By Marc-Olivier Drouin |staff writer|
Once frowned upon, tattoos and piercing are now becoming very popular. So popular that it is really easy to spot someone on campus who carries a unique piece of art on their skin.
Students at CSUSB definitely love ink!
Years ago, tattoos and piercings held a negative meaning because of their association with biker gangs and criminals.
With the rising popularity of body modification among the population in the 21st century, they have become a form of expression rather than a sign of rebellion.
Even if tattoos and piercings are not yet fully accepted in the workplace, TV shows like “Miami Ink” and “L.A. Ink” have helped to democratize the tattoo and piercing industry.
Those TV shows have influenced many people from the Generation Y to consider a tattoo or a piercing on their body.
According to the Pew Research Center, 38 percent of this generation has a tattoo and 23 percent have a piercing.
Emilie Chacon, like many students, falls into this category with her many piercings and tattoos. Let’s discover her experience with what dictionaries used to call “body modifications.”
Like many people of the inked community, Chacon’s tattoos have a unique and meaningful story to her.
“My tattoo is on my hip and is a combination of three stargazer flowers,” said Chacon.
She said she got inked after her mother-in-law passed away from lung cancer four years ago.
“We were very close and she was a great confidante. I decided to get pink lilies because they were my mother-in-law’s favorite kind of flower. This tattoo is definitely a tribute to this unforgettable woman and the symbol of our relationship; she was one of my best friends,” continued Chacon.
Student Amanda Wigley has a full sleeve of tattoos that are much more visible than Chacon’s. The galaxy on her right arm is a real piece of art and represents the idea that there is something more out here. She also has other tattoos that, just like Chacon, are a tribute to loved ones.
Chacon and Wigley’s tattoos represent something to them – there is a story and a significance behind them.
Since tattoos are permanent and the process to have them removed is painful and costly, those interested in getting tattoos should choose something that won’t bother you after two years.
As for piercings, for Chacon, everything started in high school.
“Like many teenagers, I was influenced by pop stars with navel piercings. I wanted one so bad!” said Chacon.
Unfortunately for her, her parents were against any kind of body modifications. She got her first piercing without the approval of her mom and dad.
“I was minor, and I did it illegally with a fake ID!” explained Chacon. “But my mom rapidly discovered my pierced belly button.”
After her navel piercing, Chacon got her lip and tongue pierced. It varies from person to person, but for her, the belly button was the most painful to get.
If you are considering getting a tattoo or piercing in the future, remember to always make sure you get them done in a safe, clean and recommended studio.