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What’s with all these tats!?

McKenna Smith, Perspectives Editor

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It was slightly nerve racking- a tattoo gun, softly buzzing, before it even touched my skin. I don’t like being in pain…and I hate needles…so, my venture of getting my very first tattoo was off to a great start.
Within recent years, the popularity of tattoos has exploded among teens. A Pew Research Center study stated that 38% of people between ages 18-25 (that’s one-in-three) have tattoos. But the one age bracket that the study did not cover happens to be high schoolers. At East High, it seems like more and more students are getting themselves “inked out.”
While I’ve never had a desire to “fit in,” my desire to experience a tattoo found me nervously sitting in a local tattoo parlor.
Once the needle touched my skin, I was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t hurt like I thought. In fact, it kind of tickled. As I sat there, I began to shake, which was due to nice mixture of adrenalin and not really eating before the appointment.
Some students at East that have tattoos are David Bender, E.C. Wells, Trey Blackwell, and Delaney Schmidt and, now, myself. Each student got something that was unique to them and somewhere that could be easily covered by clothing.
In an interview with senior E.C. Wells, she said that one of her tattoos she received with her mom as their own way of telling each other ‘I love you.”
Senior David Bender got his design because it represents his dad, who passed away. He even took a bit of his Dad’s tattoos and incorporated it into his own tattoo.
While none of the students interviewed have had issues with jobs or school since getting their tattoos, there’s a stigma among some people that having a tattoo correlates to bad behaviors such as drug abuse, disobedience in school, and general rebelliousness. But employers are finding that more often, having a tattoo doesn’t affect that at all.
“No one really cares anymore,” said Blackwell, when asked if his tattoo had affected any official setting or work zone.
When it was over, my wrist was numb, but it was worth it. I had a colorful tattoo on my wrist that expressed my personality and my passion.
The whole experience was worth the hour in the chair. And with more teenagers in my class with tattoos, I didn’t feel that anyone was bothered about it.
Tattoos aren’t being related to rebelling and nefarious acts, they’re becoming more and more related to expressions, ideas, and symbols.

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