With parent permission, students express themselves and show dedication to loved ones through body art

Different forms of body art are really popular among people of all ages. Tattoos and piercings can make a lot of people feel better about themselves and make them feel more confident.

Tattoos can be really meaningful and many are really inspiring. Senior May Bowman has one like this. Bowman’s dad passed away the day before her first day of freshman year. 

May Bowman

“I wanted a way of remembering him and motivating myself throughout my high school career,” Bowman said. Bowman got a flower with “I’m proud of you, love dad” going through it with her dad’s handwriting from a card he had given her at her 8th-grade graduation.

“I always thought about getting tattoos but I never thought I’d get it as young as I did,” Bowman said. “But I think getting it so soon made a huge impact on me.” Bowman’s dad meant the world to her so it really is inspiring and it motivates her to pursue her career and have a bright future.

Some teens know they want tattoos as little kids growing up and seeing them on your favorite artist’s body. “I always wanted tattoos. I just didn’t always know where and what I wanted,” senior Bryanna Walker said. As it turned out, the meaning of Walker’s tattoo was a surprise to her.

“My tattoo is on my left arm and it says ‘Gift from God’ and has a cross going through it and it’s the meaning of my name,” Walker said. “I didn’t even know when I got the tattoo. It wasn’t until after that I searched up the meaning of my name and found out.”

Senior Kemilly Pinto has four tattoos so far. “I’ve always wanted tattoos since I was little,” Pinto said. “I grew up around uncles and aunts who were very religious and always said it wasn’t something ‘women’ or ‘girls’ did, but I always let them know how much I loved them. It’s really a way of me expressing myself and my feelings.”

“My most meaningful one is the one on my wrist,” Pinto said. “It says ‘I am enough.’ When I started high school I really struggled with fitting in and loving myself for who I was and my dad would always tell me, ‘you are enough.’ Just a few weeks ago I went to my tattoo artist and got it written on me for life. My second most meaningful tattoo is the one on my back of a rose with the stem and petals. It means growth. I love tattoos and I really do plan on getting more,” Pinto said.

“Tattoos are fire, like, they’re fresh,” senior Josiah Stewart said. “I want to get a tattoo because there are important things and people in my life that I want on my body. I’d like to think of my body as a blank canvas and I’m just painting things that mean the closest to me.”

Some students like the idea of getting tattoos but are unsure about the commitment. Others can not get them because of religious reasons or because their parents do not consent.

“If I had something I really wanted to tattoo on myself and it wouldn’t embarrass me when people see it, I would get one,” junior Christian Miscioscia said. “But on the other hand I don’t know, because if you get a job some places will make you cover them up. Is it worth it to spend the money on getting a tattoo but having to cover it up when you are at work?”

“I have thought about getting one,” freshman Blake Harden said. “I’m still thinking about it,  but I might get one.”

“Hmm, honestly, I haven’t thought that far yet,” junior Amanda Alonzo said. “I’ve always wanted something, like, meaningful but I don’t know. My friend and I have wanted to get a cute matching character like the Sanrio ones.”

Alonzo would prefer to get one as soon as she turned 18, but because of her parents, that seems to be difficult to get. “Yeah, probably as soon as I turn 18, but you know, Hispanic parents,” junior Amanda Alonzo said.  

For her and for others like her, henna, an ancient type of temporary tattoo or body art made from staining the skin in an intricate pattern with dye made from the henna plant is an appealing alternative.

Besides tattoos, some students choose to express themselves through piercings.

“I have a double helix tragus and my first, second and third earlobe piercings,” senior Kyla Walker said. “I also have my nose pierced. I am very insecure about the way that my ears look so I got them pierced so that I would feel better about the way they looked.”

“My nose piercing is definitely my favorite out of all of them,” added Walker. “If I could only keep one piercing it would definitely be my nose. I am very happy that I got all my piercings. They make me feel better about the way that I look,” Walker said. “When I get older I plan on getting a Saturn tattoo on my wrist because it is my favorite planet. I also plan on getting some matching tattoos with my friends.”

Prospect Hill Academy junior Raiana Vass has two piercings, ears and stomach. Her most recent piercing, her belly ring, was done in June 2020 at the Boston Tattoo company in Somerville. “I always wear crop tops and my stomach looked plain so I felt like it needed some jewelry to spice it up.” 

On a scale of 1-10 in terms of how painful the piercing process and the healing process was, Vass ranked the piercings at about a four and the healing process at a six.  “I am happy with them now,” Vass said. “I was always happy with the look but not the healing process.”  Despite the pain and the tricky aspects of the healing process, Vass still plans on getting more. “Yes, definitely,” she said.

Junior Ana De Lima always wanted to get a piercing. “I convinced a friend to get her septum pierced, so I got mine a few days after her. We were best friends, so it was like a demonstration of our friendship,” De Lima said.

“My advice is that people should take good care of it,” added De Lima. “It’s kind of a pain if it gets infected or something, and, well, it doesn’t hurt to clean it every day. I’d also recommend getting one where you can hide it easily. If I have a job interview, for example, I don’t need to take it off, I just can hide it inside my nose,” De Lima said. “I don’t plan on getting more, mostly because of my dream job. I can’t be ‘remarkable’ or have any distinguishable feature.”

“The process was scary,” De Lima said. “I could see that giant needle piercing my nose and I panicked for a while, but I didn’t feel pain. It was pretty quick. but a few days after I got it, I started having headaches and I couldn’t even touch my nose, so it was painful to clean it. Because of that, i had to deal with some blood, but it wasn’t that bad.”