Why Tattoos Aren’t Taboo

Written by Laura Beier

 

Significance: the Taurus constellation with every point as a flower

Significance: the Taurus constellation with every point as a flower

Ever since I knew what a tattoo was, I was intrigued and wanted plenty of my own. My dad had gotten one that symbolized his favorite spot in Madison, Wisconsin, when I was 9 or 10 years old, and it fascinated me – you could get something permanent and beautiful on your skin that was meaningful? Like art, but on your body?

Fast forward a few years and I was designing one of my own at age 16. Of course, I couldn’t get one until I was 18, but I was counting down the days. I settled on a self-drawn mandala design, to symbolize karma and the connectivity of the universe. Luckily for me, my parents were flexible and supportive about it, but I got my fair share of negative feedback from classmates.

Significance: • mandala {Sanskrit: 'circle'} a spiritual and ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism, representing the Universe •

Significance: • mandala {Sanskrit: 'circle'} a spiritual and ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism, representing the Universe •

The thing is, a tattoo is a personal decision regarding your choices and your body. While many people have practical reasons to not get any (ex: not wanting to jeopardize chances of getting a job or not having anything meaningful enough to have permanently on their body), many other people have just as practical reasons for getting them. In fact, my internship supervisor this past summer at a magazine company  loved my mandala tattoo (just saying, it’s not necessarily unprofessional to have them.) I’m not saying everyone should have tattoos, I’m saying that they’re a form of self expression and the stigma around them should dissolve.

Significance: My favorite flower (rose), my friend’s favorite flower (daisy), and a flower symbolizing friendship in the middle (zinnia)

Significance: My favorite flower (rose), my friend’s favorite flower (daisy), and a flower symbolizing friendship in the middle (zinnia)

Take for instance, my roommate. For years she and her family were against tattoos, no matter how meaningful, and she thought it would never be an option for her. However, upon going to college, finding herself extremely passionate about the band twenty one pilots and their music, and living with me (I like to think I had just a little bit to do with it), she realized she wanted one. After explaining to her parents how meaningful their songs and relatable their lyrics were to her, they came around.

Significance: Twenty One Pilots logo with a rose. “Am I the only one I know / Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat”

Significance: Twenty One Pilots logo with a rose. “Am I the only one I know / Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat”

Moral of the story: tattoos are a personal decision and self-expressive and should not be labeled as anything else. Carry on.