For the women in the documentary whose families are less than supportive, the disapproval of their tattoos must feel like disapproval of their lifestyle and choices. Everyone has a right to their own opinion about tattoos, but I think that stigma plays an unfair role in the issue of tattooed women. The mothers we saw in the film all seemed extremely supportive of their daughters in every aspect except the ink, and I believe that the social perception of tattooed women as promiscuous plays into their disapproval. If it were only a matter of decorated skin, I don't think these mothers would have as difficult a time coming to terms with their daughters' tattoos, though it might not be easy; but wanting to protect their daughters from the stigma of tattooed women and the assumptions that go with it makes it more difficult for these mothers to accept their daughters' enthusiasm for tattoos.
The good news, I hope, is that this stigma is changing. As the author of the children's book pointed out in the film, a generation that embraces tattoos is beginning to have children, thus changing the stereotype of tattooed people. The image above comes from the "Lean In" collection, a batch of stock photos meant to portray women in diverse, stereotype-busting ways. This image of a tattooed women holding her baby isn't only progressive, but it's an increasingly common sight in the U.S., especially large cities. Mothers and daughters will always find something to fight about, but as our generation begins to start families, I hope that the stigma of tattoos won't be one of them.