Tattoos: to have or to have not?


YouTuber and influencer Snitchery keeps her tattoos on display and often makes videos explaining their meanings to her subscribers. / Photo from Snitchery on Instagram

Shakinah Silverberg, Contributing Writer

Whether or not to get a tattoo is kind of a big deal. Whatever you choose to have tattooed on yourself will most likely be there for  the rest of your life, so whatever you get, you have to make it count.  

Though the practice of tattooing has existed for centuriesmany people are still hesitant when considering getting their first tattoo. There are many negative connotations surrounding tattooing, especially when it comes to presenting yourself professionally for a jobMost people seem to get tattoos for emotional reasons andfor the sake of having something meaningful to them displayed on their body. Though there may still be a stigma,   tattoos are seeming to become less influential since many in the younger generations don’t mind them as much.  


“I believe there is a stigma. People with visible tattoos may be viewed as unprofessional,” freshman Jocelyn Arroyo said. “This issue has gotten better, with people realizing thatattoos have nothing to do with a person’s work ability.” 


Many people have embraced the culture surrounding tattoos and have chosen to use them to turn their bodies into works of art. large number of influencers on social media today are covered in tattoos. Prominent YouTubers make videos about their tattoos, often titling them something along the lines of ‘the meanings behind my tattoos revealed.’ Some claim they do such videos just for the sake of having something to make a video about, but many of these YouTubers as well as many others are deeply attached to their tattoos, sometimes dedicating them to loved ones or causes that they feel strongly for.  


Many people may say that this is just another way for those of our generation to establish themselves as “different” from others, similar to the large number of people who dye their hair crazy colorsand get a number of unconventional piercings,in addition to  the ever changing fashion style that arguably varies more in our generation than many others. This generation seems to be more into doing things that older generations may deem “extreme.” One of the things that many soon-to-be 18-year-olds are looking forward to is getting a tattoo since, even with our society growing more accepting of so many things, the general consensus is that parents believe that their children shouldn’t get tattoos and won’t consent to it. 


This belief may stem from the fact that parents don’t trust their children to get a tattoo that they won’t regret, when the case is, anyone can get a tattoo in the moment and the next morning look in the mirror and regret it. Matching tattoos with a former partner, or even having an ex’s name tattooed on your arm can be pretty embarrassing. Even worse is when you make a split-second decision to get a tattoo that you swore said “no regrets,” and wake up with “no regerts.” Surely, you at least have one regret after that.  


Whether you chose to get one tattoo or dozens of them, how you chose to express yourself with the art of tattooing is unique for each person. At Iona, the student body seems to be mostly neutral on the idea of tattoos. They are respected, but not many students have them. This personal choice does not negate the fact that tattoos are a form of art that people use to share a piece of themselves with others, and to be able to feel confident in their own skin.