Tattoos gain popularity among teens

  • Kaitlynn Johnson
  • May 31st, 2017
  • No comments
Cartoon Kaitlynn's Tattoo story

As students become old enough to get a tattoo, they have become more popular in Millard West’s halls. Cartoon by Shannon Wurtele.

Individuals have multiple ways to express themselves, whether it’s through art, writing, or music. They have ways to express themselves externally, but now one is rising which can be permanently worn.  


Compared to previous generations, the popularity of tattoos has risen among millennials.

According to a recent Pawprint poll of sixty-eight people, 78 percent said they have one or more tattoos while 22 percent plan on getting one soon. In Nebraska, a person must be 18 to get a tattoo without written parental consent.

Senior Rachel Holt has been passionate about tattoos for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve always loved artwork,” Holt said. “This was my chance to make my body my own thing. It felt like a good way to get control over my body.”

Currently, Holt has two tattoos: a semi-colon with a moon on her wrist and the the Lord of the Rings inscription of the ring on her thigh. Both her own personal history and her passion of the series inspired her ink decisions.

“Now I’ll always remember them no matter what,” Holt said.

However, some people have doubts about having the permanent body art. They see issues with their placement, possible job interviews, and simply regretting it.

“[Tattoos] are alright, as long as you can cover them,” freshman Ghannon Moore believes.

If millennials do change their minds, tattoo removal is an option such as lasers, deep skin exfoliation with a high-speed brush, and acid. With laser removal, the healing process takes less time between sessions. For example, the first could take one to two weeks, but healing after the second treatment could take only five days. People also choose to cover them up with clothing or makeup.

These tattoo removal services can cost on average $200-$500 per session. On the other hand, the original tattoo price ranges from only $100-$300, depending on the piece.

Tattoos first became available to the general public in 1891 when Samuel O’Reilly invented the first electric tattoo machine. Initial popularity sprouted among sailors and carnival performers, portraying religious and nautical scenes. The current trends consist of minimalist tattoos, geometric designs, and photo-realistic art.

Millard West teachers notice the difference of tattoo popularity as well.

“I think you guys are more willing and want tattoos more than people my age,” social studies teacher Kristen Larson said. Age is a factor that Larson believes plays a part.

With a teenager’s desire for tattoos, Larson agrees with the law requiring parental consent until the age of eighteen. She believes parents should be part of the decision making process until then.


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