Beauty is more than skin deep

Lisa Khoury, Asst Editor of The Spectrum points her finger in the eye of tattooed women.  Ladies, we lack elegance and class.  Her story is in italics.  My take follows.

I get it. It’s the 21st century. You’re cool, you’re rebellious, you’re cutting edge, you have a point to prove, and you’re a woman. Awesome.

Ladies, I know you’re at least at the legal age of making your own decisions, but before you decide to get a tattoo, allow me to let you in on a little secret. A secret you may have not fully realized yet thus far in your life. What you must understand is, as women, we are – naturally – beautiful creatures.

Seriously, though. Your body literally has the ability to turn heads. Guys drool over us. We hold some serious power in our hands, because – as corny as this sounds – we hold the world’s beauty.

But something girls seem to forget nowadays, or maybe have not been taught, is that women hold the world’s class and elegance in their hands, as well. So what’s more attractive than a girl with a nice body? I’ll tell you what: a girl with class. Looks may not last, but class does. And so do tattoos.

An elegant woman does not vandalize the temple she has been blessed with as her body. She appreciates it. She flaunts it. She’s not happy with it? She goes to the gym. She dresses it up in lavish, fun, trendy clothes, enjoying trips to the mall with her girlfriends. She accentuates her legs with high heels. She gets her nails done. She enjoys the finer things in life, all with the body she was blessed with.

But marking it up with ink? That’s just not necessary.

I’m not here to say a girl should walk around flaunting her body like it’s her job – that’s just degrading. Instead of getting a tattoo, a more productive use of your time would be improving and appreciating the body you have been given, not permanently engraving it.

Can you get meaning out of a tattoo? Arguably. If you want to insert ink into your skin as a symbol for something greater than yourself, then maybe you are proving a point to yourself or the rest of the world.

But at the end of the day, are you really a happier person? Has this tattoo, for instance, caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led you to self-growth? Nothing comes out of getting a tattoo. You get a tattoo, and that’s it. You do something productive, though, and you see results. That’s a genuine, satisfying change in life. Not ink.

Invest your time, money, and effort into a gym membership, or yoga classes, or new clothes, or experimenting with different hairstyles if you’re craving something new with your body, not a tattoo.

I promise, it will be a much more rewarding experience, and you won’t find yourself in a rut when your future grandkids ask you what’s up with the angel wings on your upper back as you’re in the middle of giving them a life lesson on the importance of values and morals.

God knows the last thing this world needs is another generation of kids questioning their basic values and morals.

While I clearly disagree with her opinion, I respect her right to share it.  I take issue however, with her condescending tone and holier than thou attitude.

Yes, women are beautiful.  Our bodies are curved and delicate yet incredibly strong.  Many of us have the ability to give and sustain life should we so choose, and that is both miraculous and beautiful.  To me.

Her article is written in a chiding tone and directed at silly little children who don’t yet know what is best for them.  I’m 32, and my body is not a temple, and I have never once vandalized it.  My life, my body is a work of art in the making.  I will decorate and enrich it in any way I so choose, and in doing so I make it more beautiful to me.

You see, as a strong level-headed free thinking woman, I don’t care what society tells me I should be doing, and I certainly don’t subscribe to the ideals of that young woman and her idealistic view on beauty.

I frequently change my hair, my style, my make up. I wear bold prints and feathers and have more shoes than I care to count.  I do enjoy shopping and I’m also tattooed.  And none of that defines me.

One other tattoo is not pictured, I’m beautiful and Im not finished yet.

The mere idea that whether we as women, as people  can be judged and quantified by what we choose to mark on our bodies – or not is absolutely ludicrous.

I am so much more than a nice manicure, cute pair of shoes or pretty hair cut.  I am a fighter, an advocate, and a fiercely loyal friend.  I judge no book by its cover, I encourage my child to be open and honest and to express herself in any way which makes her feel beautiful.

I believe beauty comes in many shapes and sizes, and I believe that we should be supporting our fellow woman, and cheering her on for being the unique individual that she wants to be.

If that means she likes to spend her own hard-earned money on decorating her canvas, not temple as she deems fit, then I say champion her.

I will not subscribe to, or encourage a woman to feel she needs to fit into some preconceived box in order to be beautiful. Beauty is more than just skin deep.

This Lisa Khoury, means I will always have more class and elegance than you.




I encourage you all to email Lisa at with your art and your thoughts.


About MsBehavior

I’m a vintage loving, suburban living, book collecting, kitchen destroying, thrifting ninja, single mama of a smart, salty, sassy teenager. Unicorn aficionado. Flamingo enthusiast. Love all things sparkly. Connoisseur of foul language. Insufferable do-gooder. Big mouth. Bigger heart. Biggest backside. Begrudging romantic. Will blog and tweet for money. I make things. You can buy those things. Hey man, I’ve got bills. View all posts by MsBehavior

13 responses to “Beauty is more than skin deep

  • lrbizarrebazaar

    Getting a tattoo is really no one’s business but your own. I think that everyone has a different opinion about it, but “at the end of the day” it’s your body and only your opinion that matters.

    I think what would have been more effective is the argument that you should get a tattoo only if you are willing to commit to that image or text on your body for the rest of your life–basically, you’re willing to marry it. It’s not unreasonable to caution against heavy commitments. But it is unreasonable to tell someone what to do with their body.

    Also, I’m super offended that this woman seems to think that only women shouldn’t have tattoos! What kind of weird sexism is that?

    • bettiepeg

      I agree, Laura. Entirely. The woman clearly needs an education, as many cultures and religions incorporate body modifications and tattoos.

      I also remember reading a story about a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double masectomy and then got a full chest piece. It, and she was beautiful.

      The level of ignorance in this day and age continues to astound me.

  • bettiepeg

    Thanks for all the support/emails I’ve received on this post so far! I’ve emailed Lisa and asked her to do a point/counter point article on the same subject.

    I hope she bites!

    Feel free to share photos of your tattoos with me. I love seeing other collections.

  • david

    I, too, wrote an email reply to this. It is written from a point of ignorance and I do not understand why we continue to give the ignorance a pen. I explained that her great-grandma probably feel the same way about women trying to hold real jobs as managers and executives, and her great grandma’s grandma probably thought it was unattractive for women to own property or vote or hold office. It’s just simple-minded black and white thinking that has no place in this shades of grey world. Good on you for speaking up!

  • bettiepeg

    Good for you, as well! I’m so surprised at how oppressed her views are considering her age and this day and age.

    There was once a time it would have been unseemly for a woman to even consider expressing an opinion as publicly as she just did as well.

    I understand fully that there will always be people biased towards tattoos, and those who choose to have them, but there is a distinct difference between not being a fan of, and using disparaging comments towards an entire demographic.

    She is a fool with a lot of growing up to do.

  • ecmaynard

    What is missing from the context is that Lisa’s article itself was a counterpoint article. It appeared on the same page, alongside an article written by another Spectrum editor, who voiced the opposite opinion. But when Lisa’s article when viral, Becky’s article got lost in the fray. I don’t like Lisa’s tone, and if it had been my article, I wouldn’t have used some of her language. But it was an op/ed piece, meant to be one-sided. I just thought that fact was relevant.

    • bettiepeg

      Thanks for the info, it puts it into perspective, but still doesn’t diminish the ignorance.

      To take a hard stand, or opinion even on a creative piece requires finesse and intelligence and she lacked both.

      To use the argument that getting visible tattoos can lead to difficulties finding employment and social stigmas would have been a true and smart way to approach her article.

      But to suggest getting a membership at a gym, or buy pretty shoes is a much more acceptable outlet for women is just … Offensive, regardless of the reasoning behind it.

  • Depressed Dorothy

    I really enjoyed reading your response, and I have to say, it was much better thought out and from a position of more knowledge and open minded-ness than the original writer’s post.

    Not to mention that your tattoos are absolutely beautiful!


  • Candis Mitzi

    I found it ironic that Lisa encouraged wearing high heels. Regularly wearing high heels is a form of body modification in itself. It changes the shape of your feet and can lead to many health issues (torn tendons, corns, hammer toe, spinal problems etc). I bet she has no issues with ear piercing either. For someone to claim that their body is a temple, you would expect that they would apply this belief to everything, and not just tattoos. I personally think she is just a bit naive about the sub-culture and puts way too much credit in her own opinion. Her views seem rather heavily influenced by society in general, which sadly doesn’t put much emphasis on understanding and accepting alternative forms of self expression. I personally think tattoos are a harmless form of art, more for decoration than making some kind of social statement. I think that people trying to limit what we can call beautiful (making statements like “an elegant woman does not…”) is what leads to more damaging ideals and practices (eg- foot binding, neck stretching, tight corsets, breast implants). With the cosmetic surgery industry booming and all these majorly destructive views on beauty becoming fashionable, I fail to see why tattoos are still so stigmatized. If you don’t like how someone looks, then look away.

  • bettiepeg

    Thanks, Candis. Lisa published a follow up blog titled ‘The Day I met the Internet’

    Will be linking shortly. She took it on the chin, and made what I felt was a sincere statement of both apology and explanation.

    Have to hand it to her

  • swankyday

    I love this. I find it so disheartening that an aspiring journalist would fire off such half-cocked ideas without realizing how demeaning and demoralizing they are to women everywhere, not just us inked ladies.

    Glad she helped me find your blog, though!


    (My response to her is here:

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