Tattoos are becoming more common and more accepted in society today and people are beginning to get them for all kinds of different reasons. Though many people still put their skin under the needle just for the sake of having beautiful artwork forever imprinted on their bodies, most tattoos usually come with compelling, sad, interesting, or happy stories attached to them.
“I have a tattoo that I got done when I was 18. I got it in memory of my grandmother who passed away when I was really young. It’s a rose; her name was Rose, with the date that she passed away underneath it. We were really close so it’s my most meaningful tattoo,” said Melissa Ardella, a third year fine arts student who has several tattoos.
Like Ardella, memorial tattoos are one of the top reasons why people get tattoos. When a loved one passes on, tattoo lovers like their family members to live on in beautiful artwork that they can admire on their own bodies forever.
Aside from memorial tattoos, meaningful tattoos expressing a current loved one are popular among people today as well.
“Me and my sister have a matching tattoo of the word ‘love’ on our ribs. We had always planned to one day get a tattoo together so when [my younger sister] turned 18, we got them done together. I think it will be a memory that we’re always going to have together and I know that neither of us will ever regret them later on [in life],” said Daniella Simpson, who admits that this is currently her only tattoo but is planning on getting more work done soon.
The thought of regret later on in life is one that crosses the mind of several tattoo-lovers, and often is the reason why a lot of people refuse to get ink done in the first place.
“It’s not like I get asked all the time but [yes], I have been asked ‘oh, are you going to regret any of your tattoos in the future?’ and I can honestly say that I don’t think I will because they all mean something really important to me, even the ones that [I had done] just for fun,” said Ardella, “I don’t think having a lot of visible tattoos is a bad thing when you are as proud of them as I am of mine. I wouldn’t change any of them.”
Like Ardella, Jimmy Wynne, a paramedic with a half sleeve on his arm, agrees that regret does not cross his mind when he thinks about any of his tattoos.
“Each tattoo in my sleeve represents different aspects of my life,” said Wynne, exposing a paramedic symbol tattoo on his arm that clearly represents his passion for his career, “I have my kids’ names, a Canadian flag, a drum set; I’ve always been a drummer my whole life.”
It seems the stigma of tattoos may be disintegrating as people today receive ink for all different types of reasons. Every tattoo comes with a story, whether it’s something simple like someone liked the way it looked, or something more meaningful like a representation for a loved one or aspects of their own lives.