Senior Jessica Adair knows that getting tattoos are painful. She knows from experience. So when she decided it was time get a second tattoo, she tried to lessen the pain.
“We tried to numb our feet with ice so it wouldn’t hurt as bad,” Adair said.
For the record, this strategy did not prove true.
Her first tattoo is a sign of recognition to an important figure in her life: her deceased step-father.
“I got my shoulder tattoo to represent my father who died. Instead of getting a ’RIP’ tattoo, I decided to get a tattoo of the name in which he used to always call me,” Adair said.
The second tattoo, a vine of flowers located on the top side of her foot, is more of a fashion statement.
It was only after the 1990s that tattoos were seen as more a fashion trend in young people. According to a Pew Research Center Survey, 9 percent of 15-17 years olds around the United States have a tattoo. Due to increasing trends in tattoos, this number is predicted to increase.
Junior Grant Johnson is certain he will never find himself in that group. Johnson firmly thinks that he would never, under any circumstance get a tattoo. Especially at his current stage in life.
“I don’t think someone that young should make a decision that heavy that could affect them the rest of their life,” Johnson said.
Pew Research shows that the majority of tattooed Americans do not regret their lifelong decisions. But there are still 17 percent that do. The leading cause of regretted ink is getting the name or initials of someone.
For Adair, a family member was a reason to get a tattoo. For Johnson a family member has been a reason not to.
“My Dad has always told me that tattoos are bad and that I shouldn’t get one.” Johnson said. “I guess that has always influenced my decision.”
No one in Johnson’s family has been tattooed.
But Johnson would not be able to get a tattoo even if his family was more willing.
According to Iowa law, a minor, an unmarried person under the age of 18, can not get a tattoo without a parent or guardian’s consent.
Although neither of Adair’s parents have tattoos, they are supportive of her decisions.
“My mom is fine with it and my dad thought it was fake ink at first but neither of them mind,” she said.
Although Adair is young she is not naive to the dangers and responsibilities of getting a tattoo.
“If you do decide to get a tattoo, make sure you are responsible about it,” she said. ”Watch them open the package of the needle and make sure you clean it regularly.”