Students with tattoos and piercings discuss what their body art means to them
by Taylor Isenberg and Kayla Nalepa
You’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Your parents said you could get a tattoo when you can make decisions for yourself. You walk into a tattoo parlor and you tell them what you want. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ve made in your life so far. You hope it’s one you can live with forever.
Junior Noah Sesker’s tattoo is on his right arm and says, “only the strong survive” along with his grandmother’s name. “I got it done at Body of Ink in Lothian,” he said. The artist composed the cross and the rest Sesker designed himself. “I don’t think people think of me differently because of my tattoo,” he said.
Senior Kevin Dilley’s lip piercing has a different story. “I got my piercing because I was into Pop-Punk and was inspired by Tom DeLonge from Blink-182,” he said. While people seem to accept most tattoos, Dilley doesn’t seem to get the same response. “It’s really hard to get jobs, which I don’t understand, I mean look at the rest of me. I’m wearing a polo and khakis,” said Dilley. He got his piercing at Blue Scarab in Waldorf. “I have my lip, so I think they did a good job,” he said.
Senior Josh Kennerly has a tattoo on his left bicep up to his collarbone. “It represents my Grandmother,” he said. His art is extensive. “It has a rose, which was her name, her favorite colors and her favorite animal, a tiger,” said Kennerly.
Junior John Simonds has a tattoo on his right bicep. “It’s for my grandfather. It’s the last thing he said to me, ‘hold your head up high.’” Simonds says getting the tattoo hurt a little, but that Body of Ink did a good job. “People say they like it. No one ever criticizes it,” he said.
Sophomore Randy Bynum has a gauge in his earlobe. “It’s a representation of myself,” he said. “I do crazy things in life that other people wouldn’t do. It makes me unique and different.” It seems that people react differently to piercings. “Most people think it’s disgusting, but I don’t care,” said Bynum. Gauges can range from a 20 (.032 inch) all the way to a 1”. “Right now I’m at a 2 gauge (258”). I want to go to a double zero (.365”).” But Bynum’s work was not done professionally. “I did it myself. I pierced my ear and used a tongue ring for the next size up, I eventually got a kit,” he
explained.” A gauge kit is filled with different sized gauges so when a person is ready to move up, they don’t have to continuously buy more gauges.
Senior Jace Jones has an industrial piercing and a tattoo on her foot. “I like spades and the moon. I got the tattoo on my birthday, and my birthday was on a full moon. I like the aesthetic of the piercing,” Jones said. She says reactions she has received have been mostly positive, “Most people think it’s neat, they’re accepting of it.” The top of the foot is considered one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. “The top of the foot hurts, but you get used to it. The ear piercing just hurt,” she said.
Junior Gabriel Watkins has a few tattoos. “They represent God and my siblings,” said Watkins. Watkins says the tattoo on his shoulder is his favorite. “My back piece, which is feathers with birds represents my siblings, that’s my favorite,” he said Watkins. Like Simonds and Sesker, Watkins got his tattoo at Body of Ink. “They did a great job. I didn’t really design it, I looked up meaningful tattoos,” he said.
While it seems that tattoos get more positive reactions than piercings, students should still be cautious when deciding to get a tattoo. Tattoos are an accessory you will have for life.