Recently, I met a great person through Instagram. We bonded over a mutual love of makeup and after trading a few messages, I found out that she was raised Orthodox. This surprised me since she had many tattoos! Judaism forbids it and because of forced branding in the Holocaust, the subject of tattoos can be a touchy one. (Of course, I’m never one to shy away from controversy. 😉 )
Crystal Creamer was extremely gracious and offered to write a guest post about her unique views. While I am against tattooing, I greatly admire her honesty and creative spirit. She certainly has a beautiful soul and a true love for Judaism.
I am an Orthodox Jewish lady. I am also a strong supporter of tattooing. To most, that would be a contradiction, but for me, it’s just natural. My love for tattoos goes way back. I have always been artistic, and as a young girl, I would always draw on myself and get in trouble.
I can remember the first time I saw someone with ink: It was out at the market with my family. I was so in awe that someone could have permanent artwork on their body that I went up to the man and asked: “What are those? What is it like to be covered with all that work and never have to draw it on over and over?” He told me it was an expression of himself and that our bodies are a canvas to outwardly show the world how we want to be perceived with our thoughts/beliefs.
Not only did that cement my love of body art, but it also shaped another aspect of my life (career choice of being a Cosmetologist). I’m a firm believer that peoples actions and words show their true heart. Because I was raised in an Orthodox family, my ideas were considered very radical. In the beginning, they were not supportive but eventually came to accept them and me. Now, both of my siblings have tattoos, too!
To me, Judaism and tattooing can mix in the modern world as it is an artistic expression, just like putting on my makeup everyday. Ink doesn’t change who we are deep down inside or beliefs. Most Jews disagree with that. One view is that tattoos are discouraged in Judaism because God wants us to be set apart from others. I think living by the Mitzvahs is what distinguishes us.
We are a unique, strong and determined nation which I feel so proud/blessed to be part of. I understand that by putting ink all over my body, I will not be able to be buried in an Orthodox Cemetery. But I still believe that it’s truly what is in your heart, along with how you live that makes a difference, not an outward appearance.
Either way, it’s up to each person whether they feel that tattooing or not would be right. Regardless of our differences, we are all Jews and we should be united, no matter what!
About the Author:
Crystal Creamer is a talented Cosmetologist who specializes in styling Sheitels (wigs) for Jewish women and providing private haircuts for women who follow modesty laws or preferences. Also a Makeup Artist and Model, she love all things beauty. Currently working on an Esthetician license, she will soon be offering skincare services to clients.
Crystal resides in Panama City, FL with daughter Hallie, featured in the picture above with her constant travel companion “Drama Llama.” You can connect with her on Instagram.