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Trendy and Permanent: Our Obsession with Tattoos

The Tattoo Trend

These days it seems like everyone has a tattoo. I think if I gathered everyone I know together I would bet at least 50 percent of them have one somewhere. Now, I haven’t gotten one…yet…but more on that later. I know several guys and girls who get tattoos whenever possible with what happens to suit their mood – maybe not the best idea, considering tattoos tend to last a while.  

So, what’s up with this huge craze? I remember when tattoos indicated ‘rebel’ and generally a tatted-out guy was someone to avoid. It’s now become an outlet for expression across all different social groups – from gang members to sorority sisters.

Hmm…I wonder if when we become middle-aged with kids if tattoos will be still be “cool.” I say probably not, since I don’t generally think what my parents do is cool at all.

Tattoos have become popular for a lot of reasons – artistic expression; a way to show passions for things, people or groups; a means of remembering a time in your life or a loved one; or, just because they look good and are a part of our idea of fashionable.

College Chicks with Tats

Two Colorado State University girls share their tattoo stories:

“I have 2 tattoos. Both are a heart within a heart…One is behind my right ear and the other is on the underside of my left wrist. I got both tattoos at the same time with my mother and sisters, who all have the same idea of the ‘heart within a heart’ but in different locations and styles. We got these specific tattoos because we are all so close, and it resembles our love for one another. Where ever we are, we are always within one others’ hearts.”

– Brooke Martinez, 2012

“I also have two. One is on my right shoulder – that one is of a black flamed sun with a moon and star inside. My other one is from my left hip to my left shoulder – it’s a trail of different stars. The main reason I got them was because I love stars, the moon, and the sun. For me, stars have a whole dream aspect to them. I am a huge dreamer so it seemed to compliment that perfectly.”

-Amber Schwartz, 2012

A Tattoo Artist’s Tales

I decided to have a chat with my friend-turned-tattoo-artist, Makile Rivera, 20, to figure out what the appeal is and what kind of tattoos people are getting. Makile, who has around 26 tattoos himself, said he became a tattoo artist because of his love of art and his dislike of school and structured workplaces. “I like tattoos because it’s all art and you kind of have to earn them in a way,” he said. “It’s a way to express yourself.”

 
As far as the people getting ink done these days, Makile said he most often tattoos people in their 20s and 30s. But generally, he says, anything goes – all types of people of all ages are getting tattooed. “I think that it is great that they are more common now because I have something to do every day,” said Makile. “I see a lot more girls coming in but they usually get small tattoos that are easy to hide, but every now and then girls come in to get big pieces and that is awesome.”

The reasoning behind people’s tattoos are just as diverse as the customers themselves. “People get tattooed for a lot of different reasons,” Makile said. “Some people get their anger out getting them and then a lot of people are just into art or into the scene. I see more people that only want one tattoo that means something to them, which is a lot of the time a memorial tattoo.”

My Tattoo Decision: Yes

Once I get enough money together this August (what is financial aid for, anyway?) I’m going with a friend to get my first (and possibly only) tattoo. Being a proud Coloradan and self-proclaimed tree hugger, I will be placing an aspen tree on my back – I’m pretty excited but not looking forward to the pain. I figure you only live once, so you might as well do as many stupid, fun things as possible.

After all, if our bodies really are our temples…why not decorate?

So do you have a tattoo? Why did you get it? If not, would you ever get one?

Meagan Templeton-Lynch is a junior Technical Journalism major with news/editorial and computer-mediated communication concentrations, with minors in English and sociology. She attends Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO but grew up in Montrose, CO on the western slope. She hopes to join the Peace Corps after graduation, and then go on to get a master's degree. Meagan wants to write or be an editor for a national magazine in the future. She loves writing and studying literature. She loves the mountains in the summer and goes hiking and camping as much as possible. She is a proud vegetarian, and says she will always be loyal to Colorado, no matter where she ends up.
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