of “trashy” which, of course, does not include your own characteristics. It is likely that the other mother finds different things unappealing than you do, and in turn has a different definition of “trashy”. I’m not certain one is right and one is wrong–they are just different.

    I’m not make excuses for the mother’s remark, nor am I suggesting that they should have been said, much less said in the presence of the children. It is just a reality that we must learn to deal with and, when appropriate, respond to.

    We have an innate impulse to immediate size-up people and situations based on our experiences and preferences. It would be a mistake not to believe that this skill when honed is important to not only success in life, but in remaining alive. I actually believe it is more important to help broaden experiences and expand preferences to allow a more complete and accurate ability to accurately size a person, group, or situation.

    Before you get too angry, think about this. Do you want your kids hanging out with drug dealers or thugs? Probably not, me either. Then the question is how much time to you want your child to spend with these types of people before they determine they probably should not be friends. For me, I want my child to have the skill set to look at a person and make a snap decision that crossing to the other side of the road is a prudent action.

    I’m not suggesting a blanket statement of tattoos make a person trashy or bad. While I don’t have one, the vast majority of my friends (including my pastor and his wife) have them. However, I am willing to say that I don’t want my child spending time with folks who feel that skulls, swastika, or even rebel flag tattoos are appropriate–again context is important.

    I mentioned it earlier, but now the question. As you continue to use this experience as a learning opportunity for your family, I’m hoping you take the opportunity to talk about who to deal with things that aren’t (or at least don’t seem) fair. After all, life is full of unfair. For me, I”m fat and have to deal with the judgement of others about me and my life. It isn’t fair, but it is the reality I live with–my choice, my consequences.

    Going back to your reply, again context and tone play an important part in communication. If your reply was polite and positive that’s one lesson, if it was condescending that’s another lesson, if it was assertive, yet another, or aggressive, still another. There isn’t necessarily a correct tone or resulting lesson, it just depends on your desired moral.

    However, my natural bend is passive-aggressive, so I probably would have rolled up my sleeve to expose another tattoo and asked my child if they remembered what it means to me and why it was important enough to deserve permanent remembrance on my body…doing so in a voice loud enough to ensure she heard.

    Anyway, thanks for the post–it certainly made me think.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for posting my comment — really wish I’d done a better job of proof-reading. Sorry about all the typos, hope my errors don’t reflect badly on your blog.

  6. I love your response to the comment! I am not very at all with quick come-backs…I honestly do not think I would have come with something that good in such a short amount of time. I think you did a great job! As much as I would try to steer my kids from doing somethings, I still feel that even if they wanted to die their hair blue and wear all black…if that is the worst they do then so be it. I would much prefer a tattoo or a even a piercing over drugs, alcohol or worse. Although I hope they do not do either for a very long time! lol
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    • Thanks. I agree. DH and I are the kind of parents that hope our kids have an individual style! I don’t want them to be like everyone else. And I’m the same- i would rather they express themselves with colorful hair than drugs.

  7. The stigma is going down but it is still there. I can almost hear the convo the girl overheard.. mom was probably talking about a certain placement and type of tattoo *coughtrampstampcough* but who’s to say? I have 1 so far on my forearm/wrist and have plans for many more. I think you handled it fine.

    Related – do you follow Tattooed parents or tattoo acceptance in the workplace on FB? Those pages often make me smile. Great artwork too!

  8. You hit it DEAD ON Patti. I realize it was in front of your child, but remind them that in reality it does not matter what people think of you. Ultimately, it’s what God thinks of you. And since God does not look at the outward appearance (including flashy clothes, sports cars, and botox) and looks on the heart, then I think you probably made Him smile. Kudos to you for your humble, true, and forthright answer.

    PS… I <3 my tattoo.
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  9. Been there. I have three tattoos, two of which are on my back, one on each shoulder blade. They’re not huge, but they’re not little, either. One is a cat, the other is a cross — a memorial tattoo for my cousin. I know people stare and think negative things when I wear a bathing suit or a sleeveless dress but too bad. It’s a tattoo, it means nothing about who. I am or what I believe in. If people have a problem with them, it’s their problem. Really. They’re part of me, period.
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  10. Well she is right and wrong the people with them are not always trashy (just usually) but the tattoos themselves are. Tattoos are just flat out unattractive and I find them to be the biggest turn off of all time, however I do feel that all people who call themselves tattoo artist are trashy only a freak could do something like that for a living .

    • You must never have met and spoken to a tattoo artist, then. What’s trashy or freakish about dedicating your career to creating art? You might feel that tattoos aren’t attractive but there’s a growing opinion that they don’t add or detract from a person’s attractiveness. Your opinion is certainly not indicative of either the objective truth or the popular consensus.

      Ultimately, does having a piece of art on your body commemorating a really important moment in your life change who you are?

  11. Thats kind of my opion too but the reason people get tattoos is mainly because of the art and the bad ass look

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