TO BE OR NOT TO BE, INKED

A new stigma is surrounding tattoos.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE, INKED

Samantha Powers, Social Media Manager

Tattoos have been a part of many cultures, starting with the Egyptians, and they are becoming more popular with teenagers, and more specifically, popular among students at Suncoast. Tattoos used to have the stigma that anyone who had them were tacky and trashy; however, tattoos are now being looked at as a form of art and a way of self expression that can be worn and seen by all. While it is a little unusual for teenagers to have tattoos, there are more students at Suncoast who have them for various personal reasons.

The stigma that used to surround tattoos is changing due to the younger generation’s want for body art and the need to be able to express themselves through art that can be physically showed. This is also being fueled by social media, as the sharing of ideas and concepts through multiple platforms can change ideas more rapidly.

Tattoos are intended to be creative and usually are original pieces of artwork that go on the body. The meaning of the tattoo can also be communicated differently, depending on where the placement of the tattoo is on the body. The placement of a tattoo can have different meanings, or no meaning, for each person.

“It’s like permanent art. They represent things I care about, and moments in my life that I love and it’s an expression of art that I always get to have with me wherever I go,” Suncoast photography teacher Josephine Murray-Johnson said. It is always nice to have a little, or large, reminder of the things that one loves in their life, and tattoos can act as informal keepsakes that hold much more meaning than what meets the eye. Tattoos hold stories that go beyond the skin, and they have the ability to allow other pieces to be added or connected to one original piece, thus making the artwork more valuable to the one who has tattoos.

Consequently, if tattoos are becoming more prominent, and are being shown more, then limitations could placed on the individual. This may limit their availability to participate in school events, sports, or limit them in the workplace. More and more teenagers are facing these difficulties due to an increase in tattoos. While it is great to have beautiful pieces of artwork on one’s body, sometimes there are limitations that can ruin the purpose or the message of the tattoo.

“I decided to place my tattoo on my forearm because I wanted it to be seen. My tattoo hasn’t interfered with any places of work or school. The only thing that it has interfered with is band because I’ll have to cover it because we all have to look the same,” Suncoast senior Tyler Stubbs said. Due to some public school restrictions, some tattoos need to be covered if they are not already easy to cover.

There are obstacles that come with having tattoos, such as a situation with Stubbs, where he needs to find outfits that allow him to appear uniform with the rest of the Chargerettes. However, due to the ideas that are changing in society, there may be no limitations in the future that require the need to hide any tattoos.