Tales of a tattooed generation

Courtney Starbuck

Part I: Brief History of Tattoos

Tattoos are fascinating. Love them or hate them, tattoos have been around for thousands of years and will undoubtedly enamor mankind for the rest of its existence. Throughout history, tattoos have been used to symbolize economic and social status, affiliation with particular groups, and one’s personality.

They have also been used to mark prisoners of war, to ward off sickness and everything in between.

Today, people tattoo their bodies for many of the same reasons. College students in particular are notorious for their tattoos. While some choose to follow the latest trends, randomly pick one out of an artist’s book, or design their own, the popularity of tattoos is again on the rise. The location of tattoos among the students I have spoken with runs the gamut from visible places like arms and ankles, to more private areas like hips and lower backs (unfortunately, some of these were too risqué to feature here).

According to Darrell Adams, a sophomore communication major, “The location represents how many people you want to see it.”

He has a tattoo of a tiger on his forearm.

While Darrell chooses to show off his tattoo, Megan Fitzpatrick, a sophomore marketing major with an Irish claddaugh tattoo on her hip, says that she purposely chose a place that is easily hidden so that she only shows “people who deserve to see it.” So whether they are viewed in private or visible for all to see, every tattoo has a story. Here are this week’s featured tattoos:

Name: Lindsay Rodman, 21, junior marketing major

Number of tattoos: 3; a rose on her thigh, the Chinese symbol for “faith” on her ankle, and a butterfly on her back

Age when she got them: First two at 18, third at 19

Significant Meaning: “The butterfly and rose are just two feminine symbols, and I got the “faith” tattoo on my ankle because it has been my faith in a higher power and better things to come that has kept me grounded, hence it is by my feet and close to the ground.”

Love it or hate it?: “I still love my tattoos. Actually, I will be getting another one on my shoulder very soon.”

Fun fact about Lindsay’s tattoos: “My first tattoo was an impulsive buy. I was on South Street, and I was like, “Let me get a tattoo.” The others I got simply because tattoos are addicting. My parents didn’t know for a while, but then I told my mom about them in the middle of a fight. I figured she was already mad at me, so telling her about my tattoos wouldn’t make it any worse.”

Name: Jill Bobowick, 21, senior communications major

Number of tattoos: 2; Chinese symbol for eternity and a peach, both on her lower back

Age when she got them: First one at 18, second at 20

Significant meaning: “The eternity symbol is for my best friend who died my senior year of high school three weeks before I came to Villanova, so I got it on South Street in honor of him. It symbolizes my eternal love and remembrance of him. The peach tattoo symbolizes eternal friendship.”

Love it or hate it?: “I still love both of my tattoos as much as when I first got them. They’re still just as significant and meaningful.”

Fun fact about Jill’s tattoos: “I got my peach tattoo with one of my best friends here at Villanova.

We’ve been considered the “peaches” since we’ve been friends. She was the “golden” peach, and I was the “wild” peach. So one night on a whim, we were in the city and decided to get matching tattoos. So we did!”