Tattoos no longer considered to be taboo

Senior Kieon Davis has four different tattoos and plans on getting more. He got his first tattoo when he was 16 years old.

Faculty, students more apt to have body art than previous generations

  Younger generations are more open to more diverse opinions, ideas, beliefs, and many other things, according to a 2008 study by Pew Research Center reported in the article “Tattooed Gen Nexters.While older generations may have frowned at the idea of tattoos in a professional setting, the trend has become not only accepted, but adopted by Millennial and Gen Z as a form or self expression

  “I 100 percent  think the younger generation sees it as an artist’s way of expression,” social studies teacher and coach Jared Steenburgen said. “I think as each generation passes, we kinda accept more things. That’s just in life in general, and not just in tattoos.”

  According to the Pew Research study, a majority think tattoos are socially acceptable. About 36 percent of Americans, age 18-25, have at least one tattoo according to Pew Research Center. This isn’t just in the bigger cities – this includes Warsaw High School. With tattoos becoming more and more socially acceptable, more people continue to get them.

  One of the students included in the Pew Research Center’s 13 percent of students with multiple tattoos is senior Kieon Davis. Davis has a total of four tattoos and plans on getting more. One tattoo is a mechanical heart on his chest, and another is an eagle going across the middle of his back. For all four of them, he went to the same parlor and the same artist.

  “Same place, same person, every time. She draws up all of my tattoos,” said Davis.

   Davis has not experienced any backlash or negativity around getting his tattoo. However, Davis has learned something from the process of getting inked.

  “It hurt a lot. It’s a bunch of little needles stabbing you over and over again,” Davis said.

  Even though the experience was painful and time-consuming, Davis does not regret getting his tattoos, neither does his parents. His parents paid for his first tattoo as a late 16th birthday present.

  Junior Austin Rosser got both of his tattoos with color and is inked on each one of his arms. One has a confederate flag, which has caused some negative comments due to the controversial symbol. One of Rosser’s tattoos is a globe and an anchor for his marine father, and then he got a camouflage cross with a confederate flag ribbon going around it.

  Senior Shelby Dunnam has a total of seven different tattoos. Hers all have meanings behind them, but she doesn’t have anything against people whose tattoos don’t have meanings. Dunnam’s tattoos each have specific meaning behind them. She even has one for her grandmother.

  “I mean if you wanna get a tattoo of a pineapple then get it. I mean, it’s your life,” Dunnam said.

  Students are not the only ones who are part of the tattoo statistic. Government teacher Jared Steenburgen, coach Ryan Boyer, science teacher Justin Thomas, coach Johnny Eierman and business teacher Kimberly Pate are just a few teachers who have multiple tattoos. Business teacher Bethany Seigel, math teacher Bobbi Swisher, vice principal Cody Wright, resource officer David Fajen, and principal Danny Morrison are all teachers and administrators who have at least one tattoo. Many of them got them when they were younger.

  All of Steenburgen’s tattoos have some form of meaning behind them.

  “Well I think that every single tattoo has a meaning or a purpose behind it. It kind of turns into a symbol of where they’re at in that period of their life. Whether they realize it or not, it’s something they will refer back to,” Steenburgen said.

  Steenburgen keeps most of his tattoos covered up because he feels it might be considered unprofessional in the workplace, although, he doesn’t see anything wrong with tattoos.

  Pate has a total of two tattoos and each with their own unique story behind them. Pate doesn’t regret her tattoos, and doesn’t frown upon anyone who does have tattoos.

  “If they are a responsible adult then I don’t think I would think anything,” Pate said.

  Siegel only has one tattoo done in white ink. She chose to get it in white ink because she says it’s for herself. Despite having her own tattoos, Siegel believes that professionals with tattoos displayed in the workplace could be considered unprofessional.

  Morrison has one single tattoo. His tattoo is a simple scrawl of his last name. He got it at the age of 19 and does regret getting it. He, just like many other teachers, believe that teenagers should wait to get tattoos until 18, but he doesn’t frown upon people or students that have tattoos. Morrison doesn’t consider tattoos in general to be unprofessional, but it could depend on the content of the art.