I've mentioned a few times how I'm finally halfway satisfied with my body, for the first time in my life. Well, back when I completely hated absolutely every part of my body, my tattoos were the one thing that could make me feel better about it. I could look in the mirror and see at least one thing about myself that was beautiful and that made it easier to deal with all of the things that weren't.
It's not just the finished product that I love though; it's the whole process. The fact that getting a tattoo is painful and time-consuming makes it all the more meaningful. You have to earn a tattoo. I don't know that there is anything that can make you feel quite as powerful as having the ability to lay there and let someone stick you with a needle thousands of times, especially if you're able to do it without whining. Sometimes when I feel totally out of control of my life, I can look at my tattoos and think "I did this. I can do anything."
Lastly, they are a way for me to express myself, even when I feel utterly incapable of expressing myself verbally. I have a really difficult time talking about my beliefs, but my "vegan" tattoo is right there on my arm where everyone can see it all the time. So even if I can't tell you how important animal rights is to me, you will know that it was important enough that I wanted a sign of it on my body forever.
I should have been born on Tauron. They understand the importance of tattoos.