High School Tattoos

Adaptation of photograph by Derek Gavey, available under a Creative Commons

Attribution license. Copyright © 2010 Derek Gavey.

Adaptation of photograph by Derek Gavey, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Copyright © 2010 Derek Gavey.

Carter Robinson, Campus Life Editor

Before the turn of the century in the United States, tattoos used to be a symbol of rebellion and an art form available only to fringe groups and outcasts. Nowadays, tattoos have moved into the mainstream and become far more accessible, especially to high school students. Deciding whether or not you’re ready for a tattoo is a personal decision, one that many high schoolers have made recently.

Tattoos are neither good nor bad. My personal belief is that you should only get a tattoo if you can recognize how serious they are. I admit that at some point in my life I hope to get a tattoo. That could happen in the next six months or in the next six years. When I get one, it will hold personal meaning for me because I understand the implications a tattoo can bring such as . Olivia Hughes, grade 11, talked to me about her beliefs on tattoos. Hughes agrees that teens should wait until they are legally allowed although she said she would already have a tattoo if it weren’t for her parents. “I want to get a rosebush on my side with eleven roses, each represents a different meaning. I want my whole back tattooed, one on my left arm and some on my feet.” Hughes told me about her future tattoos.

Everyone knows that a tattoo is a commitment. It’s not something that just washes away in a few days or can be rubbed off if you grow tired of it. The only way to remove a tattoo is through a painful procedure involving a laser and a lot time and money spent. Even if you don’t wish to remove the tattoo, there is still the issue of being in high school, where body art is not part of the dress code. At many schools, students who have tattoos must hide them, so what’s the point of getting a tattoo if you can’t show it off? However, for many students, a tattoo is something personal and not something that needs to be flamboyantly advertised to fellow peers.

Seeing a student with a tattoo is a lot less common than seeing one with an extra piercing or two. As long as you know the commitment of getting a tattoo, then I say go for it. Do not get a tattoo for the sake of fitting in or because you’ve fallen under peer pressure. Tattoos really are a form of art and expression and they can be really beautiful things if taken care of and chosen wisely.