It is common for girls to wear tattoos on their bodies to hide the fact that they are transgender, or “non-binary,” a term that is defined as a person whose gender identity doesn’t align with their anatomy.
But some girls have their own unique ways to show they are gender nonconforming.
Some, like Caitlyn Jenner, have chosen to keep their tattoos to cover up a variety of body parts.
Others, like Jada Pinkett Smith, have just used their own body parts to represent themselves.
Jada Pinketti Smith’s tattoo, called “I’m a Woman,” is on her left thigh and depicts the phrase “I am a woman.”
Smith told me her tattoos are for both her pride and her survival.
“I really want to be a strong woman and I want to inspire others,” she said.
“If I can inspire other people, so can I.”
The idea for the tattoo came about as Smith was in the middle of a transition from her female to male body.
“My body has been changing, so I wanted to reflect that and make it my own,” she explained.
The phrase “A woman is someone who feels confident and authentic in their body and in their sexuality.”
Smith’s original tattoo, made in 2011, was made with the words “I want a girl.”
Her next tattoo, which she said was a nod to the word “girls,” was created in 2016, but she was able to keep it a secret from her parents.
“They didn’t know what I was doing,” Smith said.
Smith was told by her mother that her mother would not approve of the tattoo, and she eventually chose to continue the secret to protect her daughter.
“I wanted to protect my daughter from her own family, from her family being so judgmental, so it was my choice to keep the secret,” Smith explained.
“She knew that I was transgender, but I wanted her to know that I am transgender.”
While it is rare for transgender teens to have their gender identity publicly known, some of the girls I spoke with told me that they were scared to come out publicly to their parents, fearing that they might be ostracized or even murdered.
Smith was one of those girls.
“It’s scary to come to school with the fear of being killed for being trans,” Smith told me.
“But the other thing is, I’m not worried about the people that hate me for being who I am.
I just want to make sure that no one is able to see that I’m transgender and that I don’t hate myself.”
Smith said that when she learned that she was transgender in high school, she was devastated.
“And I was devastated that I had to tell my mom, and that it would make me look like a freak, and not a girl,” she told me, explaining that she thought of herself as a girl growing up.
“So when I got to college, I was so afraid, because I knew what my mother would think of me.
So I didn’t tell her, because it would just make her mad.
But I told her because I didn and I had the option to tell her.””
It’s important to be aware that we all have to live our lives with this in mind, and just like everyone else, we’re going to have our ups and downs.
And when you come out, you can look back and say, ‘This was an amazing experience.'”