July 25th 2013, the day I got my first tattoo! After so much asking for it, so much thinking, daydreaming, I finally got it! At the peak of my 17 years of age, leaving home to go to college, all I could think about was “freedom”. Today, 43 tattoos later, I think I can finally say that I became what I wanted the most: the tattooed woman that isn’t afraid to express herself and show her marks and her feelings on her skin. If I regret any of them? NEVER! Many of those tattoos were seen as rebel acts and treated as such, so I pride myself in each one that I carry with me, because I am the only one who knows how much I fought to get the FREEDOM of owning my own body. If I would change any? Maybe someday, but regret it? NEVER!
I have received a few questions (from people who were actually concerned and I thank you guys for caring about me) and comments (those weren’t as welcomed) about the little spots on my face.
It’s acne, like the ones you get when you are a teenager. Apparently, some people start having acne after they turn 25 years old (I know, it’s crazy).
If I’m being honest they do not bother me, I know they are there, I literally feel them since some of them can be quite painful, and I’ve been treating them, I’ve been to two dermatologists, but we still haven’t managed to find the perfect formula to get them to go away.
I could wear make up to cover them up, but I really don’t feel like it. I could use photoshop to remove them, but…why? I know we have been taught our entire lives to cover up any “imperfections” that might appear in our bodies.
But in all honesty they only started bothering me after a few “what is that in your face” comments. I’ve already had a talk with myself and I got to the conclusion that: it is normal, 18 year old Barbara would spend hours in front of the mirror and spend tons of money on make up. 25 year old Barbara understands that it is ok, nobody is perfect and I am not bothered for having spots on my face.
That is all.
Today, as I showered (this is the place where I have the best debates with myself and also the place where I come to my biggest conclusions!) I remembered a time back when I was young. Can you believe I went for around 5 years of my life wearing a jacket or a long sleeve even during the summer?
I did! I’ve always had problems with my arms, they were too weird, too skinny, too long, but so far, I never really paid much attention to any of that, until one day, during my English class, a boy named Apollo (I was around 9 years old, so he was probably younger than me, so don’t come for him ok), who was sitting on the chair next to me and accidentally touched my arm with his, looks down and goes “ew, what are those marks?” And yanks his arms to get them as far away from mine as he could.
I always knew I had those marks, some of them were there ever since I can remember, others were from mosquito bites. And a few were birth marks. Apollo was very white, me, I’m a mix, I know my father’s side of the family comes from Italy, but on my mother’s side, all I know is that my grandpa’s family came from Spain and from my grandmother’s side, my great great grandmother was indigenous, I don’t know where her “husband” was from, but somewhere in Europe, probably.
And that was not the first time I was ashamed of myself, my body, or my skin, but that was the first time someone else expressed pure disgust for it, and that hurt!
So, for years and years after this episode I would wear a jacket or a long sleeve anywhere and everywhere, and if someone ever asked me why, I would say “I can’t loose my style”.
But that’s so crazy, huh? How much things can leave a scar on us, I have now filled my arms with tattoos, and I know that a little bit of the reason behind that was to convince myself not to hide my arms anymore. Instead, teach me to love them, to appreciate them, to be proud of them!
My skin, my color, my marks, are a part of all of us, Brazilians, we are a mixed race, and that is nothing to be ashamed of!
So, I guess that’s all, guys, if you read it until here, I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve aways wanted a place to have those conversations, to share my inner monologues and now, here we are. Thank you for reading, and if you want to talk about anything, hit a girl up!
I don’t know if everyone who has a tattoo feels the same way, but I have a very special relationship with my tattoos. When I stop to look at myself, and see all the drawings on my skin, it gives me an insane amount of happiness.
I haven’t always loved tattoos, you know, at some point I would proudly and loudly say that I would NEVER get one done, I was influenced by a conservative side of the family and I used to judge even my own mother (I’m sorry mom, I’ve apologized before, but it is always good to reinforce it). When I understood that tattoos were art, and a way of expressing yourself, I started wondering about everything I wanted to have forever engraved on my own skin. But it wasn’t easy, in the beginning, anytime I would get a new tattoo, instead of feeling free, and more myself, I would feel ashamed, and that I was a disappointment,
I was judged, and I heard things that really hurt me! With time, thanks to the Lord, things started getting better, I believe that those people that once judged me started to understand that my body is my temple, and I want to decorate it with memories, of hardships, of love, of feelings, and that the tattoos don’t diminish my value, they increase it, they add to who I am, they tell my story on my skin. Is there anything more beautiful than that? That’s why now, when I look at myself SCRAWLED, a walking comic book, I am the PROUDEST person there ever is!
I am my biggest critic, always, the first one to point out my mistakes, my flaws, my imperfections. I think I forget how much I have done for myself, how much I have fought to be here, how many times I had to pick myself up and start it all over again. Only I know everything I have gone through, and only I know how hard it was to become the person I am today, so I should be proud of that person. I am proud of that person, I am proud of me. And you should definitely have this talk with yourself one of those days, pat yourself on the back and say “you did it, it’s amazing”. Be more proud of who you are, love yourself more! You are worth it!
I want to begin this post saying that I am not against make up, I think it is a beautiful form of art, somedays I want to put on makeup and play with different methods and colors. I used to wear makeup EVERY SINGLE DAY, I would wake up 30 minutes before I had to just to put on makeup to go to school. If I had a party on the weekends, it would take me hours in front of the mirror, trying to get my make up perfectly, as I don’t see very well without my glasses on, I would get frustrated a lot, I had to take it all off and start all over again, most times, I would cry.
Whenever my small MAC concealer was about to end, it was chaos, trying to convince my dad to spend the money, and take me to the mall so I could buy a new one! I had foundation for the winter time, and for the summer time, when I was more tan. Mascara, oh, mascara, once, I cut my eye because I was using an old tube that had lumps in it. When I moved to Canada, I learned about color correction, there was a huge drugstore right by my college so I would go there every day to see what was new. When I came back to Brazil, there was so much frustration because I was running out of products, some brands were not available in Brazil, the ones that were, were so expensive, a lot of products contain substances that give me allergies, so I have to try a lot, and to try you have to buy and buying is expensive; Some days I wouldn’t leave the house because I didn’t feel like doing my make up and that’s when it hit me: I had become a slave to makeup!
I wasn’t doing it because it made me feel good, I was doing it because I HAD TO. I had boyfriends questioning “won’t you put on some concealer?” And I have friends who still question it to this day! It is like being human isn’t acceptable anymore, like having “imperfections” is the end of the world, and honestly? It is not! Acne? Everyone has them! Even Kendal Freakin Jenner has talked about it! My point here is not letting me get pushed into the pressure of trying to archive an unarchivable skin type, it is exhausting. I used to perfect the “no makeup makeup” look, like 🤔 maybe just don’t wear the makeup?
Today I’m not a slave to that anymore, I’ve been to parties, events, and any other place wearing a clean face and being extremely proud of myself. There are some days that I want to put something on, and that’s ok too, as long as I’m doing it for fun and not because I’m OBLIGATED to it! I think to me, it is the same thing with dresses and heels, I don’t need them, my femininity does not depend on them, but whenever I want to, I can wear it, for me! Have you ever thought about any of those things? Do you relate to it? Have different opinions? Let’s chat!
It’s so hard to live with insomnia.
At 15 I was diagnosed with depression and that’s when I started taking sleeping medication. Ever since then, there was only ONE nigh where I was able to sleep without any type of medication.
10 years of my life, I’ve been hooked to medicine, needing it to sleep.
It fluctuates, honestly, sometimes it is easier, I can easily fall asleep with a smaller doses. Other times, I have to take so many pills to fall asleep, that I can’t wake up the next day.
It is hard, there have been periods of my life where I was completely numbed by medication. I don’t remember classes, people, events, nothing.
After 8 years I finally got rid of a specific medication, but just went straight to the other, always overseen by doctors. Always wondering if I’ll ever be able to lay my head down on the pillow and sleep like a “normal” human being.
It is hard, living with depression, that is what causes my insomnia. It’s just a hard, solitary thing. It hurts. I don’t like it!
If you have known me for a long time, or even if you just got here, I think it is visible that I’m always changing the color of my hair.
Most of them have a meaning attached to it, today I’m going to try and explain a little bit of what happens inside that little head of mine.
I have to start going way back and explaining that I absolutely LOVED pink when I was growing up, but with time I started forcing myself not to like it, for the simple fact that it was considered a feminine color.
I did everything to get away from that idea of being a “little girl”. I hated hearing “girls can’t do that”, “behave yourself”, “this is not ladylike”, “girls can’t talk like that”. As a born questioner, I did everything I could to rebel against the stereotype.
In 2018, when I died my hair pink, I was beginning to see “being a woman” as “being powerful”; women are strong, being a girl didn’t mean I was any less then the others, or that I couldn’t do something I wanted to.
When I died my hair blue, at the start of 2019, I had just gone through two situations that made me go back to that feeling of not liking being a woman. I wanted to get away from that, so with the blue hair came the baggy and black clothes.
After that I went through some colors that didn’t really have a meaning, didn’t have a set intention, and I always ended up back with the blue.
In 2020 I died my hair red, that was a color that made me feel powerful, I was secure with myself, that’s when my style changed and I started feeling more like me, being more confident.
This year I went back to blue, even though I loved the red, I started feeling like it drew too much attention to me.
Now I decided to go with green. Green is hope, this year has started off being very challenging and full of uncomfortable situations that require a lot of hope, and that is mirrored on my hair.
This week I took some pictures I wouldn’t normally post because of being ashamed. My stretch marks have always bothered me a lot, I’ve always gained and lost weight very easily. Starting a few years back, the stretch marks started appearing on my stomach and I tried everything, even EXTREMELY painful treatments to get rid of them, but I decided it wasn’t worth it, and it was easier to accept the fact that they would be here. So now I’m still on this journey of accepting them, and even loving them, which I can do sometimes.
Ever since I’ve known myself as a person, I’ve always had difficulty deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never really thought about the future, it is a scary thought.
When someone asked about it, I usually said something that sounded cool, like when I decided I wanted to be a diplomat, it seemed an amazing thing to be.
Time went by and I realized I loved arts, dance classes, like tap dancing, urban dancing, Brazilian funk, and so many others, I fell in love with the possibility of expressing myself.
I’ve never considered myself good at anything, specially not at drawing. When I found out about resin, I realized that art and expression meant so much more than I ever imagined.
I could create something out of nothing, or renew something that already exists, I could let out all the feelings I couldn’t express with words.
That’s why I started @moondecora and I have been loving every second of it, I fall in love with myself every time I create something so amazing that I can’t believe it was me who did it. I hope in the next year I can share even more of that side of me with the people I love and the people who love me!