’Removing my tattoos has been a part of accepting myself’ since ‘honour killing’ of Banaz Mahmod.
New true-crime drama ‘Honour’ victim Banaz Mahmod’s sister tells her story after her sisters death.
The sister of a woman murdered by her family in an honour killing has never spoken publicly about her sister before; she chose not to comment on the case. Now, Payzee wants to tell her story.
“This week I fully came out and talked about what’s going on in my life and the fact that I left an arranged marriage at the age of 18 so my sister was also married when she was 17 and I got married when I was 16. I’ve started talking about that and campaigned against child marriage and also honor based violence. Growing up it really affected my life and I lost my sister to an honor based killing so for that reason I’ve finally took the step to speak about that “.
Payzee started to get her tattoos around the time her sisters death happened in 2006.
“The first tattoo I got was of her name on my left breast and at the time it was a decision I made in the heat of the moment. I just wanted her name on me and then it became quite awkward as people kept on asking me what it said so I covered it with a big rose and then I got a sentence across my chest that says ‘death is beautiful for those who life is a punishment’ and again the same thing a lot of people would ask me what it meant and I would always get upset thinking about the reason I got it.
At the time it was my way of accepting the fact that my sister was at rest and finally at peace. However some years went by and the more time went by and the more that people asked me the more I realised that I wanted to cover them and I never wanted to let anybody see them.
When I got my tattoos apart of having my tattoos was also a rebellious act and running away from what’s happening in my life, because a lot of things that were happening were because of my culture that my family had presented to me. In a sense I was basically trying to change my appearance so much that I look nothing like the person who came from those circumstances.
Growing up and maturing I’ve realised that changing how I look doesn’t change me as a person and it’s not actually helping me to deal with my problems so taking control of what happened and trying to channel that energy to something positive it’s actually helping me more than making the decision to runaway and kind of change my identity and I think part of my tattoo removal is really helping me connect with myself again because when I got my tattoos I just wanted to change how I look and I want this pain to almost be very clear to everybody but then when I put it there people could see I wasn’t ready to deal with it, it was very painful when people were asking. Removing my tattoos has been apart of becoming myself and accepting myself.
Now, I’m working with various charities like IKWRO on a campaign called girls not brides. It’s basically to push the legal age of marriage to the age of 18 because at the moment the age is 16. There’s so much you can’t do when your 16 but you can get married so I’m really campaigning to make this change because I feel like as a 16 year old myself it was not a decision that was given to me and at the age of 16,
I had no idea what marriage meant and I think a lot of young people who are in the same situation have no idea what marriage means to them. I think to make it illegal will actually give people one, the confidence to see that it’s wrong but also to decrease the child marriages happening
When my sister passed away I was 18 and having my tattoos was almost a way to cope with my pain. It was something I felt like actually putting on my body was a reminder that it had happened but then at some point in my life I realised that wasn’t the way to deal with my pain and speaking with strangers about it wasnt the way to deal with it.
This is part of the reason I’ve decided to campaign and speak out because I feel like in the past 13 years I’ve grown so much and I’ve realised how to actually chanel my pain into positivity and making a change. The person I was when I got my tattoos to the person I am now has been a huge growth and I’m finally on my way to accepting my truth and becoming myself.
So I came to Pulse Light Clinic for a consultation and I decided to remove my tattoos. Now I’m on my 4th session and they’re disappearing right before my eyes and I’m so happy that I took this decision. It’s been really amazing, to be honest Pulse Light Clinic have been so supportive. From my first session when I was freaking out for no reason because it was all new to me.
They were always there on the end of the phone, always replying to my messages and always very helpful and giving advice. Every single time someone has asked about my journey or about them wanting to do their tattoo removal, I always say to them the sooner you get there and start your journey the better. I wish I started my tattoo removal journey at least 5/10 years ago but I’m really glad i’ve started now, and can’t wait to finish and I’m so close and so happy “.