Tattoos ink meaning, substance into skin

By Kerry Takach |

According to Amanda Bradshaw’s left foot, “C’est tout d’importance”— everything is of importance. Cat Mcglinchy’s shoulder simply reads, “courage.”

No, their bodies are not speaking to them. These words are all parts of tattoos permanently inked on the women’s skin.

Both faced negative reactions from their families when they unveiled their body art.

Bradshaw’s grandfather called it her “idiot mark” when she revealed her debut tattoo.

Bradshaw got her first tattoo the night she graduated from high school. She and three best friends had the Chinese symbol for friendship layered over the number four tattooed on their right feet.

The piece represents Bradshaw and the friendship of her three friends. Bradshaw said she was never the kind of person to get a tattoo. It took the urging of her friends to convince her.

Two years later, Bradshaw was back in the chair preparing to get more ink.

“I thought I would never get another tattoo,” she said. “But when something impacts your life so strong, it changes your perception about tattoos and something being permanent.”

The death of a close friend is what sent Bradshaw back for more. “C’est tout d’importance” is homage to him.

She says the tattoo brings a smile to her face every day.

Her father was the one to comment this time, reiterating her grandfather’s remark. But in the end, Bradshaw said her father told her it was up to her to decide what she did with her body.

Mcglinchy’s father did not say much the first time she came home with a tattoo, which was a few stars on her wrist.

“I think [he was silent] just because he didn’t expect it to pan out the way it has,” she said, laughing.

Mcglinchy now has art on both forearms, the back of her shoulder and recently began work on a half sleeve.

“My dad, we’ve had our very loud arguments over it,” she said. “I put a lot of effort into making him understand how much they mean to me, and he does. But he’s still concerned about careers and how much harder it makes it to get a career.”

The “courage” on her shoulder is a reminder of her accomplishments. At 16, Mcglinchy said she almost died due to complications stemming from her diabetes.

Despite any displeasure her family may or may not express, she loves and defends her tattoos.

“I choose to get beautiful tattoos because I’d rather people remark about my beautiful tattoos than my scars,” said Mcglinchy.

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