Me and My Teaspoon

by Shaker Shaminey

Hello Shakers! Liss, first a HUGE thanks for asking me to do this post. I'm a little intimidated by how much I admire this blog and all its readers, so forgive me if I'm a bit nervous.

That said; I'm thrilled. I just completed 2 sessions to get my new teaspoon tattoo! (For those of you who are regulars around here, you of course know of Liss' teaspoon thread. If not, here it is.)

Ever since my first tattoo 2 years ago, I was hooked. I wanted another one, but was apprehensive about getting another piece of art. I didn't want something pretty for pretty's sake; I did that with the first one. I was looking for something deeper, something to forever ground me in who I am and what I'm trying to do with this life. I had debated the traditional feminist iconography (the fist, etc.), but felt it pigeonholed me into a single movement. Liss' post provided the imagery I was looking for. I am eternally appreciative.

The piece itself took on many different manifestations in the creative process. My tattoo artist (Jason, see his stuff here) first asked me "What does your teaspoon look like?" (Deep, huh?) I originally was going to go with a shiny silver spoon. He suggested, based on my pasty white skin, I go with a warm brassy tone. Brassy? By definition the word means shamelessly bold: Hells yah!

I had pulled out some images of flatware off the interwebz to show him, then threw them out when I decided I didn't want something out of an Oneida catalog on my body. I designed the handle to be a single line drawing of a woman's form, and then had Jason take over. I told him: "Make her big and curvy, with hips for miles: the anti-Barbie."

The only thing left to decide was where to put it. Ugh. I cannot overstate how hard this is to work through. I had almost forgotten how much serious thought this required for tattoo #1—about what it means to put a tattoo on your body, how often the topic of tattoos come up, the inevitability of someone asking to see it. Not to mention what it means depending on the location you choose.

As an aspiring American Sign Language interpreter, there are only so many places I can put a tattoo. It can't be visible on my arms or hands. Right now I'm not that into leg tattoos (though that could change). It also seems that adorning the small of a woman's back has been tainted with the misogynistic terms "tramp stamp," "bulls-eye," or "landing pad," objectifying the body rather than celebrating it. After eliminating all these other options, I'm left with the torso. I decided to get it on my rib cage traveling down to my lower belly.

To be honest, I was stuck between dread and euphoria. I'm almost 30 and trying to come to terms with my "not 20 anymore" body. Generally I'm pretty happy with it. On a whole. But when I spend more than a minute looking at any specific area, I furrow my brow and want to head to the gym, stop getting sugar in my coffee or regret the feta in my salad that afternoon. I know how toxic this is. I know I'm holding myself to an unrealistic standard. I know, I know—you don't need to tell me. I had a hard time resisting the urge to do 300 sit-ups a night because someone was going to have his hands and face 6 inches from my belly.

I eventually came to terms with this body of mine and said eff-it. I embraced the me I have and knew that getting THIS tattoo was another step in the process.

To sum up…I love it. I love the curves it hugs. I'm thrilled with the artistry that I could never have conceived alone. Thank you both, again.

[Click to embiggen.]

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