Student Voice


June 16, 2024


Sentimental ink justifies permanence

February 26, 2009

This past weekend while on my way to work, I was wondering what the day would bring. Would the day just drag on? Would the time fly by? What needs to be done? I walked in, only to find my co-worker excited to show me yet another new tattoo she had gotten, added to the two she already had.

“Doesn’t it look awesome? It didn’t even hurt that much!” she said, taking pride in it. To top it all off, she recently had gotten her tongue and lip pierced also. While I feigned some of the enthusiasm in my voice, I wondered what all the hype was about getting multiple tattoos and piercings.

Since I have two piercings in each ear and one in my bellybutton, I can’t exactly contest to them, but I can’t exactly see why anyone would want piercings in their tongue, lip, eyebrow or any other place that seems like it shouldn’t be pierced. But piercings don’t bother me as much as tattoos, much less multiple ones-that is something I really don’t understand.

Honestly, I just don’t see the hype. I don’t see why you would want something like that on your body permanently, big or small. Not to mention all the pain that comes along with it and possible infections.

Yes, it did take a little mental coaching from myself to get my bellybutton pierced, but it’s not permanent, it can be taken out anytime. But with a tattoo, there’s no turning back, unless you want to endure even more pain to get it removed. Getting something put on your body permanently may seem cool now, but how are you going to explain to your (possible) kid one day why they shouldn’t get one, because we all know that all, if not most adults try to persuade otherwise.

I know a lot of adults now that have tattoos who say, “I don’t know what I was thinking” or “I was just a stupid kid back then who didn’t know any better”. 

After asking my co-worker why she got another one and what prompted her to start getting them in the first place, she told me what each one represented. The first one represented her first place win in a pageant in her hometown, the second one was to honor her older sister who unfortunately lost her life two years ago and the third was another symbol that represented her sister.

After hearing each description of her tattoos, I could now somewhat see the reasons why she chose to get them. They were the things that meant the most in her life, things that she wanted to define herself by. Those reasons kind of made sense to me as to why you would want something that permanent put on your body for the rest of your life. But despite all of that, another part of me thinks that there are better ways to show who you are and what you yourself represent to the world. 

Christie Lauer is a student at UW-River Falls.