The Rise of Tattooing


Photo of Sofia’s “Be You” tattoo

Since 5,000 BCE, tattoos were widely practiced among the Austronesian people in Taiwan and coastal South China prior to at least 1500 BCE. Tattooing is an art described as an indelible mark fixed upon the body by inserting pigment under the skin. It’s a form of expressing yourself in a more permanent way. In America, 20%-25% of people from ages 18-25 have tattoos and that percentage is only rising.

Even though not all highschool students fall into that statistic, there are a handful of those that do. Amongst that handful, there are some tattoos that are a meaningful one. Student, Sofia Decerb, has a “be you” tattoo on her left wrist. “The be you on my wrist is in my mom’s handwriting and it is something she has always said to me since I was little.” Sofia went on to say, “Before anything I did, whether it was a big soccer game, my college visits, first day of work, etc, she has always said it to me.” 

Sofia is no stranger to the needle. With 2 other tattoos, she explained the meaning behind those as well. On her upper arm, she has two butterflies along with a rose behind her ear. She continued her explanation and said, “There are two of them for both of my parents. Shortly after my grandma passed, both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer. After what happened to her, they weren’t optimistic about their chances, but still fought for their lives.” She went on to explain why she chose butterflies out of all things. “A butterfly is a metaphor for hope which is what we all had for my parents even when all odds were against them and now they are in remission” Heartbreaking, but a great way to honor them and their fight. 

For her third and most recent tattoo, the rose behind her ear. She shared that she received this tattoo around July 2022, shortly after her 17th birthday. “The rose is my grandma and I’s birth flower. Something we always shared was our birthdays since they were only a day apart,” Sofia explained. Since her grandma had passed away just a couple of years ago, she felt that the best way to honor her was to get something that will be on her forever.

With tattoos on the rise, it’s only a matter of time until it becomes the norm. Many artists share that most customers have their next tattoo already planned out before the current one is even finished. Although there is sort of a stigma around tattoos, that will soon fade with the current generation and shifting demographics.