Tattoos: My form of self-expression

Hope Denney, Reporter

When you go to the doctor and discover you’re going to get a shot most people don’t get too excited about it. I don’t either, but the feeling of having a needle puncture my skin 50 to 3,000 times per minute feels so liberating.

The first time I decided to get a tattoo I was terrified.

Growing up with strictly religious grandparents made me fear the pain and the rejection I would get to having something so permanent on my body. For most people, it’s the same way.

Tattoos have become a way for people to express themselves in any way that they desire.

And in some cases, usually, when someone has many tattoos, tattoos become something that they can just decorate their body with, just like piercings.

The first piercing I decided to get, that was not the average ear lobe piercing you see on girls everywhere, was my septum piercing. That is the piercing in the cartilage between the right and left nose nostrils. Needless (pun intended) to say, it hurt. I held my friend’s hand so tight, he made a comment on how I suddenly turned into a Hulk- one with tears flowing down her face.

Besides that, I only have one other piercing and eight tattoos…thus far.

Tattoos can go anywhere on your body and piercings are pretty much the same way with hip and face piercings, genital piercings and tattoos.

So why would I and many others put ourselves through pain for something that will fade with time and risk being called Neanderthals for?

My piercings and tattoos have become a part of me and the lifestyle I carry.

I used to care what people thought about me constantly- whether it was the way I dressed or the way I looked or the way I talked.

But having tattoos and piercings has allowed me to wear my personality on my sleeve in a way that most people aren’t brave enough to do.

With tattoos and piercings, I have somehow become more outspoken and confident when people ask about them and what they mean.

Each tattoo I have has a meaning.

One for family, my favorite band, matching ones with friends I love, books, a show close to my heart and one for my recent late grandfather.

Tattoos and piercings not only make great conversation starters, but they have been great to my self-esteem.

My tattoos allow any passions or emotions I have to be physically visible. My piercings, however, looked bad-ass and I just wanted them.

Tattoos and piercings can have special meaning into getting them for many people.

Although they have been around for centuries, tattoos and piercings have become more frequent in the last two decades.

And if you are part of the older generation, odds are you think tattoos and piercings make the person a juvenile.

Does a certain tattoo such as “tramp stamp” make you a slut? Or does having a navel piercing make you one?

And do tribal tattoos make you generic?

Odds are you have made an assumption about the someone with tattoos, and odds are that assumption was wrong.

I wear my life in pictures and decoration.

My body is the canvas and that doesn’t make me better than any person who does not have any tattoos or piercings and it does not make me any less.

Hope Denney