To tattoo or not to tattoo

By Erika von Kaschke

You know that dreaded feeling that creeps up on you when words just slip out of your mouth and you think- “why did I say that?”

I recently attended a one-year wedding anniversary celebration, and walked in on a conversation where a young girl was contemplating getting a tattoo. She was asking advice from someone who already had a tattoo. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out “don’t get one!”

Not only did a few people (including those with hidden tattoos)  feel judged by me, but my pinstripe dress and pearl earrings made them judge me in return. After a few minutes of awkard silence did my See Me See You training kick in.

I could expand on the conversation, and instead of taking offense, I voiced the fact that what you see is not always the reality. That it is equally easy for all of us and our behaviour to be seen in a negative way, depending on the cultural lenses that we wear.

Interestingly enough though- most of the woman around me that day were from the same cultural background as I, and yet, we could still do with some intercultural communications skills.

If you are interested in doing the See Me See You cultural responsiveness training, email me at erika.v@multiculturalfutures.org.au