Friday, August 13, 2010

Creative Tattoos Using a Birth Mark

I have a hideous looking birth mark on the back of one of my legs. One day, when I was around 4 years old, probably shortly after I noticed it (way back in the 1950's), I sat at my namesake's kitchen table.

There, on that table, was the answer to the question I had been dying to ask. The splotchy decoration that covered the middle of her white table looked EXACTLY like the birth mark on the back of my leg.

"What is that, Theresa?" I asked her, knowing I would finally, after four long years, discover the name for that hideous mark that covered the back of my leg.

"It's a grape stain," Theresa told me. (Back in the 50s, once a stain, always a stain.)

Hmm, so that's what I had on the back of my leg, a grape stain.

For my whole life, I have felt uncomfortable baring my legs because of that birth mark. I wanted to get a tattoo to cover it up, but because of its size, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to use to cover it.

A butterfly seemed to be the most obvious tattoo, simply because, turned sideways, it kind of looks like a butterfly, but I didn't want a sideways butterfly on my leg.

Then I came up with the idea of getting an angel with flowing robes. But instead of angel wings, my tattoo would have butterfly wings! I loved the idea and sent it to my family for their consideration.

That's when my creative sister, Cindy, stepped forward with her comments. At first, she said she was a little upset by the fact that her older sister, who was nearing 60, would even consider getting a tattoo at such an OLD age. Then she thought that since I had been through breast cancer, I deserved to do whatever I wanted to do to my body.

Her suggestion was quite different from mine, though. Instead of an angel with butterfly wings, she thought, because of the color (grape), I should have the tattoo artist draw a sandwich around the birthmark, and let the jelly drip off the sides. Cute, Cindy.

If I didn't like that idea, she had another one – drawing a wine bottle around it. Again – cute, Cindy, but if I decide to go with a tattoo, I think I'm going to go with my idea of an angel with butterfly wings.

Photo is what my birthmark looks like pre-tattoo (or possibly forever) – you have no idea how difficult it is to take a picture of the back of your leg, by the way.


  1. I love the idea of getting an angel with butterfly wings!

    I say go for it. My step-mother-in-law decided after I got my tattoo 3 years ago she was getting one too. She always wanted one.

    She is about your age. I tell you what, it looks awesome on her and she doesn't regret it a bit.

  2. Just curious if you got the tattoo. :-) I have a similar colored birthmark on my leg, too. :-)

  3. You could have them use the birthmark and do a cherry blossom branch up your leg. It's around the same color and fits with the position of the birthmark.

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