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Getting Tattoos Have Helped Me Come to Terms With My Disability

“It’s been a process,” adds Marks, noting that she truly appreciates being able to collaborate with her various artists. (She’s grown to trust one so much that she even decided to blindfold him during a recent session.) I asked Marks if getting tattoos was an active decision to take more control over her body. “My only intent with tattoos was to carry things that are precious to me. I already have scars decorating my body. So why not decorate and celebrate them? Because I have skin grafts, scars, and an amputation, I think [my tattoos] open a door so that younger women and men can ask questions without being uncomfortable. Unintentionally it also opened the door to discussing self-confidence and celebrating scars, which I really think are just nature’s tattoos.”

People with disabilities are different because of who they are — just like everyone else, disability or not. A disability is another factor that fits into what makes you, you. And like with tattoos, you decide what you’ll make of it. As Marks says, “[tattoos] just morph, and their meaning evolves with you” — a feeling that many of us living with disabilities are familiar with as they continue to adapt, grow, and choose who they are. A tattoo you choose is a tattoo with intention because it’s the choice, above all, that empowers it to have a purpose.

More on the intersection of disability and beauty:

I Have One Hand. Here’s How I Paint My Nails

Makeup Is a Form of Empowerment

14 Products for Beauty Lovers Who Can Only Use One Hand

Now watch Molly Burke talk about the worst packaging for blind people:

Chloé is a Paralympic swimmer and freelance writer focusing on beauty, fashion, and pop culture. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. 

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