Tattoos unite families through art and meaning

by Liz Duke
Love them or hate them, tattoos are everywhere. While many people, including many parents, disapprove of teenagers marking themselves with permanent ink, some students are getting tattoos that honor a relative or mark a family connection.
While the trend might be socially acceptable, Assistant Principal Ryan Miller explained that getting a tattoo should not be a snap decision.
“There is a lot of growth and maturity that has to happen before getting a tattoo,” said  Miller. “Later in life, I made a choice that I am confident I will not regret. I want my children to have the same thought process.”
Tattooed students shared the meaningful stories behind their permanent ink.

  Abbigail Ziobro
Ziobro recently got her tattoo, a decision she made with her mom. “I decided to get a Celtic cross because not only does it represent my religion, but also my heritage,” said Ziobro. “It’s a reminder of my faith and my family, guiding me on the right path in life.”
However, the controversy still remains if it is too early in life for high school students to be making a final decision on a tattoo, when they are still changing every day. Ziobro understands tattoos aren’t for everyone.
“I feel that tattoos are art and they’re beautiful if they have a meaning. However, especially at this age, you should only be getting something if it has a good meaning behind it,” said Ziobro.
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Charles Taylor
For Taylor, getting inked was a family decision. He got his tattoo when he was 16 in honor of his grandmother, who had passed. “I decided to get my tattoo because my grandmother was an important person in my life and my whole family wanted something to remember her by,” said Taylor. Several of his family members also got the same tattoo of his grandmother’s signature. “My mother let me get it because it was a family thing that everyone got, and it was a birthday gift,” said Taylor.
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Jaclyn Villane
At age 16, Villane got her first tattoo. “I didn’t really have to convince my parents to let me get a tattoo because both of my siblings have them, and my mom understood the importance behind it to me,” said Villane. Villane might eventually enhance her ink to pay tribute to her mother’s battle with breast cancer. “I may get the bird on my tattoo colored in pink like my sister did because my mom had breast cancer and my tattoo revolves around my mom.”
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Jenny Mintz
“I got my tattoo to honor my uncle, who was diagnosed with stage four esophageal and gastric cancer in 2008, and fought a five- year battle before passing away on January 18, 2013,” said senior Jenny Mintz, who got the tattoo along with her three cousins and sister.
Mintz’s uncle formed Mintz’s Mentschen, a cycling team that raised money for the LiveStrong and Cycle for Survival foundations. His participation helped to keep him motivated during his battle with cancer, and also inspired Mintz’s idea for her tattoo.
“I wanted to get my tattoo so my uncle knew how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. Thankfully, I was able to get my tattoo exactly two weeks before he passed away,” said Mintz. “I never got to see him in between the time I got it and when he passed away. But somehow I know that he knows I have it.”
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