Sometimes no matter how hard you try to put the past behind you, it’s never fully erased.
Sometimes, it sticks forever.
“If I could go back and rewind the tapes, and start my life over, I wouldn’t have tattoos or piercings, or the drugs I dealt with, the alcohol, you know.”, says Matthew Pepper.
Crossett native Matthew Pepper is a living testament.
As a teenager, Matthew found himself with the wrong crowd, and got two tattoos he’s not proud of. One is a swastika, and one is a rebel flag.
Fast forward a decade, and he’s changed his life for the better.
Matthew is a youth sponsor at First Assembly of God in Crossett. He’s married and is a proud father to his 5 year-old son, Gauge.
“He looks up to me very much and he asked me before–what’s this? You know, and I just tell him that’s something stupid, you know, something I should’ve never done.”, says Pepper.
While those tattoos are permanent, a recent Facebook post from Lucky 7 Tattoo in Monroe caught his eye.
Finally, there’s a way to cover it up without any judgment.
“A lot of folks got racist or offensive tattoos at one point or another for some odd reason, and now they’re looking for a way to cover it up. The folks here at Lucky Seven Tattoo Studio in Monroe are gonna help you do just that. You can come in, it’s free, and there’s no questions asked.”
“There’s a lot of stories with a lot of different backgrounds and we just want to help people that actually made the change, you know, to put that behind them.”, says Jeremy Lucky, the owner of Lucky 7 Tattoo Studio in Monroe.
The message is spreading quickly.
At just 18, Corbin McGee was arrested and locked up at the Ouachita Correctional Center. Now he faces a similar problem.
“I got in trouble, so I had to join their little gang or whatever it was to be safe and in order to be protected, you had to get a tat, so you know, I had to do what I had to do.”, says McGee.
He says the gang tattoo often prevented him from getting a job.
McGee says, “I don’t like it at all, I mean, I’ve had it since I was 18. I’m 25, you know, and it’s hindered a lot of jobs.”
Both Matthew and Corbin say they’re making changes for the better- doing their best to wipe away offensive symbols for the past.
“Don’t look at me as that tattoo guy who comes to church, you know, I’m taking my life and turning it around.”, explains Pepper.
He says not to judge a book by its cover, because the inside is what really counts.
Lucky Seven Tattoo Studio in Monroe is helping people get old tattoos covered up–for free!
Here’s the Facebook post the shop made last week:
Sometimes people make bad choices and sometimes people change. We at Lucky 7 Tattoo Studio would like to make a difference. If you, or someone you know has a tattoo that is Gang or Racist related and want it covered… We will cover it FOR FREE No questions asked. We believe there is enough hate in the world and want to make a difference. Please message us here to set up a consultation with one of our artists. Spread LOVE not HATE! Please SHARE!