An Illinois mother revealed this week that she was body shamed by a member of a Christian group, who said that her Pokemon tattoos would be responsible for her baby son eventually turning to drugs.
In a video posted earlier this week, Jamie Nicole Hesler said that she received Facebook hate mail from someone accusing her of being a bad mother because she had tattoos of cartoon characters on one of her arms.
“Dear Ms. Hesler, I am a voice of the community asking you to not be in public with your son while exposing your body art,” the letter began. “You should be ashamed of the image you are presenting. Body art is a gateway to violent and harmful substances, and your choice of covering your body with tattoos will not on affect your child’s decisions in life but also other young adults.”
Hesler choked up as she continued reading: “You are a disgrace to motherhood and to other mothers around you. Your child will grow up to a more urban or street lifestyle, and will eventually abuse drugs and alcohol.”
The letter advised Hesler to “properly” cover her tattoos with long sweaters or makeup if she could not afford to have them removed.
“I highly suggest you take my advice or you will go nowhere in life and neither will your son,” the letter concludes.
Hesler explained on Facebook that the letter had been sent by a woman linked to an anti-tattoo Christian group, but she urged her friends not to respond to the woman directly.
“Alright everyone I kno [SIC] you want to know the ladies name so you can give her your piece of mind but we are the better people,” Hesler noted. “She is part of a Christian society that is against tattoos and we are better than them. I rather we target the society than the individual.”
“I’m not blaming it on Christians,” the mom added. “This woman is a bad example of Christians… I’m more doing it against prejudice and bullying.”
Hesler told WQAD that she began getting the Pokemon tattoos while volunteering at a tattoo parlor when she was 18.
“I have Pikachu, Caterprie, Poliwag, Bulbasaur, Horsea, Squirtle, Gengar, Gastly, Mew, Nidoqueen, Rattata, Pichu, Ritchie, Torchic, Magikarp, Seaking, Charmander, Growlithe, Jolteon, and Snorlax,” she pointed out. “My tattoos are all Pokemon characters. They are the most child friendly tattoos I’ve ever seen. I have a lot of kids come up to me and they’re like, ‘oh my gosh it’s Pokemon, oh it’s Picachu.’ They think it’s so cool.”
Hesler observed that it was wrong to stereotype people because of the way that they looked.
“No matter what anyone says we are great parents. and a lot of the time, the heavily tattooed people are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” she insisted. “Why should we be judged just because we have tattoos? Our body is a temple and we can choose to decorate it. We shouldn’t be judged or looked down upon just because we have tattoos.”
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Posted by Jamie Nicole Hesler on Sunday, August 30, 2015
Watch the video below from WQAD, broadcast Sept. 2, 2015.