Tattoos: Right of passage or passing phase?Tuesday, January 31, 2012 By Corinne Renner
Many individuals turn eighteen years old during the final year of high school. This milestone gives teenagers a heightened sense of independence as parents take less responsibility, and the entrance into the world as an adult finally comes to fruition. So what does being eighteen mean? For starters, legal curfews disappear and individuals are granted all the privileges and responsibilities of being an adult citizen. However, at Southern Lehigh, the most popular rite of passage this year seems to consist of body art in the form of a tattoo. As teenagers, many individuals feel they are entitled to some form of freedom; the power to do what they want, where they want, and when they want. These are the years that such people make spontaneous decisions. However, these same individuals should consider the permanence of such impulsive actions. Tattoo art is indeed appealing, but unlike a piercing, a tattoo is not easily removed. What is trendy and accepted now will likely not maintain the same reputation in the nearby future. Students, specifically those new adults, should think seriously before putting ink and needle to their skin. Here’s something to think about: how do you think your body will look 10, 20, and even 50 years from now? People are constantly losing and gaining weight. The firm skin of youth will eventually fade, stretch, and wrinkle. With the changing body, the appearance of a tattoo will alter too. Let’s not forget that tattoos are also extremely expensive for young people. Upward of a couple hundred dollars, the astronomical costs can make a serious dent in a teenager’s limited funds. And for what? Intense pain and something to show your friends for a week? Think carefully before getting a tattoo. The health risks of infection, as well as the placement on the body, should always be a concern. If you don’t want your priest or boss to see your tattoo, don’t put it somewhere easily visible. A person with conspicuous tattoos may struggle to earn a job position over an equally qualified individual without such body art. Tattoos can definitely be interesting, tell stories or commemorate something of utmost importance to an individual, but should be thoroughly discussed before their attainment. Is the pain, money, and permanence really worth it? You make the call.