I'm getting a tattoo today, a big half-sleeve on my left arm. I also have bright pink-and-blue hair, which I've had some variation of for a few years now. It's very normal to me, I barely notice it when I look in the mirror, which is why when I get reactions to it, I'm like, oh yeah, this isn't 'normal.' I've had many people make assumptions: that I'm immature, rebellious, want to be identified with goths, do drugs, live lasciviously. Or friends have told me they were intimidated by me when they first met me! In actuality, I wake up, go work studiously on my grad school work or creative writing, pick up my kindergartner from school, have dinner with my little family, stay in almost every night, and go to bed by midnight. While I'm far from conservative politically, I live very conservatively. I barely drink. I'm happily married (and have been for 9 years). I do laundry on the weekends.
Why I first elected to have pink hair is probably fodder for another long blog post [I have a chronic illness and was bedbound for about six months after my son was born, and I needed a little brightness in my life], but the basic reason I continue is: why not? So many people color their hair, why not brighter, more vibrantly fun, alive colors?!? There's too much brown in the world, too much gray. What pink hair means to me is: wake the hell up! live today alive and aware! don't go through life half-consciously, punching in time at a job and then mindlessly going about routine. Too bad negative associations along go with the hair and tattoos, but here I am, working to bust stereotypes one day at a time :)
And yeah, tattoos? It's gorgeous artwork that I get to wear around all the time. I look at it and it makes me smile. A little bit of pain for a lifetime of payoff is absolutely worth it to me. Besides, like giving birth, you forget the pain afterwards, until of course the next time you go under the needle and are like CRAAAAAAAP, why did I sign up for this again ;)
Also, coming soon: a step by step blog post on how I make my hair so pink and pretty without going to a salon, and on a budget.