Inked Up

Tattoos often carry special meaning for those who get them


Bzzzttt. Bzzzztt. The needle moves in and out of the skin, injecting ink into the second layer of skin. For many people, tattoos are a major appeal, for looks and meaning.

Tattoos and piercings are a large factor of modern-day culture and they have become a simple way to show art on your body. For a large portion of students, tattoos and piercings are just a norm and a large number of students have them.

For many, the main issue of getting tattoos is the safety of the needle, making sure the needle is sterile and safe.

Junior Alfonz Luster had major concerns with the safety of his tattoo, and wanted to ensure his safety.

“I wanted to be sure I didn’t get infected and that it was [a clean needle],” Luster said.

Luster’s tattoo is on his arm, and it is of angel wings, representing his grandma who passed away.

“I have a tattoo of my close grandma that passed away a few years ago… when she died I knew my heart was becoming cold,” Luster said. 

The significance of the tattoo for Luster was to remember his grandma every day.

“I think about her every day so I decided to get her on my forearm, so that way I have something to motivate me everyday,” Luster said.

Melissa Hicks, an employee at the Threshold Body Art tattoo parlor, believes that it is very safe to get tattoos.

“The needles we use are cartridges that come sterilized from [American companies] meaning that they are regulated by the health department,” Hicks said.

As safety is a concern for many people wanting to get tattoos, Hicks assures that safety is a big priority.

“All of the artists are trained to fight bloodborne pathogens and perform CPR,” Hicks said.

Junior Zachary McDonald has an owl tattoo on his right forearm, and it represents how he wants to be his own person.

“Owls are really unique in their own ways, and its one of those [tattoos] that I’ve always wanted to get,” McDonald said.

A big priority for McDonald as well was his safety while getting his tattoo.

“I got mine at the Greatest Shot, it was free, but I still wanted to make sure that the needle was clean so I could be safe,” McDonald said.

McDonald wants to make sure his uniquity is expressed on him in the form of tattoos.

“I want my entire left arm to be things that make me different from everyone else, and to prove how I’m unique from all the other people,” McDonald said.