The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times


By Ayasha Thurman | Features Editor

Tattoos are often used in teenage culture as a permanent way to express oneself. Some students plan to get their bodies inked when they turn 18; others have had parents give consent for them to get tattooed in other states, while others have had them done illegally. Some students get them done regardless of their parent’s approval.

Oregon prohibits minors from getting tattooed, even with parental consent, so senior Cody Roark waited until he turned 18. He has two tattoos, one on each of his forearms, and he said he got them because they are codes by which he lives his life.

“My first tattoo is a verse from the Bible, Isaiah 54:17, stating that ‘no weapons formed against me shall prosper,’ meaning that it may hurt me, but it’s not going to benefit in the end result,” Roark said.

Bible verses and quotes are popular tattoo choices. Senior Rachelle Johnson has, “All things are possible for those who believe” tattooed on her shoulder. She said her tattoo was not at all painful.

“Everyone talks about how horrible the pain is, but really, it’s nothing more than a walk in the park,” Johnson said. “It’s really no big deal.”

Johnson knew she wanted to get that specific tattoo for a few years, much like junior Austin Smallwood. Although he did not have a specific design picked out for his tattoo, Smallwood knew he wanted one to honor a relative who died in her mid-20s.

“My tattoo is for my aunt,” Smallwood said. “She had leukemia and other forms of cancer.”

Senior Katrina Burns’ first tattoo was also in dedication to someone. She got one between her shoulder blades after her best friend passed away. She said the one that hurt her most, however, was her second one that her mother signed for in Las Vegas when she was 16. She said she did not regret it, as it was for her mother.

“The one around my ankle hurt the worst because the needle hit every bone,” Burns said. “It was worth it because it was for my mom, and she went through labor, so I figured I could handle some pain for her.”

The idea to get a tattoo is one that is often done in retrospect, and often it is done to permanently share something with someone. Senior Krista Kilmer has three tattoos, one of which she shares with her best friend, former MHS student Allie Minyard. They got matching music notes; Kilmer’s on her left ankle, and Minyard’s on her right.

Kilmer waited to get her tattoo until she was 18 due to the law. Though her parents were against the idea, she said she is happy with the designs she chose and does not think she will regret getting tattooed.

“Maybe down the road I might wish that the ones on my wrists were in a different place, but right now they are fine for me,” Kilmer said.

Senior Natasha Martin’s parents have rules against tattoos as well. Martin said they do not approve of any child of theirs having a tattoo while living under their roof. Both Kilmer and Martin got their tattoos done when they were of legal age and knowing that their parents would not be pleased.

“It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to get and when I decided I still mulled over it for a few more months,” Martin said. “I love my tattoo, and I’m sure that it will always mean something to me.”

Unlike some who have had tattoos done, senior Jennifer Scott got her tattoos when she was just barely 13 years old. She had wanted one, and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. She said she had to draw her tattoo up herself with only 15 minutes to figure out the design.

“He [the tattoo artist] gave me wax paper to draw on and then ran deodorant over it to make the paper stick on my skin,” Scott said. “After that, he peeled the paper away and started to tattoo following the design that the paper left.”

Many tattooed students choose to not draw designs themselves and either go to the Internet or let the tattoo artist draw something for them.

Senior Kortney Dixson got her tattoo on her 18th birthday with her mom and some of her closest friends. Dixson said she got her tattoo design, a dandelion depicted with the term ‘breathless’ written next to it, from another student.

“I really like the quote, ‘Life is not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away.’ I wanted to get that, but I didn’t want the actual quote,” Dixson said. “I just wanted something to represent it. Ashleigh Prescott gave me the dandelion idea, and I absolutely loved it.”

Tattoos can come with a stigma that can be just as permanent as their ink, making it difficult to find employment. Some students feel this is unfair judgment.

“The public perception of tattoos is always negative, but realistically speaking, they do not understand that tattoos have a significant meaning to a person and what they believe in,” Roark said.

Scott agrees but thinks one should take getting a tattoo very seriously.

“Think long and hard before getting a tattoo that will last the rest of your life,” Scott said.

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