I remember the first time I wanted a tattoo. I was 17 and I traced an adorable penguin sneaking around a corner from a book. I kept this little scrap paper and thought when I was older I’d get it tattooed on sneaking around my belly. It was cute, I thought it was funny, did I mention I was 17?
When I found the scrap paper again in my 20’s I knew it was a childish thought. I was glad I didn’t get it done. I still wanted a tattoo but I could never decide on an image I would love for a lifetime.
I’m not a full arm sleeve kinda girl. I wanted something I could see, that reminded me of something great. Something I could grow with and never be embarrassed or regretful of. A-one-and-done sort of thing.
I watched Tattoo shows, I looked at Tattoo books, even have a Pinterest Tattoo board nothing jumped out at me for more than a week. I did have great ideas though:
My daughter’s names written in Doctor Who Gallifreyan
Joseph Campbell quote
My family represented in animals in a collage
A statue I saw in Chicago of a women with a book in one hand and a baby in the other
and even –
“Elvish sucks” written in Elvish.
Back story time:
Yes, I was familiar with Wonder Woman, really who isn’t? But I wasn’t a fan or even knowledgeable of her story till a few years ago. It started when my friend Amy (who we call Wonder Woman Amy) invited me to see a documentary Wonder Woman: The Untold Story of American Superheroines at a film festival. As I sat down, my friend Martin was sitting behind me, whispered, “I think this movie is about you.” I smiled and most likely turned beat red at the thought of such a nice sentiment.
The documentary was amazing and was really a call to action for me. It called for more women to tell their stories in all mediums and that a woman’s voice was valuable and can make the difference to those who feel invisible. It was much more than just Wonder Woman it was about how Wonder Woman was a symbol and icon. Something that we can be drawn to and find her meaning for ourselves.
I then got every Wonder Woman comic I could. Depending on who is telling her story, it’s not really the best story. She’s saving Steve a lot. She’s in bondage a lot. I even read the silver age series where she’s not longer Wonder Woman and instead Diana Prince and ran a mod-boutique. Some are terrible, some are great.
What I learned is that our idea of Wonder Woman is better than her actual story. We fill in between the lines her meaning to pop culture and to us personally. She’s a symbol and I embraced the symbol that we are all Wonder Women.
My daughters some how caught wind of this and while I was gone for weeks on a film shoot they got me a Wonder Woman pop figure for my car to “protect” me as I worked long hours. She’s still on my dashboard.
Friends and family also started sending me Wonder Woman gifts. It was wonderfully odd. At GenCon this year my friend Jessica gave me a Wonder Woman Mug. At Starbase Indy a fan give me a Wonder Woman magnet. My husband gets me Wonder Woman cups and tumblers any time he sees them. I really don’t know how this happened. I don’t know if because on social media I was posting images like this:
or because in panels and radio interviews I was talking about how we need the Wonder Woman movie to be done right and how I have every doubt that Warner Brothers will rise up the case because of their history with the material. I really don’t know. All I know I was struggling with the idea of being coined as a “wonder woman” and wasn’t a fan girl of the material and knew it needed to be better.
Flash forward: it’s early December and my husband is asking what I want for Christmas. My list was so sad I asked for 3 things: Mia and Vincent Vega Pop Figures and a new work desk. Not exciting I know.
So I’m looking though my pinterest and I see a pin of geeky sketches and I see the Wonder Woman sketch and I just knew that was for me. My friend Jason once explained tattoo’s for me, “It’s a sticker that you never want to loose.”
I loved the not only the art of Wonder Woman in the sketch but the idea that she was unfinished. If you look at the other artwork they are all full body but Wonder Woman didn’t have arms and legs. What I love about it is that it’s exactly what I love not only about Wonder Woman, but all of us, we are not finished, we fill in the blank spaces with our own perceptions and experiences. The Wonder Woman on my arm could be any color, any size, the viewer fills in the blank areas. It summed up my feelings on the Wonder Woman story as well as my own life. I’m not finished but you can imagine an outline of the person I am. The tattoo would be symbolic, empowering, geeky and mean a variety of things to me.
I told my husband that I finally found the tattoo I wanted, I got a quote from an amazing lady at Artistic Skin design who’s geeky stuff I loved. My husband said to make an appointment as that would be my Christmas gift. Totally excited I posted on facebook I was getting a tattoo and to guess what they thought it would be. I was shocked that nearly all of them said Wonder Woman. It was as if I was on the right track.
The week before Christmas ink was pushed into my skin and it was great. The wait was worth it. I told my kids when they are pushing 40, they too could think about getting a tattoo ;p.
My parents are not trilled to the point of we don’t talk about it. I’m a grown woman and way past doing anything just to shock or rebel against my parents. I did know they would disapprove of anything I got and maybe that’s the reason why it took 20 years to decide.
In the end it was a personal decision that it was something I wanted to live with for the rest of my life. To be a reminder that we are all powerful, we are all wonderful, and we are all unfinished.