It’s that time of year again – things are getting hot! (Well, warm… every other day). Either way, those tattoos are coming out, and I have been sent back out to discover them.
In last year’s article, we saw some variety. Now, what I am recognising is how many people, who are already tatted-up, are still ink crazy. People have been going back to the parlours for smaller, or larger, pieces than their others. Basically, the moral of the message is: tattoos will never be out or in trend. They are simply there, and people will continue to get them. On that note, I like to think that the world is becoming more accepting of this. Obviously, that does not mean I am promising you will get a job if you are covered head-to-toe. After all, everything in moderation. (Unless being covered is what you want!)
Also, most tattoo artists will advise you against something if they don’t think it will suit you—work to your advantage in the future… (For instance, the lengthy conversation had this past winter to persuade me against a tattoo on my finger – oh please). I merely want to press the point that people’s tattoos are seen as part of that person, and more and more, different societies are no longer judging those who choose to flaunt them. Just as tattoos can come in all shapes and sizes—colours and meanings—people should remember that the individuals who have one, or a few, come in all types of personalities, and with various interests/hobbies.
The tattoo population is not prejudice. If people want an ‘ink’, they will get one. It is a personal, yet difficult, endeavour to be had.
So: To each his own. Let’s celebrate that.
Hannah Kate Risser (2nd Year)
[small arrow on the lower side of thumb]
“I actually was sort of peer-pressured into getting a tattoo by my mom. As soon as I turned 18 she kept saying, “It’s time! We have to get a tattoo on you!” (She has one as well.) At the end of my senior year of high school I finally went. I love archery, I am a Sagittarius (which is the sign of the archer), and a lot of my favourite fictional characters are archers, so I decided to get an arrow. I also wanted something small and easy to conceal, but in a visible place for me because it also reminds me to focus.”
[3 tattoos: large one on back, flower on collarbone & quote on wrist]
“My Mum asked me what I wanted for my eighteenth and she knew it wasn’t going to be anything normal. She was happy for me to get it done as long as I was happy with it, the meaning attached and the fact it was permanent. I had it done in Cambridge with my best friend who had one the same day on her wrist for her baby sister. Each part separately is important to me but as a whole it embodies a pivoting point in my life of getting my act together. I was in a bad crowd of people the year before, like most teens was trying to find my feet. The Buddhist connotation (raised with those mantras by my fantastic mother) really signifies centring me to be calm, working hard and having compassion for others. The ‘K’ is for Karen – my mother, an intelligent, caring woman and the most influential person in my life. She’s my world.”
“I’ve always loved rock and the traditional style of tattoos when they were first popular. As cliché as it is I also love roses and spend all my summers as a child gardening with my parents. I suppose it just reminds me of the beauty of flowers, soppy I know but I damn well hurt getting it done there!”
“The Sanskrit mantra, ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ of Tibetan Buddhists is important as a reminder to try to follow on the path to enlightenment. It’ comforting in its simplicity, basically boiling down to being compassionate towards others. It helps to remember that it’s not all bad!”
Stephanie Uhlmann (2nd Year)
[3 tattoos: script on ribs, script on foot & constellation on neck]
“I always knew since I was little I wanted a tattoo. I always would draw designs with pens during class or free time. I never feared the needle or the permanence of the ink or the possibility of regret. My three tattoos are a part of me and my life. They are reminders of what I have been through and what is important to me. They are ever lasting memories, and so it is their permanence that makes sure I’ll never forget what is important to me.”
Side-note: Hindi translation of the one on ribs, ‘home is where the heart is, and in my heart you are always with me’.
Grace Pelling (3rd Year)
[geometric triangle outline on arm]
“This is my third tattoo, having got my first one at the age of 15. Slightly addicted to ink! I wanted a clear geometric figure and the number 3 means a lot to me – hence the three points of a triangle. Definitely a spur of the moment decision though, makes it all the more special to me as I remember exactly what stage of my life I was in then!”
With all this being said, if you do not have a tattoo, there is no problem with that! Never be culprit to submitting to a fad that remains permanently on you. Likewise: if you don’t have one because, frankly, they are not your “thing”, then kudos to that too.
Your skin is a beautiful thing – with or without. So, love it people. Love it.
Hopefully, we can all embrace the truth in that.