This is my first and only tattoo, a 3/4 sleeve done in traditional Japanese style. In my culture, tattoos are reminiscent of gangs and a criminal element, and my family is very much anti-tattoos (especially as a girl). It was a fairly big deal for me to get one since it meant standing up for my own beliefs in terms of getting something beautiful and meaningful done, and living my life according to my own rules and not my family's (which to me was a big deal). I never thought I would get one and one day I saw this image of myself with this tattoo, and it seemed the natural recourse. The snake is a symbol of healing (shedding skin, Caduceus) and the peonies are a feminine symbol which counterbalance the snake as a masculine symbol.