Express Yourself! Permanence Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Express Yourself! Permanence Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Tattoos tell a story about what you’ve done, what you love, and many more things.


Dr. Jacqueline Goldman is psychology professor at Delta State University. Even if you don’t have her for class, you may know her through one of her most recognizable features: the sleeves of tattoos on her arms. 

How She Started

In total, she has around twenty tattoos. Growing up, Goldman was exposed to tattoos by her older brothers. She says that this “normalized” tattoos and made it something that she “really wanted to do.” Her first tattoo was a personal religious symbol on her ankle.


She took her time getting her first few tattoos, but eventually they became an addiction that helped her express herself and commemorate important milestones in her life. 


Goldman describes her body as a canvas, but just because she enjoys tattoos doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been some stress associated with them. The first majorly visible piece that she got was a large lion on her forearm.


At the time, she was attending grad school, and her professor had strong opinions on this art. Goldman recalls that the professor thought the tattoo was unprofessional and would affect her chances of getting a job in the future. Thankfully, Goldman says that this struggle never really presented itself.


Up until that point, she had been afraid to use her arms as a space to express herself. Now, she wants to decorate both of her arms with a full sleeve of tattoos.

Her Tattoos Are Her Passions

Many of her tattoos involve horror movies. Goldman loves this genre and is especially passionate about the impact of women in horror movies. Her most recent tattoo is the creature from the movie “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.” 


Milicent Patrick, the costume designer, is a woman that Goldman feels, “didn’t get any recognition,” despite the popularity of the creature.


Another theme that Goldman likes to express is uniqueness and originality. She is part of the Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department and wants to memorialize this part of her life. Although COVID-19 has slowed her plans, she wants to get a firefighting chicken as a way of remembering this chapter.


Goldman also says that no one she knows has a firefighting chicken, and this combined with her love for chickens shows how creative and passionate she is.


Goldman thinks that quality tattoos require a reasonable investment. Discounted tattoos and deals in general aren’t worth it. She says that you need to be cautious of these things and that good tattoos are, “expensive and time-consuming.” Skimping out on a good tattoo won’t be worth it in the long run. 


She also says that you need to look up an artist’s portfolio. Seeing what an artist can do beforehand ensures that you are satisfied with their work. The portfolio should include pictures of tattoos before and after they have healed. 


Building trust with your artist is her final tip. Especially if you want multiple tattoos, the same artist will have experience with your skin and personal taste. Much like a hairdresser cutting your hair just how you like it, a tattoo artist will learn what you like over time.


The tattoos on Goldman’s body tell her personal story. Where she’s been, what she’s done, and what she loves. What’s your story?