Wear your personality on your sleeves

Wear your personality on your sleeves

One in five adults in the United States has at least one tattoo, according to a 2012 poll done by Harris Interactive.

For many people  tattoos are an art, a way of life and form of expressing creativity and life stories by having them inked onto their skin.

While stereotypes about tattoos still roam society, they become more common each and every day.

Television shows such as “L.A. Ink” and “Tattoo Highway” have helped shape tattooing into becoming an accepted part of our culture, allowing diversity to be dispersed among people of all ages.

Have a conversation with someone who chose to cover their body in ink and they’ll broaden your mind with many stories represented and preserved in their skin, giving us a sense of what makes that person unique.

Their bodies are a canvas and a representation of who they are, will be, or have been.

City College student Kalyca Becktel shares these views.

“Tattoos are definitely a unique way to express yourself, and I definitely like to stand out,” Becktel said. “I think that tattoo artwork is an amazing way to do it. I think people are much more open in accepting tattoos now.”

Todd Smithson of Nothing Sacred, a local San Diego tattoo shop, has been tattooing for ten years. He says his favorite part of the job is finishing a tattoo.

“There’s so much control over everyone’s  lives that it’s just their own little way of being different, trying to have control over what’s still theirs,” said Smithson.

The reasoning behind someone’s body art differs with each person.

Elias Garcia, a City College student, revealed his reasons.

“I got my tattoos as I traveled around the military. I wanted something to remember every trip by. It was also not just to remember where I’ve been but remember how I felt at certain times and certain places in my life,” Garcia said.

“It’s all a matter of capturing a feeling, capturing a memory, a place or person that I’ve had in my life,” he added.

While it is known that for people with tattoos, getting a job is a bit harder, Garcia said that it has actually helped him.

The stories of people regretting what they inscribe into their skin are plentiful, yet that number is overpowered by the percentage of people who don’t regret their tattoos.
Based on the Harris poll, 86 percent of people do not regret their body art work, they do.

Danielle Dukes, another student at City College said, “I don’t regret them because it’s what I wanted and who I was at the time. Although now, it doesn’t really reflect on who I am.”
“People are always changing. What I get now probably won’t be where I am ten years from now, but it’s a story about me growing as a person,” Dukes said.

Religion is also a big player in the reasoning behind people and the tattoos they acquire.

City student Matt Sesslin has a religious story behind his art work. His beliefs in Christianity are on his arm in a vibrant display.

“There are a lot of people that do criticize me about having tattoos and being a Christian,” Sesslin said.

“I use it as a teaching point to say we can’t pick and choose which rules to follow. It’s not about following rules in the first place, it’s about Jesus. I’m decorating my body; it’s just going to go in the grave when I’m done with it,” Sesslin added.

It is obvious that in the end, the reasons why people get their tattoos vary.

The stereotypes and prejudices still lurk around, due to the view society has placed upon us.

Whether it is for fun, religion, group association, or the remembrance of a loved one, all tattoos share a common theme, and that is the influence art has on a person as a whole.

Donate to City Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Diego City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover the cost of training and travel to conferences, and fund student scholarships. Credit card donations are not tax deductible. Instead, those donations must be made by check. Please contact adviser Nicole Vargas for more information at [email protected].

More to Discover
Donate to City Times

Activate Search
The news site of San Diego City College
Wear your personality on your sleeves