Tattoos! Teens Transition to Adulthood

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Are tattoos a way for seniors to transition into adulthood or are they just a new trend? Tattoos are permanent and stay on you forever, unless later removed.. Some people get tattoos that hold meaning and some get tattoos just to have them. We got skin deep to discover the various and unique tattoo stories from the newly turned 18-year-olds at Chapin High School. These students are joining the other 45 million Americans who made the lifelong decision of getting inked.

Tattoos are significant because they’re a way to show who you are and what you’ve experienced. As we researched others’ opinions, we found that very few people in our generation have an issue with tattoos. Just like any other controversial topic, students have their own opinions on the matter. Many students at Chapin High School view tattoos as being acceptable, common, and “are a unique form of expression with strong meanings,” said Josh Corning, a junior. Due to the fact that they’re largely accepted, more and more seniors are inking up. Some seniors get tattooed to show what they’ve experienced. “I got this one because of what I’ve been through and the hope I have for the future,” said Madison McLean. “It just means ‘hold on pain ends’. It’s a reminder that no matter what I go through, I should always have hope.”

One of the main conflicts regarding tattoos seems to be with religion. Some people may get a tattoo to express symbols of their faith, while others believe tattoos mar the body, or temple, God has given you. “Mormons can’t have tattoos because God gave you your body and you’re supposed to keep it healthy and pure,” said Jasper Aiken, a senior at Chapin High School.  “Tattoos are impurities, but people are free to do what they want with their body,” he said. On the other hand, a tatted senior, Nicole Whitlock said, “I got this tattoo because it is my favorite Bible verse and it represents my faith.”

Tattoos are also a way to commemorate special relationships. Several recently tattooed ladies have ink that symbolize their relationships with their mothers. “My tattoo signifies the sacred bond between a mother and a daughter,” said Hali Worley about the ink she shares with her birth mother. Michaela Dunkley, a senior, says “My mom and I are really close and we got tattoos to symbolize that. We got the lyrics of ‘You are my Sunshine’ on our backs because it was a song she always sang to me when I was younger.”

Regardless of opinions, tattooing is in fact an art. Tattoo artists study for years to perfect their skill. Learning the meaning behind someone’s tattoo gives you a glimpse of their story and what has made them who they are. Your body is your canvas and the decision is yours – to ink or not to ink?

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