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How My Family’s Tattoos Shaped the Decision of My First Tattoo

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Point Park chapter.

I sat down in my tattoo artist’s chair, and as he dipped his needle into the ink, he said “Are you ready, lady?”

*record scratch*

So, you’re probably wondering what got me into this situation.

Above: Done by Cara Cable at Black Cat Tattoos in Lawrenceville

When I turned 16, I walked down the stairs and asked my mom if I could get a tattoo. Both of my parents have multiple tattoos, which is super cool and extremely inspiring. I’ve been to some of their tattoo appointments as well, so my parents are very supportive and excited about body art. Yet, when I trotted down the stairs in full confidence my mom would say “Ah yes, let’s go right now!” the word “no” slapped across my face. BamBOOZLED. I questioned her up at down as to why I was not allowed to get a beautiful tattoo–of something probably stupid–and she told me that as cool as tattoos are, your first one should mean something to you.

Above: Done by Cara Cable at Black Cat Tattoos in Lawrenceville

My mom’s first tattoo was a Celtic knot, but it’s now covered by a purple crab on her shoulder blade. This tattoo is a little nod to me, as I was born in July as a Cancer and my mom’s favorite color being purple. With her reminder of this fact, I sat back and really started thinking about what I wanted to get on my skin permanently. It was only when I was 17 years old did I get my first tattoo; almost a year and half later.

I have been in love with films since I was 6 years old, and eventually finalized the decision to get a tattoo of a film reel with the count-down cascading down my shoulder. It really represented my passion for films, and how my childhood was represented in the passion; I can honestly say it will most likely be one of the most influential tattoos on my body.

Finding the meaning behind my tattoo took its time, but now it was time to actually GET the tattoo.

*record scratch*

Okay, we’re back.

Above: Done by Rich Cosgrove at Inka Dinka Doo Tattoos in Lawrenceville

I had a tattoo needle pressed against my arm for 4 ½ to 5 hours; what a hell of a first tattoo, right? Rich Cosgrove, my AMAZING tattoo artist, left me feeling confident we were going to get through this with no tears, and he kept this promise. With multiple water breaks and stretches, we got through it with little pain and lots of good laughs. My parents of course were there with me the whole journey (I miss you guys!) and we left with nothing but smiles. I now finally realized the bond between tattoos and my family was more than skin deep. And yes, for all of you who are wondering, it’s been one year since I got my first tattoo, and I have a tattoo appointment scheduled next August with my mom to get a mother-daughter tattoo. I’m sure a few might be squeezed in before then.

Tattoos are such a unique art which connect my family, and I hope other families as well. Out of he two tattoo shops my family and I have been to, they are 100% reliable and produce incredible body art. 15/10 would and do recommend to everyone with an ink-ling for tattoos. If you have any family tattoo bonding stories, tweet us @HCPointPark and share your family quirks! Until next time, enjoy your tattoos, because they’ll be with you always.


Her Campus Video Coordinator PPU Cinema Production Major
Rebekah Mohrmann is a Senior Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management major and Multimedia minor at Point Park University. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @rebekahxmarie.