Tattoo Talk with Kacie Renee, A Junior English Major At IUP

Allow me to introduce Kacie Renee, a junior English major at IUP. I sat down with Kacie as she talked to me about her ever-expanding tattoo collection, which she started as soon as she turned 18. Her favorite style is traditional, as most of her tattoo’s are included in that category. I've known Kacie for 2 years and people are always very intrigued by hearing the stories behind her tattoos, so I decided to dedicate an article just to her! Included below are photographs of all her tattoos, in order of first to last, with a description about each one.

Sunflower:

"My first tattoo is a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I knew it would be my first tattoo as soon as I read the line sitting in my high school senior English class. 'The rest is silence' were actually Hamlet’s dying words. After a life of pain and chaos, he’s welcoming his death because it means his pain is ending. Some people think it’s morbid, but I think it’s a nice reminder that pain is never forever."

Bow:

"My bow is the only one of my tattoos that doesn’t have a super deep meaning. My friend and I wanted to get small ones together so we both got something small on our necks. Even though it didn’t have a meaning when I got it, now I connect it to her and everything we went through that school year, she’s one of my best friends now."

Bell Jar:

"My bell jar is my favorite tattoo, and the very beginning of my literary half-sleeve. Sylvia Plath started my journey as a writer, she sparked my passion. I always knew I wanted a tattoo to commemorate her, but I didn’t know what until I read her autobiography, Bell Jar. A bell jar actually is the literary symbol for mental illness because they trap anything that is inside, creating a vacuum of a sort. So this tattoo acts as a double meaning for Plath and for mental illness, something I have struggled with as long as I can remember."

Quill

"I figured that since I was going to do a literary half-sleeve and commemorate classic writers, I should get a piece for myself, I mean I am a writer too! Being an English major is a big part of my identity, so I decided on a hand holding a quill."

Frankenstein:

"One of my favorite novels is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It’s a Gothic novel which is a favorite subgenre of mine. One of the main themes of Frankenstein is love, because of that I decided to get a piece of the “bride of Frankenstein”, in the story, the female “monster” was created to act as a companion for the first creation because he said he was lonely and needed love.  One of the themes of the novel is that everyone needs to give and get love, it’s part of being a functioning human being."

Lantern and Quote:

"This is a quote from my favorite Sylvia Plath poem, Lady Lazarus. It reminds me of everything I have been through that got me to where I am now. Because I literally rose from the ash, with my awesome red hair. This is another one that I knew I absolutely wanted for a long time, but I took my time getting it because I wanted to do something really awesome and creative. I realized it fit nicely at the top of my stomach and my boyfriend added the images for a creative flair."

Harper Lee:

"I got this piece right after swearing to myself and to my parents that I would take a tattoo hiatus (yeah, right…). I swear, I tried to keep my promise, but as soon as we came back from Winter break last year, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away, how could I not get a tattoo for her?! I chose this quote because it refers to innocent people who, like the mockingbird, only wish to bring a little happiness into a harsh world. Atticus explains it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird because “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. . .but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.""

Black Cat:

"I really wanted a tattoo for Edgar Allen Poe, but no way was I getting a Raven.. I’m a writer...I hate cliches!! It took me a while to come up with what I wanted, and I had to reread some of Poe’s stories, but after reading The Black Cat, I knew I found it. I mean its just so creepy, I couldn’t not love it. In the story, the narrator cuts his cat’s eye out with a pen and hangs it from a tree. So, I got the mutilated cat. What else?!"

Lipstick:

"I’m a feminist, and that’s what this piece is for. Women are often thought of as weak and agreeable, but we are warriors. Also, I do love lipstick. I love what this tattoo symbolizes. It reminds me that I’m tough and that I can do anything, regardless of my gender."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you’d like to learn more about Kacie and read some of her articles, feel free to take a look at her website: https://www.holonis.com/#!/kacie-renee/.