Making a mark: Are tattoos and piercings prevailing?

Courtesy of David Scott
A fence behind American Art, handiwork from Derrick Noel.

Staff Reporter

At times it is hard to find common ground among peers. Nonetheless, interest is piqued when sharing opinions and experiences about piercings and tattoos.

Only recently, however, did these types of body modifications become mainstream. Not too long ago, multiple piercings were considered unprofessional and taboo.

Owner of “American Art Tattoo” David Scott sees university students on a daily basis. Scott has owned the tattoo shop for almost 30 years and has noticed an influx of students coming in to get a tattoo or piercing.

Piercings on display, this student likes to express her personality.

For students who are interested in body art or piercings, Scott emphasizes that piercings can be taken out. Tattoos are more permanent. It is important to choose your artist wisely — someone who is experienced and a good communicator.

“It’s primal, it’s hard to explain, but it goes back to the dawn of time. You have the ice man who dates back 5,000 years, he’s got tattoos,” Scott says of why tattoos are still in style to this day.

Manuel Pinales, a tattoo artist at “American Art Tattoo,” says he sees people come in with a variety of reasons for getting tattoos. Some tattoos represent different phases in people’s lives — a new child, their jobs, their relationships.

“You get to create and make people happy, some people get tattoos and cry because they are so happy, which makes me happy,” Pinales says.

Piercings are not always planned. Freshman Maysi Salt has a total of 10 piercings and most of them were spontaneous. Salt says her parents were hesitant when she shared her interest in getting a nose piercing. It was not until she turned 18 that her parents allowed her to get her nose pierced.

completely unmarked, another student expresses her thoughts regarding having no piercings or tattoos.

“I think there’s more of a stigma around excessive facial piercings — I find that ear piercings are not very commented on, but if you have an eyebrow piercing then I think that could be a little bit excessive and you may be prone to more stigma,” Salt says.

Freshman Jessica Hamilton does not have any piercings or tattoos at all. Her reasoning for not having any piercings are that it seems too painful.

“I plan on getting a tattoo eventually, but I don’t have any now because I have a low pain tolerance and that’s pretty much the same with my ears,” Hamilton says, “I think it looks cool, but I just don’t feel like taking care of it.”

Despite that, Hamilton says she plans on getting a tattoo in the near future.

Family members write I love you so that Stetson could always remember them.

For junior Hannah Stetson, her tattoo is a constant reminder of her family’s love. When she was 18, Stetson asked her mother, sister and father to write “I love you,” and had a tattoo artist trace their handwriting onto her left rib.

Stetson finds that she overall receives positive comments, and her grandmother has even given her a stamp of approval. Her tattoo is a sentimental expression of her family’s affection.

“It’s like adding another layer to yourself,” Stetson says. “It’s timeless. Tattoos have been around for a while and I feel like mine withstands time.”

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  • comment-avatar

    Just to be clear Darrick Noel did the mural for American Art.

  • comment-avatar

    Sorry but I misspelled Derrick’s name. It’s Derrick not Darrick.

  • comment-avatar

    Great to hear the story. I am a fan of piercing. Tattoos and piercing can never go out of fashion. Some people had to do piercing because of their tradition. But now people are doing it to look more stylish and it is the coolest trend.

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