The taboo tattoo

Patrick Duffy | The Signal


What was once thought to be reserved for criminals and sailors is now for just about anyone who wants one. The stigma of piercings and tattoos is still prevalent, but according to a survey conducted by Pew Research in 2006, 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo. If almost half of the American population has ink, why is body art taboo?

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated wanted to investigate the issue and created an event, “The Taboo Tattoo”.

“Our purpose in hosting this event was to analyze the history behind tattoos and how they become more accepted in society today and in the workplace. We want to allow attendees to become more aware of the acceptance of tattoos,” chapter president Kyle Walcott explained.

An unbiased, open discussion on body art commenced between a group of people from all walks of life,

Eugine “Tatted Up” Martin, a Georgia State alum, said he doesn’t think fear of the future should be a reason to deter someone from a tattoo.

“I hate the question ‘what are you gonna look like when you’re 80?’ I’m gonna look like you. We’re all gonna look old, I’ll just have tattoos.”

Laser tattoo remover Dustin Novak is an owner of Doctor InkOFF, a laser tattoo removal company in Atlanta. He said the process of removing a tattoo can take up to 12 treatments, and sessions last 20 seconds to a few minutes. Removing ink hurts less than initially getting the tattoo, he admitted.

“First we numb them up. We blow cold air [-32 degrees F] on the skin to take the mind off the laser,” Novak said.

People visit his business for reasons from young love that didn’t last to inebriated mistakes.

“It’s always interesting listening to people’s stories,” Novak said.

Jordan Walker, managerial sciences major at Georgia State, has seven piercings total: one belly button ring, one nose stud and five on her ears.

“For careers later on, I’m afraid I’ll have to take [some of my piercings] out. Who knows, I might be sick of them by then,” Walker said.

Walker is one of the many students that think piercings have an obvious advantage over tattoos.

“If you regret a piercing, you can take it out, and you can’t do that with a tattoo.”

Sometimes artists turn people away who desire a tattoo. They have reputations to protect which is worth more than the money.

“I’ve turned down money. I don’t want people walking around with something I’m not proud of,” said Roger Parilla, City of Ink tattoo artist.

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