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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Years of memories have left an indelible mark on many students in their tattoos

The+process+of+Jacobs+tattoo+being+finished.
Jacob Scott
The process of Jacob’s tattoo being finished.

Over the summer, junior Jacob Scott’s trip to Portugal left him with a memory embedded on his body that will never be forgotten: his first tattoo.

After an encounter with a tattoo artist on the street, a string of texts were sent contemplating the design before stepping foot in the parlor. Settling on a portrait of Jacob’s dog, Murray, with his name engraved beneath, he began researching possibilities of reducing the level of pain; however, his efforts were deemed futile when the tattooist refused his request for numbing cream, leaving him to endure four hours of excruciating pain. 

In the long run, his discomfort was “one hundred percent worth it” due to his satisfaction with the design and the meaning behind it.

“In fifth grade, I had severe anxiety and depression, and I was very unstable during those years,” Jacob said. “I was having such a hard time, and my dog—he was probably four then—helped me through it. He was my rock ever since that time; [he’s] definitely my best friend. He’s one of the reasons I’m here today.”

Along with the effort that comes with preparing the design and the actual process of getting the tattoo placed on his body, there was quite a procedure Jacob had to follow afterward as well. The next months were spent applying a special lotion to the tattoo four to five times per day and purchasing certain soaps to clean it with.

To make the whole process worth it, the key for many is getting a tattoo with quality and meaning. Senior Lydia DeWitt has applied this perspective in her life with each of her current six tattoos: a dog on her forearm, a volume symbol behind her ear, “I love you” in sign language on her clavicle, a bird and flowers on her thigh, a cartoon character, Gumby, on her ankle, and an extra design on her ribs. 

Complying with her parents’ wish of putting art on her body that has a purpose, each of her tattoos comes with a story.

“My parents want me to get tattoos with meaning, so I have to come up with a meaning if I need to,” Lydia said. “[The one on my forearm] is meaningful because it’s of my dog that died. I said the one on my ankle was for my grandpa, so when my grandma dies, I have to get Pokey for her because it’s Gumby and Pokey. The birds are to represent my relationship with my mom, and the flowers are to fill in space—I have lavender because it’s my favorite.”

Taking a different approach to the whole procedure is senior Quinn Hane. She hopes the one tattoo on her shoulder will turn into many more in the upcoming years. Her current one, consisting of a plant and a sun, is meant to remind her of her family’s happy place: the beach. While she enjoys the meaning of this one—especially during the winter months when the beach isn’t as accessible—her future plans aren’t completely resolved.

Quinn relies on the aphorism, “You only live once;” her parents, having their own number of tattoos, have had a profound influence on her artistic choices.

I’m just a Honda Accord with a bunch of stickers.

— Lydia DeWitt

“I’ve always liked the way [tattoos] look,” Quinn said. “Both of my parents have them so I might as well. It elevates my style a little bit more—along with my nose piercing. My tattoo isn’t super visible, but when it’s out and you can see it in the summer or when I’m wearing a swimsuit, it definitely makes me feel cool.”

Lydia, however, gets her inspiration elsewhere. Having more visible tattoos aids in projecting her personality and allows for an easy conversation starter, but with any trip to her grandparents comes the process of having to cover them up because of their differing opinions.

Her tendency for getting tattoos came from her fondness for the look it gave other people. Since then, her older brother finally got one by the time she already had four done, showing her eagerness for the activity and bravery for taking her own path.

“People with tattoos are cool,” Lydia said. “I think Kim Kardashian once said, when someone asked her if she had any tattoos, that you would never put a sticker on a Bentley, but I’m just a Honda Accord with a bunch of stickers.”

Lydia’s six experiences have varied, but the pride it brings her always stays the same in the end. In some areas, the pain was tolerable; however, her thigh tattoo still isn’t quite finished because of the multiple appointments of immense pain.

Although Quinn has only had one session done, her tattoo is in a fairly accessible place, and once getting started, the pain wasn’t a thought in her mind. 

When finding her artist on Instagram, Quinn was immediately drawn to her work and set up an appointment, not knowing that her first tattoo would be hard to beat.

“I had a really good experience,” Quinn said, “and the tattoo artist was really nice when talking back and forth with her about designing the tattoo. I didn’t think the pain was bad; it was very tolerable. Paying for it was a little bit expensive, but I think for the good experience that I had, it was worth it.”

Every encounter will vary from person to person, but Quinn’s advice is to do research beforehand. Making sure the parlor is reputable and clean on top of being confident in the design is important in decreasing any stress that will take away from the overall adventure.

Jacob’s tattoo and trip to Portugal, disregarding how much research he did, will be forever memorable; he’s found a new passion that sprouted from his personal approach to the significant design he chose and hopes to find new opportunities to relive that enjoyment again.

“If you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo, or you’ve had one design in your mind, and you still want to get it in two years, then you should get it,” Jacob said. “I’ve wanted mine since [fifth grade], but take your time when you choose a design because you can do anything with it. The sky’s the limit.”

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About the Contributor
Rowan Szpieg, Staff Writer
Rowan is entering her first year on The Central Trend as a junior writer. Her love of writing developed in recent years through expressive poetry. Although it is a hobby that assumes a bit of her time already, when she's not sitting back with a new writing piece on her computer, you can find her playing her guitar. Any spare time she has that's not occupied with family or friends is spent learning to play new songs. She also loves to spend her nights under the stars around a bonfire in the summer and laughing too much playing board games in the winter. Rowan is always up for a movie night as a way to share her interest in film. When she's not watching a movie, she has Friends playing in the background on every occasion.   Comfort movie: The Proposal Favorite time of the year: When Christmas music starts to play Favorite book: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom Favorite song to play on guitar: Don't Think Twice, It's All Right by Bob Dylan Has she shortened her watchlist of movies? Not at all! It's still over 300

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