An Illinois mother was shocked and hurt when a Facebook user shamed her for having visible tattoos, but she took the opportunity to spread awareness about prejudice.
Jamie Hesler has had tattoos since she volunteered at a tattoo shop at age 18, reports WQAD. The artists paid her in free body art, and she now has a full "sleeve" featuring 20 well-known children's characters.
"My tattoos are all Pokemon characters," Hesler said. "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."
She never expected someone in her community to send her a hateful Facebook message about it, but that's exactly what happened.
"'You are presenting a negative influence to the younger generation and should be ashamed of the image you're presenting,'" Hesler said, reading the message in a video she made. "'Body art is a gateway to violent and harmful substances, and your choice of covering your body in tattoos will not only affect your child's decisions in life, but also young adults who see you.'"
The Facebook user recommended that she cover her tattoos at all times with either clothing or makeup.
"'I highly suggest you take my advice or you will go nowhere in life, and neither will your son,'" Hesler read.
She got emotional while reading the message but continued through it and posted the video on her Facebook page -- which has since been viewed over 38,000 times.
"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," Hesler said. "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."
Jamie hopes to spread awareness about tattooed parents, and she created a Facebook page called Rise Above Prejudice, where people can show their support.
"Life is too short to be hateful," the page description says. "Be yourself no matter what other people say."