Body art has increasingly become a worldwide phenomenon in younger age groups. This form of self-expression has flourished this year with teenagers, specifically students at Statesboro High.
According to a recent Fox News survey, in the United States today nearly 45 million people have a tattoo, which accounts for a meager 20% of the general population. Out of that, half are teenagers. It’s been calculated through surveys taken by 2014 registered voters that one in six people hate their tattoos, one-third worry that they’ll begin to look worse as they age, and half admit that their ink could potentially hold them back in their career.
Arguments over tattoos hit closer to home when school is factored into this equation. With two tattoos so far, senior Alexia Hopkins received her first tattoo at 16, and says she isn’t just stopping there.
“My tattoos don’t make me feel any different,” Hopkins said. “They were very painful but it’s an addictive feeling, you crave and want more.”
Fellow classmate Aaron Best has one tattoo, a cross with praying hands overlapping, and claims, “I love it!” To any classmates considering going under the needle, Best said, “If you get one, make sure you get something you’re going to love. You better make sure you’re the type to be able to take a lot of pain!”
Senior Trey Henderson poses a counter argument when asked about his stance on tattoos, declaring he would never get one. “My view is that they’re stupid drawings that never come off of your skin. What if 20 years later I hate it? Then I’m stuck with it.”
To create a tattoo, a puncture wound is made by deeply penetrating the skin with a needle and injecting ink into the outer layer of skin to create a design, which is a very permanent decision.
Henderson continues with, “Plus, when you get old, they look weird.”
Many teens get tattoos done in unsanitary places such as attics, garages and sheds because they can’t persuade their parents to sign consent forms for an actual parlor. These typically result in dissatisfied customers or “tattoo horror stories” like on TLC’s “America’s Worst Tattoos”. As an earnest reminder to any future ink artists, giving tattoos to anyone under 18 without consent forms and proper training/licensing is punishable by Georgia state law with a misdemeanor that could result in to one year in jail.