Think Before you Ink
March 11, 2019
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A new wave of body positivity has changed the way we “ink”; tattoos are becoming a common sight on teens and have made appearances in our very own halls. Whether it’s a simple heart or a symbolic floral design, tattoos are on the rise and they’re not going anywhere. You can legally get a tattoo as early as age sixteen with parental consent which is what many teens are taking advantage of.
One of the biggest misconceptions about tattoos is the level of pain they induce. Placement plays a key role in this. There are certain places on the body such as on the hands, feet, head, and ribs that are more sensitive and are considered the most painful places to get inked. That’s not the only thing to consider; throughout the years the industry has advanced considerably and a new thinner needle has been developed and widely used. This new needle decreases the levels of pain and chance of bleeding while also helping to improve precision. This results in a more striking tattoo achieved with less pain than the typical nib would cause. It all varies from person to person and for some people like sophomore, Ava Moran, tattoos don’t hurt at all.
“It doesn’t hurt as much as people think it does. It tickles, in my opinion, because the needle [would] hit my ribs and vibrate back and forth; it tickled so much that I was trying not to laugh the entire time,” Moran said.
Prices of tattoos vary depending on the size and complexity of the piece and the individual artist. Quality tattoos can cost well over $100. Although this may seem high, the price factors in the commission of the artists and the use of the latest tools and materials, all of which are contained in a sterile environment. It’s important to go to a professional to avoid any health or quality complications. Shayna Pomeranz, senior, recently got her first tattoo with a friend in Los Angeles.
“If you’re going to get something permanent on your body get it done right if it’s expensive, ‘oh well!’ The price shouldn’t deter you, there’s so much that goes into the whole process. We planned [everything] to the last [detail]; we emailed the shop, we researched the artist. It’s going to be on you forever, you might as well put the work into it,” Pomeranz said.
The design aspect is perhaps the most important detail to research. When deciding on the use of color it is important to note that colored tattoos do eventually fade and may need touch-ups in the future. Black and white ink on the other hand may be a cheaper alternative with the drawback of less vibrancy. The image or text itself can be anything within the human imagination and many students use this opportunity to convey deeper meanings and connections to their own lives. Paige Doyle, senior, is one of those students.
“I love simplistic tattoos because I feel like simpler tattoos have a bigger meaning; my heart [tattoo is something that] I’ve always drawn on my hand. Me and my mom got matching [hearts] so it has a lot of meaning there and the bird [tattoo] I got for my grandpa because we used to always listen to The Beatles and the bird represents the song Black Bird,” Doyle said.
Many teens even plan their tattoos out years in advance.
“The floral design [is because] my grandma is a gardener and she absolutely loves plants and I always have too. I’ve always wanted my tattoos to have some kind of meaning and so this one was one that reminded me of my grandma. I’d had the design picked out for a good three years,” Moran said.
There has always been a stigma against tattoos. Many people argue that a permanent art such as tattoos can be the source of many regrets later in life. Even so there is still a numerous amount of people that don’t let that fear stop them.
“If it’s something meaningful, beautiful, or something that I have a deep interest in then I don’t see why I would regret it. If I’m waiting to do something because I might regret it 60 years from now that’s like me when I’m 60 saying, ‘Hmm why would I wear this shirt because 20 year old me would’ve thought it was ugly?’ In the end it doesn’t really matter because it’s your body and you should make the decisions for your body and nobody should tell you otherwise,” said Moran.
Tattoos can be a positive source of inspiration, creativity, and hope. The meaning behind the ink can be very beneficial and empowering for students in need of extra encouragement.
“I don’t think I will regret them just because they all have some sort of special meaning to me even if that meaning changes over time. I do know that each of them symbolize
something that was very important to me at some point in my life, it in a way boosted my self confidence having them. It’s just something that I really like. I really like art and so it makes me happy when I see them; it’s like a nice little reminder to have on you at all times,” said Cassidy Meyer, senior with three tattoos.