Universal Medicine Before and After Photos – the Man beneath the Tattoos and Dreads

by Tony Steenson, Bricklayer, Goonellabah, Australia

I was seventeen when I got my first tattoo and I thought I was pretty cool.

But that one tattoo looked a bit lonely on its own, so I got him a friend and then another friend, and another. I wanted to look tough. To make me look a bit meaner I also decided to stop shaving and to stop combing my hair which was long at the time.

REBELLING OR HIDING?

I never considered that I was trying to hide behind my image. At the time I saw it as rebelling.

BEFORE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson - Age 27  (2004)
BEFORE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson – Age 27 (2004) – Tatts, Dreadlocks and a Beard

It makes sense, now I look back, that I was trying to protect myself because I was sensitive, but I saw sensitivity as a weakness and not manly so I tried to cover it up with tatts and hair.

At this point in life I was running away from a break-up from my first long term relationship so I was feeling a lot of hurt. By the time I got from one side of the country to the other my beard was coming along and I was starting to get dreadlocks… cool.

The beard came and went a few times but was there most of the time, and over the years my dreadlocks grew to the point where I could nearly tuck them into my pants.

I was so unapproachable. I didn’t look very friendly, I actually looked quite scary and not really someone most people would be comfortable talking to if I was a stranger to them.

The image I put up as this rough and tough guy worked; people weren’t attracted to me which was great as it allowed me to keep my real self hidden away. That real self is a deeply caring man, full of love.

TATTOOS – THE TOUGH STICKERS TO MAKE ME FEEL TOUGH

When I got my tattoos it wasn’t as trendy and as accepted as it is now: these days it’s quite weird if you don’t have one, male or female.

It’s now more seen as art than what it was for me, a rebellion, but it still comes back to the same question; why do we feel the need to drastically change the way we look?

Of course we change our appearance and can do so all the time by clothes, haircuts, make-up etc., but tattoos are lifelong (unless you choose to get them removed).

So why can we be so unhappy in our own skin that we choose to turn our skin and body into a colouring-in book by getting tattoos?

I know for me, part of it was I didn’t feel like I was tough enough to be a man so by getting some tough stickers, then that would prove how tough I was. So silly, because being a man isn’t about being tough.

For me a man is about being loving, tender, supportive and being able and willing to share my feelings. Those traits aren’t being weak. I now feel that they are strengths that I am choosing to embrace.

When I first got my tattoos and began growing my dreadlocks and beard, I wanted to distance myself from people. If I had tattoos and looked dodgy then people wouldn’t want to approach me and I wouldn’t have to show them who I really am. So I hid behind my tattoos, dreadlocks and beard for years… but no more.

THE REAL AND BEAUTIFUL ME BENEATH THE TATTS AND HAIR

AFTER UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson - Age 36 (July 2013) - A Student of Universal Medicine for 7 years
AFTER UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson – Age 36 (July 2013) – A Student of Universal Medicine for 7 years

A lot of my wanting to hide was from my lack of confidence within myself. So with low self esteem I created an image for myself so people wouldn’t want to be around me which is what I wanted at the time. It’s not that I dislike hair or beards, but I was using my beard and dreadlocks to stop people from seeing my real beauty that I didn’t even know existed. I now know this beauty is in us all. The beard and dreadlocks are gone: I still have the tattoos but I don’t wear them with the pride I once did and am not trying to put out the tough image.

Now I am a people person, I enjoy being around others, sharing me with them and vice versa. I don’t need an image to hide behind anymore because I am great just the way I am.

I am Tony Steenson. I am honest and loving and I have re-discovered how beautiful I am and I invite you to do the same.

Inspired by Serge Benhayon and the work of Universal Medicine

BEFORE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson - Age 27  (2004)
BEFORE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson – Age 27 (2004)
Tony Steenson - Age 36 - July 2013
AFTER UNIVERSAL MEDICINE: Tony Steenson – Age 36 (July 2013) – A Student of Universal Medicine for 7 years

Related Reading: Choices, I’ve Made A Few… Shockers!

157 thoughts on “Universal Medicine Before and After Photos – the Man beneath the Tattoos and Dreads

  1. Finding my way to hide from others took a different turn in life but I ended up in the same position isolated and rejecting friendships! I am learning this and feeling this as I write, so as this unfolds for me I can feel how being the ‘nice guy’ who wanted to be everyone’s friend actually was a way of allowing myself to not really get close to any one. So I would use drugs and alcohol to bury all my issues!

  2. “For me a man is about being loving, tender, supportive and being able and willing to share my feelings. Those traits aren’t being weak. I now feel that they are strengths that I am choosing to embrace.” So beautiful to read this Tony. I love the gentleness of men when they don’t hide under a veneer of toughness.

  3. For starters what an incredible transformation but what is even more impressive is your detailed honesty, your willingness to expose your past choices is inspirational, thanks for sharing Tony.

  4. Wow Tony, it’s like night and day, your pictures of how you are now versus how you’ve been. It’s beautiful to see and feel your warmth shining out for all to see.

  5. Tony what a change you have made – that is really very inspiring! I love your invitation – “I am Tony Steenson. I am honest and loving and I have re-discovered how beautiful I am and I invite you to do the same.” as you are the best role model ever to show the world that a re-discovering is possible.

  6. Beautiful Tony. I’ve met plenty of people that don’t have the beard and dreads that still have the attitude of keep out. That keep out stance never feels as tough as it feels protective and insecure. It is lovely to see your open face and to feel how strong and loving you are, and you were always this. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

  7. I loved reading your story Toni. It is deeply inspiring for both men and women alike. Many hide behind something or someone and to see the magnifance of the man you are is proof positive hiding doesn’t bring us joy. It keeps one stuck, doubtful and fearful. Your steps are to be followed and embraced.

  8. It’s crazy how we humans fall into the trap of feeling that we need to create an image to hide behind instead of appreciating and embracing the true picture of beauty that we all naturally are ‘warts and all’.

  9. This was such a pleasure to read Tony. I love that you have come to a place where you have let go of trying to protect what needn’t be protected and no longer need or want to hide who you are… choosing instead to embrace the deeply loving and caring you, for everyone to enjoy with you.

  10. What an amazing transformation Tony. You can feel without a doubt the far greater quality of love and appreciation you now hold for yourself, and the confidence in which you claim your tenderness and sensitivity, and express what you feel is totally inspiring. Through you being you, the man you innately are, the meaning of what a strong and tender loving man is being returned to its truth and reflected to all men to equally, that this is who they also naturally are within.

  11. Tony, you are a truly gorgeous man, thank you for sharing your story which I am sure will inspire many, you certainly have inspired me.

  12. This is super inspiring Tony. It’s interesting what you’ve mentioned about tattoos – As you’ve shared it is so common these days to have at least one tattoo, and if they are used as a form of protection, hardness or rebellion then a great question we need to ask is WHY we are looking to disconnect from each other and wear this armour?

  13. What a way to hide your sensitivity! It’s such an effective way that most people would have been sold on your tough guy image and had no idea of what lay beneath. How many others in society are doing that same thing?

  14. “Why do we feel the need to drastically change the way we look?” A good question Tony, and as you mention it may often be because we don’t feel confident enough just as we are. Tattoos, piercings, cosmetic surgery – have all become even more commonplace these days. What if we were celebrated for us being who we truly are – without any need for ‘enhancements’? If sensitivity were honoured, would tattoos etc be so popular?

  15. Such a powerful transformation Tony, it is crazy the lengths we go to protect and hide ourselves from our own amazingness. The before and after shots of you are so different it is truly beautiful to see you claim the gorgeous tender man you are and to reflect your loving choices to others every where you go.

  16. It takes great inner strength to step out of any facade we may have been hiding behind in life… and so it’s very powerful that you share this Tony. I would truly like to hear more about what occurred when you found yourself ’emerging’ and re-engaging openly with people and in life through the change you went through, as this is such a powerful transformation…
    For me, nought has compared to being truly met and seen as all that I am by Serge Benhayon, and then many others now today – no expectations, no imposition, nothing ‘coming at me’ to fight me or shut me down… just the pure beauty of being held in real love. And the deepest of inspiration that I also intend to the best of my ability to see beyond the veneer and the facade, to the true and beautiful being who is always within, no matter how ‘scary’ the outer shell…

  17. The power of what you’ve claimed here in your words resonates deeply Tony: “That real self is a deeply caring man, full of love.”
    How often, is it the most deeply sensitive of beings who turns to a lifestyle of self-abuse and hiding? Are we willing to see that we’ve created a society that fosters such pain and inner turmoil? A society that keeps us from the deep care and love that all are capable of bringing?
    We are all responsible for the predominant attitude that men need to be ‘tough’ and it is doing us immense harm. In this, the buck stops with the way we live our own lives – how we treat each other and honour also ourselves, that we may make not only reparation, but nurture a societal change that allows the true light of all to shine.

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