(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
Q&A: Jen McGinnis – Inked Beauties
By Sarah and Selma Komisky
Jen McGinnis shares her thoughts on stigmas, her testimony, and beauty found in body art.
What stigma would you say is often a misconception that others have said about your tattoos?
Jen: Ninety percent of the time I am misjudged because of my tattoos. I have been told this many times. Folks look at my work and automatically decide they have me figured out, and assume the worst of me. Yes, at one time I did not have a personal relationship with Christ and getting work done was the only way for me to have distraction from serious heart ache and depression. But once I became a believer I looked at continued work as a continued story of my redemption. Jesus came for everyone. My tattoos allow me to reach an audience that others may pass over.
Have you ever used your tattoos to share your testimony or about Jesus?
Jen: They are a huge part of my ministry. I can recall where I was and my state of mind for each piece. I am able to show those pieces to those God brings into my life and share where I was. So many people, especially the youth, feel misunderstood. That is their excuse for not opening up and being willing to hear the gospel. When I can sit down and show them that I do understand, that I have been there, that I rose above it, I am able to reach them and plant those seeds. (Isaiah 55:11)
Can you share about 3 of your tattoos and why they are significant?
Jen: I have a stopwatch on my right hand and on my knuckles is “PRAY.” I had this done on my eleventh clean birthday. The time is of no significance, but the watch and letters are. There is never a moment, situation, or time that we should not be in a state of prayer. It is so easy to get caught up in things and forget to take those situations to the One who holds the stars.
Above that is a rose with peddles falling off and it reads, “He loves me not.” By 18 years old much of my testimony had already unfolded. I was recovering from addition, abuse, and so much heartache. I knew Jesus but not personally. I was still seeking validation through guys. When my now husband broke up with me because, well, I was crazy, I went and got that piece.
It is significant to me because I am reminded that God is in all, and is able to restore if we allow Him. I would go a few more years before the restoration of my relationship with my husband. But he would be the man that got me planted in church, showed me that I was indeed loved, and what God’s love looked like.
So when the enemy wants to come at me and twist things in my mind, I look down and remember in all things God is working. And that I am loved.
On my left hand is a honeybee. This is my most recent. It is smack dab on the top my hand so there is no escaping it. The honeybee, although it works alone, is a part of a hive and needs its hive to survive. The honeybee would lay down his life for any of his hive and has an incredibly important and specific role within the hive.
As a believer and follower of Christ I need to remember that I am not alone in my walk. Although we all have different roles and callings, they all come together for this purpose, to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ, setting the captives free, and furthering the Kingdom of Heaven.
How do you feel beautiful as an inked beauty?
Jen: Not everyone has the ability to wear their testimony for the world to read. I am unashamed of my story because it led me to a new life in Jesus Christ. I may have some pieces that the devil intended for evil; they may look evil. But even the most evil intentions can be turned around for the glory of Christ. I stand on the fact that I am made in His image and therefore, I, and my story, are beautiful.