What do you think about body ink?

Students share their thoughts on tattoos

By Christian Hunick
On February 23, 2018

Photo by Axel Marcenaro
Hali Johns, senior, proudly shows her tattoo. Johns’ ink commemorates her late grandfather with a flowered design and date.

The Ninth Annual West Texas Tattoo Convention is coming to the McNease Convention Center Feb. 23-25, providing an opportunity for tattoo enthusiasts at ASU to get ink from prominent tattoo artists.

According to the Pew Research Center, more and more college-aged people are embracing body art as the new paradigm for self-expression; 38 percent of millennials reporting to have at least one tattoo.

As expected, the percentage of people with tattoos decreases with older generations. Only 32 percent of individuals from Generation X (age 30-45), 15 percent of the baby boomers (age 46-64), and six percent of the Silent Generation (age 76-93) have one or more tattoos.

Given these statistics, one might expect to see nearly four out of ten students at ASU boasting tattoos; however, 70 percent of millennials, the generation that describes most current ASU students, say that their tattoos are generally not visible.

Although the rate of tattooing among young people is increasing, those without tattoos are still in the majority.

Senior Sungyun Park is one such student who does not have any tattoos and would rather stay ink-free.

"I have never had one before, and I don’t think I would get one later," Park said.

Freshman Jenna Wells, on the other hand, has several, each of which has a special meaning to her.

"I have one on my shoulder of a magnolia flower because it was my mom’s favorite flower," Wells said. "She passed away not too long ago, and I wanted to get a tattoo to remind myself that even though she is gone, a part of her still lives on inside me."

Wells acknowledged that although most people seem to be accepting of her tattoos, she is still required to cover them up at work.

"There’s still a stigma about your tattoos being visible in the workplace," Wells said. "It doesn’t make much sense to me, but I have to be careful what I wear so I don’t get in trouble."

Students interested in checking out the West Texas Tattoo Convention can purchase tickets online. Single-day passes are $15 and a pass for all three days is $30.

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