As you can expect, plenty of interesting tattoo stories cross the Inked desk on a daily basis, but we had to stop and read more when we saw the “mute” tattoo this woman had inked behind her ear to let the world know she is hearing impaired. The creative mute tattoo was posted just last week to the image sharing site Imgur by user raingoose, and has already been viewed more than three million times.
Designed after the icon you see when you mute the television, this woman’s tattoo features a small black speaker with a tiny “x” next to it, and is inked behind her left ear, in which she is deaf. “Since I’m deaf in one ear I thought this was a friendly [way] to tell the world not [to talk] to me from the left,” the tattoo recipient captioned the image of her ingenious tattoo.
If nothing else, raingoose’s light-hearted tattoo has garnered plenty of attention for her candid approach to explaining her disability, with other hearing-impaired individuals sharing their own stories. “I’m deaf on my left too, had mumps as a kid. My wife calls it my decorative ear,” wrote one user. Another commented, “I’m deaf on the left too! I feel obligated to get this [tattoo] now.”
Of course, some people felt the need to interject, saying that a muted microphone symbol would have made for a more appropriate tattoo, to which raingoose responded, “I thought that people won’t talk to me at all if I chose the mic…Or rather, that they [would think] I cannot speak at all. I may be a stutterer, but I can still articulate myself.”
Raingoose’s story inspired us to try to find other people who have gotten tattoos inspired by their own disabilities, and we stumbled across a couple of gems, including this man with a prosthetic leg who has an “I’m with stumpy” tattoo scrawled across the opposite calf with a finger pointing to the prosthesis. Another man from New Zealand got a Cochlear implant tattoo inked on his shaved head so that his six-year-old hearing-impaired daughter, who has a real Cochlear implant, wouldn’t feel like she was different.
From touching to creative to downright weird, there are actually lots of tattoos out there that people with disabilities proudly wear to celebrate (or at least poke fun at) their own differences, and we have to say, we appreciate their frank and humorous approach to tattoo art!