by Claire Magnanini
Once perceived as the quintessential sign of rebellion or nonconformity, tattoos have transcended their former image and become a highly popular and widely accepted form of self-expression. It seems as though tattoos are becoming more and more prevalent each year, as 40 percent of American adults aged 18-29 have tattoos, according to the Pew Research Center. Hi’s Eye hones in on some body art around WHS.
Honoring a Friend: Senior Alyssa Meek recently got a tattoo of a cross on her back to honor her best friend’s father, who was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has served as a father figure to her, so she wanted to honor his impact on her life. Meek loved the tattoo, and both she and her mom posted a photo of it on social media. But Meek experienced some negative feedback about it, with one comment reading, “I would never let my child get a tattoo.” One commenter told her mom that 17-year-old Alyssa was too young to make such a decision at this age. Despite backlash, Meek continues to embraces her tattoo. “Tattoos are an expression of oneself,” she said. “People should be able to embrace themselves and not hide something that is potentially meaningful to them from the world.”
A Grandmother’s Love: Senior Walter Sincox has had two tattoos for almost a year, one on his chest and one on his forearm. The tattoo on his forearm is a written message from his grandmother in her handwriting, reading “Have a nice day love Grandma Lawrie.” Sincox acknowledges the increased societal acceptance of tattoos. Said Sincox, “I think as time progresses people are getting a lot more lenient with this stuff and are understanding that [a tattoo] doesn’t [characterize] you as a person, more so just how you want to see yourself and what makes you comfortable.” Sincox plans to get more tattoos in the future.
Strength in Sisterhood: Senior Hannah Hawkins recently made the decision to get three birds tattooed on her wrist. She and her two sisters all got three birds because of the “hawk” in Hawkins, and each sister outlined the bird that represents her in age order. Hawkins said that she got her tattoo in a noticeable spot, and did so to show off her connection to her sisters. Said Hawkins: “I wasn’t going to get some random tattoo just for the sake of having one. I waited until I found a design that means something to me. I have no shame in my tattoo.”
Following a Family Tradition: Unlike many others, senior Tom Morley has known he has wanted a tattoo since age seven. His whole family has tattoos, and he followed in their footsteps by getting an image of a shamrock on his right arm. Said Morley, “I think tattoos are awesome as a great way to express yourself, because most people can’t express themselves through words.” Morley plans on adding more to his current design, as well as potentially getting more tattoos.