Is a tattoo right for you?


Haley McCoy, Editorials Editor

     Permanently inking an image on your skin is a huge decision. It’s a display that could impact many aspects of everyday life.

     Tattoos are unprofessional, informal, and rebellious. The worst concept of tattoos can be summed up with the act of permanently inking an anchor on your shoulder.

     Now consider, tattoos are meaningful, symbolic, and powerful. The sentimentality and love of an individual can be displayed through quotes, words, and images inked permanently over your heart.

     Tattoos are a touchy subject. Many adults, those part of the working world, claim that tattoos are distracting and not suited for a professional environment. Having a favorite quote proudly displayed for the world to see might mean a lot now, but these anti-tattoo advocates say that feeling will change given fifty years of changing times. Tattoos mar the skin, stand out, and, some say, are poor representations of proper appearances.

     “I would never want a tattoo,” said Grace Kahler (‘18). “It would hurt too much.”

     Once upon a time, tattoos were a taboo subject. Sure, they were popular, but the crowds who donned ink were the members of motorcycle gangs and prison inmates. A respectable member of society would never have had visible ink. And there is something to be said about tattoos distracting from purpose in a business environment.

     Today, tattoos are more than just meaningless markings that cost money. Some people  get tattoos to remember a loved one who passed, connect with an estranged family member, or keep a permanent reminder of an important moment. These can include a note written in a beloved late grandmother’s handwriting – one of her favorite sayings nonetheless – a quote that helped to bring a student through a difficult time, or even just a small symbol that meant the world during a rambunctious childhood.

     “My dad lives in Iowa, and I want to get a tattoo to show that even though we live separately, we’re still family,” said McKenzie Mueller (‘17).

     More than one third of people aged 18-25 have at least one tattoo, according to the Huffington Post. The emergence of television and social media have popularized tattoos. Before, it would have been scandalous for an accountant to sport a tattoo sleeve, or for an engineer to have an ankle band. Tattoos have become common enough that they’re almost expected, and don’t serve as distracting eyesores during a presentation like they might once have.

     So what does your ink mean?