Teens experiment with appearance changes for self discovery


Artist Curtis Page giving Madie Breshears her first tattoo Photo by Bonnie Davis

  When a teenager chooses to color their hair or pierce a part of themselves, they are changing their appearance. A lot of people, especially in teenage years, go through changes and they express it through a visual change on themselves.

  Senior Ryan Burks changed his appearance with tattoos in the journey of creating the skin that he has wanted for a long time. Burks explained feeling better about the appearance he showed to the public.

   “I wanted something different, I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I bought some black hair dye and set times up with a tattoo artist. After, I felt a little better about my appearance,” Burks said.

  Sophomore Madie Breshears expresses herself through the art of ink pierced into skin as well. Breshears had spent months looking for her piece and she couldn’t find one. A day spent with friends in a tattoo parlor, Breshears saw a sketch and found she wanted a similar piece involving a clock and a rose.

  “At first, I didn’t feel different like I was hoping,” Breshears said. “People started to notice and I felt more comfortable with the way people viewed me and the way I viewed myself.”  

According to article Body Image and Self-Esteem by D’Arcy Lyness they express the drive to change as a teen is based upon “ body image can be closely linked to self-esteem when they begin puberty because it’s a time when the body goes through many changes.”

 Change could be for better or worse and,  for some, their change was hair which they viewed as a way to reflect their personality, whether that be trimming it a few inches or cutting the whole length. Many teens experiment with hair changes in high school.

  Sophomore Jillian Botteron enjoyed the idea of her hair being cut, but afterwards Botteron’s opinion of how she looked altered. Botteron cut twelve inches off. She said she would not cut that much off again for she regretted it.

  “I felt more myself with long hair, I would not change it in the future,” said Botteron.

 For some, it’s an emotional journey. Sophomore Autumn Bauer explained that changing was an empowering act, even though change was based fully upon herself. Bauer said her appearance change in her choice of clothing came through growing older and wiser.

  “The process for me was I changed my hair, started to wear makeup, and being more confident in how I chose to present myself,” said Bauer. “I felt happier like I was able to express my true personality and it felt empowering.”