The Arrow
Southeast Missouri State University
student publication
December 7, 2016

Q: Why did you get your tattoo?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Dan Fox

Dan Fox
A: Tattoos are an extremely personal form of self-expression, and just like all self-expression, they can be really cool, a little silly or totally absurd depending on how crazy you go with them. I have a single tattoo on my arm. For me, that is the perfect amount of ink. It's simple, it means something personal to me and it's easy to cover up if I ever need to. My sister, who designed my tattoo, has so much ink in her skin you could probably use it to write 10 copies of the "Lord of the Rings." But she uses them as expressions of her art and of herself. She likes people to ask about them, what they mean and how she came up with the design. If you ask me about my tattoo, I'll give a halfhearted answer and change the subject. Not because I'm embarrassed about it or regret it, but because the only person I really want my tattoo to express itself to is me. It may seem rude and antisocial, but it goes to show that everyone's tattoos, and the meaning behind them, are different. Even if you simply walked into a tattoo parlor with no idea what you wanted, picked something random out of the book or the pictures of sample tattoos that hang on the walls, that tattoo would still have a special meaning to you, unless you're just getting said ink to irritate your parents. If that's the case you should probably rethink your decision. But that's the really neat thing about tattoos. There are people who have their whole face covered in ink. It may seem a little absurd to me or your high school principal, but to them every inch of skin that tattoo covers means something to them and conveys a message to someone, or everyone. A tattoo speaks as much about the person who gets it as the design of the ink itself. Since it's such a simple, easy form of self-expression, it's easy to understand why so many people get a bunch of tattoos.

Kelso Hope

Kelso Hope
Photo Editor
A: I have four tattoos that I have acquired throughout the last few years. My first tattoo was on my 18th birthday and from that point on I've been addicted to tattooing. Before my first tattoo I had heard that getting one would hook a person for life, but I really didn't believe it. After my first one, I knew for me that statement was true. I have tried to figure out why this statement rings true with me, and I believe I've come to a conclusion. All of my tattoos symbolize stages in my life that have really affected who I am today. I believe that body art is a way for me personally to express what has happened in my life. One of my tattoos is located on my back; it is a partial heart with a treble clef and music notes inside. The other half of that tattoo is located on my mother's back. During my youth my mother and I had some pretty rough times, and we got broken up for a while. Through a lot of work and forgiveness we came to a great relationship, and she is now one of my best friends. Music was and still is our biggest connection, and we got the tattoo as a symbol of the growth of our relationship. When I see the tattoo I'm reminded of the struggles we had and the love that is stronger because of those events. I believe for a lot of people that's what body art really shows, life that they have experienced. We, as people, desire for people to know us and understand who we are, and I believe that tattooing is one way that people can bring others into their own world. I am a great supporter of body art, and any time I can delve into someone else's reasoning I love it. It's wonderful to see that body art has stepped from a taboo issue to a celebrated art form.