Fighting Against the Stigma of Tattoos
Thinking about laser tattoo removal? Like many people, you might feel concerned about the tattoo judgment you might experience when you go in for laser treatments. After all, society can be judgmental about appearances, especially specific types of body art, such as tattoos in prominent places.
At Removery, we understand that fear. Many of us have tattoos ourselves, so we know what it feels like to sense strangers staring or even being so bold as to comment on your body art. In fact, one of our founders, Carmen VanderHeiden Brodie, can empathize with this feeling because she has prominent tattoos herself.
Read on to learn more about why Carmen and Removery are so committed to creating a relaxed, judgment-free atmosphere for anyone who steps through our doors.
What Triggers Fear Of Judgment During Tattoo Removal?
Tattoo judgment is often the main reason why clients come in for removal, notes Carmen, who now works as VP of Clinical Operations. Although tattoos have become quite popular, people sporting body are still regularly get double takes and stares while out in public. When meeting a stranger who is going to handle something as personal as tattoo removal, it’s natural to feel some trepidation.
Clients often say, “I’m sick of people asking me questions about my tattoo,” says Carmen. They’re tired of people assuming they’re a “wild child” with stereotypes of people with tattoos—or of not getting the job, or always having to cover it up.
“They can feel people backing off in a grocery line,” Carmen says. She’s experienced that feeling of tattoo prejudice in public herself, having one tattoo sleeve and a full scarification sleeve. She can feel people doing a double-take, thinking, “What are you all about, exactly?”
The prevailing issue of acceptance of tattoos in society is especially true when a person feels self-conscious about the tattoo they’re having removed, which is typically the case. After all, people don’t usually remove a tattoo that they love unless they have to do that for a career change. They remove a piece that doesn’t foster a positive self-image because of tattoo stigma.
Who Does Tattoo Judgment Affect?
In some cases, the tattoo judgment is overt. Companies like airlines often have policies of not hiring people with visible tattoos, Carmen explains. But often, people experience a more covert form of tattoo judgment on a daily basis. Moms and dads often feel excluded by parent circles at school when they’re the only one who has a tattoo. They might not be invited to get coffee with the other moms, or the other dads on the soccer team might not initially hang out with other dads on the sidelines.
Tattoo stereotypes affect people from all walks of life. One woman who boasts the title of “most tattooed doctor” has been asked to leave a restaurant where she had gone to have lunch with her partner. While such overt manifestations of tattoo judgment may be less common, covert judgment happens all the time.
People might feel especially afraid of being judged if they feel a deep sense of shame about their tattoo. For instance, those with gang, prison, or hate tattoos might not be the same person they were when they got it 20 years ago, Carmen notes. Now, they might fear being judged for it at their laser treatments. Likewise, a human trafficking survivor who was branded by her trafficker might fear judgment about her past. But again, covert tattoo judgment has affected just about everyone with a tattoo at one time or another.
Who Does Removery Treat?
At Removery, we work with clients of all backgrounds, from former skinheads to ex-gang and cartel members. We’ve had many clients who are working hard to turn their lives around with the help of our INK-nitiative. We have zero judgment toward anyone who has learned from past mistakes and has become a different person. In fact, we deeply admire their commitment to transforming their lives, and we want to do whatever we can to help them on their journey.
Likewise, we have only admiration and empathy for human trafficking survivors who need to remove a degrading tattoo. The same goes for cancer survivors removing radiation tattoos. And rest assured, we’re not going to judge anyone else for a poorly designed tattoo. We were all eighteen once. We’ve seen it all, and there’s not much left that’s going to shock our experienced laser technicians!
Creating A Judgment-free Atmosphere
When Carmen launched the Finery (now Removery), she secured a room in a concierge doctor’s office for laser removal. The facility was very strict on where people could sit and when they could come in, as though they might offend other patients. “We left there right away,” she says.
It’s common to feel a sense of judgment when having tattoo removal done at a doctor’s office, she notes. Since tattoo culture may be foreign to the doctor and staff, they may have trouble showing empathic views on tattoos.
Carmen was committed to creating a positive, uplifting environment for her clients. “We don’t judge anybody. That’s always been a really, really big deal with us,” she says. “I always say, I don’t want to be judged—or I will never judge—because I can’t pass the test myself.”
Because it was just Carmen and her three kids, in the beginning, their facility had a family feel. They’ve always worked to make everyone else feel like part of their family. “That was always paramount to us because you don’t judge your family,” she says. “We’re here to nurture, we’re here to support, we’re here to promote.”
Are you wondering, “Where can I find tattoo removal near me?” Book a free consultation today to get started with your judgment-free tattoo removal.