To ink or not to ink? The debate over tattoos amongst students

by Hailie Rydel

The act of inking the skin has been around for centuries. For various civilizations, tattoos have held importance in their respective culture. Tattoos have functioned as a way to symbolize status, show skill or act as a rite of passage.

Even today, tattoos play a large part in modern culture. It has been turned into an intricate art form that many people partake in.

Marin Morisson Tattoo

Turtle love Marin Morrison ‘18 has a tattoo of a turtle on the top of her right foot. She got her tattoo with her parents’ permission at Sacred Heart Tattoo in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii when she was 16 years old. She got a turtle tattoo because she loves turtles and her first pet was a turtle. Her next tattoo will probably be a dog’s paw print on her other foot and then she will start a sleeve. She wants to have a lot more tattoos eventually covering nearly her whole body.

It goes without saying that people have varying opinions on whether to ink or not to ink.

Some people have already planned on getting several tattoos, while others stand firm in their opposition to them.

Freshman Arianna Saettele is not too impressed with the rising popularity of tattoos. Saettele stands firm in her opposition towards tattoos. “Tattoos are a waste,” Saettele said. “They harm you, cost money and are painful.”

A great deal of people could agree and understand these issues in regards to getting a tattoo. Saettele’s resolute beliefs against tattoos stem from a religious belief and her own personal opinion.

It is her strong belief that our individual bodies are a temple of God, and should be treated as such.

“Your body is the Temple of God, and do you want His Temple to be covered in graffiti?” Saettele said.

Even in regards to religious tattoos, she remains consistent with her dislike of them. If one were to get a tattoo of a religious symbol or a Bible scripture, Saettele still simply views it as a tattoo and does not support it.

Avery Ost Tattoo

Permanent sign of faith Avery Ost ‘18 has the word “faith” with a cross as the “t” and a Bible verse tattooed on her left side over her ribcage. She got her tattoo in March of 2017 over spring break at Eye Candy Tattoo in Ralston. She got the consent of her parents because she was not 18 yet when she got her tattoo. The tattoo reminds her that no matter what happens she should always have faith and that everything is going to be okay. She does want to get another tattoo but comments that it would be a while because it hurt so badly.                                                                               “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10

She strongly believes that religious people do not wish to show themselves off or draw unnecessary attention to themselves. In her opinion, tattoos are flashy to the eye.

Saettele’s family is indifferent towards tattoos. Only a few of her family members have them, but the vast majority do not have any at all. In this respect she agrees with her family’s disliking or indifference of tattoos.

She says it is very unlikely she will change her mind in the future. “I just don’t like them,” Saettele said.

Plenty of students agree with Saettele’s opinion on tattoos. According to the Network October survey of 259 students, roughly 40 percent do not like tattoos nor would they like to get one in the future.

On the other hand, Jolie Falcon, a sophomore, cannot wait to have tattoos.

“I want to be about 50 percent covered,” Falcon said with a laugh. She went on to explain she wants small tattoos on her arms, legs, thighs and possibly her stomach.

Her admiration for tattoos came from a camp counselor, who had a jellyfish tattooed on her forearm. Falcon said she loved that way of expression, and the more she learned about tattoos, the more she wanted to get.

courage Abel

She has courage Math Tutor Ms. Jessica Abel has “Courage” on the top of her right foot. She got this tattoo on a whim in Florida while on a vacation with her friends almost 10 years ago. This was a memorial tattoo for her aunt who passed away of pancreatic cancer. Abel was very close to her aunt, “She was a second mom to me,” she said. “She taught me courage.”

She says she has no theme planned for her multitude of tattoos, that she just wants them organized by color. Falcon said she preferred darker colors like purple or maroon in her tattoos, and that she would also want to get black and white in addition to the color ones.

Her family holds no strong opposition to her love of tattoos. They simply ask that she waits until she is 18 before she decides to ink her skin.

“My grandma would probably give a gasp,” Falcon said. But other than that, her family is generally supportive to her wish to have tattoos.

“Tattoos are cool,” Falcon said, but she explained anyone who has a desire to get a tattoo should learn about it before they make the decision. She also said it is best to get advice and ask questions about the tattoos.

“If you do have tattoos, it’s a really cool way to express yourself. If you don’t, there are other ways to express yourself,” Falcon said with a smile.

Tattoos will continue to grow in popularity, and people will continue to love and hate them.


No tattoos please Arianna Saettele ‘21 is strong in her belief that tattoos are a waste of money and are painful.


Ink me up Jolie Falcon ‘20 cannot wait to get tattoos. She wants several tattoos and believes they are a cool way to express yourself.


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