Tattoo Shop Offered To Cover Up Hateful Ink For Free and People Are Taking Them Up On It
Hateful ink may get you ahead in prison, but it’s an almost guarantee that it will not get you far in life. So, if you have hateful ink somewhere where it shows, then chances are that, even if you wanted to change things around, other people will still see and judge you by what those tattoos represent.
This is what Beth Cutlip, co-owner of Baltimore’s Southside Tattoo parlour, wants to change. She wants to help those people who are looking to change their lives around but are unable to because of the tattoos they got.
Her idea came when a man covered in gang tattoos came inside her parlour one day. He had them made when he was still a teenager, but since then he made a family and tried to live an honest life as an electrician. She recalls that the tattoos were on his face and they were just too big to be covered up. The man said that whenever he was on a job, people would start getting nervous around him.
“As much as I wanted to help him, I had to refer him to have them removed. But I don’t think he had the money,” she says.
When telling the story to her husband and fellow co-owner, Dave Cutlip, she knew that there could be something to help those people.
“I said, ‘Dave, these people made a mistake, changed their life, and they need to get these tattoos covered up,'” she says. “He looked at me and said, ‘Are you asking me to tattoo people for free?'”
Her husband agreed to set aside some time once a week for people who want to come over and have their hateful ink covered, free of charge. Beth posted a small announcement of their Facebook page, thinking that at least some people would see it. Instead, the post went viral.
Soon enough, messages poured in from all over the country. There were literally thousands of people wanting to rid themselves of the mistakes of the past which were still visible on their skin. Southside Tattoo parlour is now fully booked with cover-up requests, and Beth has since asked other of her fellow tattoo artist from around the country to help out. She even set up a non-profit to help cover the costs. She sais that some of the money raised also help people from remote areas to get to where they can get their tattoos covered up.
Beth also goes on saying that everyone has a different story to tell, but the thing that they all have in common is that they want to build a better life for themselves and the hateful ink they made in the past is preventing that.
“The beautiful thing is I know I did something good for somebody,” she says. “And they’re going to leave here and they’re going to do something nice for somebody else.”