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Tattoos: A Taboo of the Past

by Cassidy Lunney

Blood, sweat, pain and tears are often the sensations associated with getting a tattoo layers deep. But for some, tattoos are an addicting adrenaline rush that satisfies the most insatiable urges. As of late, tattoos have been widely accepted in the United States, especially among college students.

Tattoos have revolutionized themselves over time, becoming more popular now than ever. They were formerly deemed trashy and unattractive, but now people are lining up to get one the second they turn 18. People often try to incorporate meaning into their ink, as certain cultures do too, but it is more often than not that people get them for the hell of it.

I myself have eight tattoos that might be considered intriguing to friends and other people my age who do not know me. Whether someone catches a glimpse of the skeletons making out near my elbow or the geometric-style Audrey Hepburn on my forearm, they are typically surprised.


A tattoo of two skeletons making out done by Evil Rob at Blackwork Tattoo.
Cassidy Lunney | The Montclarion Photo credit: Cassidy Lunney

One would assume all of my tattoos are noticeable, but honestly I forget I have them myself and other people are shocked when I reveal that I have them at all.

A majority of my tattoos were more thought out than others and by that I mean a few weeks or even days in advance. A lot of my tattoos were actually quite impulsive. This would have been frowned upon even just five or six years ago, but today it seems to be the norm.

While there are still some gray areas when it comes to employment, there are laws prohibiting employers from not hiring a person because of their tattoos or appearance. However, they do not protect tattooed folk from being internally judged by said employers.


Cassidy Lunney shows off her arm tattoos.
Photo courtesy of Chris Alexander

My major is fashion studies with a minor in journalism, so there is a bit of leeway. My goals in life are to work in the communication field either at a magazine, at a radio station or for television.

For internship interviews, I try and cover up my arms as much as possible because I do not want to be faced with potential bias against people with tattoos working in a corporate setting.

With the rise of media platforms like BuzzFeed, Vice, Refinery29 and podcasting, this career path that I have chosen gives me the freedom to look how I want, so long as I remain professional.


A glimpse of a tattoo quote that says “Love her, but leave her wild.”
Cassidy Lunney | The Montclarion Photo credit: Cassidy Lunney

Almost all of my peers have tattoos, even girls who would not have been caught dead with one had they been college students in the early aughts. In today’s society, it is almost weird to not have a tattoo, no matter who you are.

Tattoo artists have become Instagram famous for showing off their skills on social media, garnering an overwhelming amount of clients each and every day:

Not only are tattoo artists prominent on the web but there are shows like “Black Ink Crew,” “How Far is Tattoo Far,” hosted by Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi from “The Jersey Shore,” and “Ink Master” that have gained attention not just for the art but for the entertainment that comes along with it.

There has been a ton of advancement as far as tattoo removal goes as well. Techniques that artists have been practicing include the use of skin-colored ink that gives the illusion the tattoo has vanished from the skin.


A tattoo of a unicorn pooping rainbow sprinkles done by Tbone of Teddy Bear Ink.
Cassidy Lunney | The Montclarion Photo credit: Cassidy Lunney

This “removal” of sorts might be more cost efficient than spending hundreds or even thousands on laser treatment sessions. Other tattooing tactics are more subtle and cosmetic, such as clients getting their eyebrows tattooed to look more full and natural.

At this rate, it seems like tattoos will continue to be popular and most adults who go on to become the next leaders of our generation will be covered head-to-toe in permanent body decor.

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