Today there was an older woman at breakfast - staring me down walking in with Rozz and Zaq. She was VISIBLY and dramatically shaking her head in disgust saying "oh my, oh my." Yes. I know. You think I'm a freak show and a horrible mother because I am tattooed. Right? Because clearly anyone that looks like I do has to be a bad mom. I hope I can raise my kids to be a kinder human than she was acting and to not judge a book by its cover. As much as I HATE to care what people think, when I am with my kids - it is hard not to. Trust me, I have enough reasons that I feel like not-so-supermom on a regular basis... I don't need a random stranger rolling her eyes at me just because of the way I look. I should also add - I walked in wearing a maxi skirt to the floor... and a striped tank top. Nothing revealing, trashy, inappropriate... etc.
My daughter was perfectly well behaved the whole time, even stopped breakfast for a quick potty break. She is 2 and a half. We spent the time at the table playing games, practicing colors (yes she knows them all) and picking out letters in the word find on the coloring sheet. I caught the woman looking back at us 3-4 times while we were there. I can only hope that she was thinking "wow, polite kid" or something of the sort. Judge me all you want, I guess. But what I fear most is that someone would pity my kids because of their poor stereotype of me. My children are very fortunate *spoiled* kids... have everything the need and more... are fed very balanced and usually home cooked meals... spend summer days outside and at the library... are all wildly smart and polite... we're doing something right, damn it. Maybe not everything right, but something. And of all the things we're probably doing wrong - I hope one things sticks in the lessons that we teach. Do NOT judge a book by its cover. Its hurtful, its wrong, and its unfair.
So many people asked me, "why didn't you say something to her, I would have went off." Now, while that would probably be immediately cathartic - its short term. I refuse to do anything that would give people like her even the slightest truth to her stereotype. She is already assuming things about me because of my tattoos... That I am harsh maybe? Mean? Aggressive? Rude? I don't know. I didn't ask... but reacting to her in any way but the smile I gave as I walked by would only give her more things to assume... That get's me nowhere and just means next time she see's someone tattooed she will have the same look of disgust and assumptions. So tattooed friends... judged friends... Im asking you - lets do what we can to break our stereotypes. When someone is giving you a dirty look, or making a rude comment under their breath - kill them with kindness. Flash them a smile, say something kind, or just keep walking. I can't help but think one by one we can hopefully begin to change the minds of the people passing judgement. Worst case scenario, even if it doesn't work we have saved ourselves from some unnecessary and undeserved stress and drama of bickering with someone too closed minded to see the beauty and love in the art on our bodies.