Both teachers and students at CVHS bear distinct tattoos, each with their own story to tell. It’s mutually agreed that the friendly and accepting environment at our school allows them to express themselves through body art.
Social studies teacher Ian Rodriquez carries his the passion for his subject permanently embedded in his skin. He carries mostly history-related tattoos and two traditional styled tattoos, which are not related to a history theme.
“Thankfully I work in a place where most people are really cool about it,” said Rodriquez. “Usually, I try to cover them because I know there is a stigma attached with them, but I feel that more and more people are more exposed now so it’s becoming less and less of a thing.”
With seven tattoos, Rodriquez advised that there are precautions to take in certain work environments. For instance, wearing clothes that conceal your tattoo in an office environment always appears more professional.
“I don’t really feel like my tattoos affect my teaching, except my wardrobe,” agreed Jennifer Clyde, a CVHS English teacher with seven tattoos. “I tend to wear clothing that will conceal my tattoos. I feel like when you’re a teacher, a lot is riding on your image, and tattoos are something that do not go along with the professional teaching image.”
Tattoos often times have a negative stigma attached to them, and many feel that hiding them are necessary in order to proceed comfortably throughout daily life. Although most of her tattoos are hidden, Clyde gladly revealed one of them.
“The one that I have on the inside of my foot is a Victorian needlepoint design and it has three elements: wheat for abundance, a fern for sincerity, and a jasmine for joy.”
Often times, people get tattoos to symbolize something in their lives, either for someone or something. The permanence of a tattoo may later signify deep regrets and a reminder of younger days.
“When you get a tattoo it should mean something,” said art teacher Jo Sutton, who sports eight tattoos. “You can always tell when someone got something random, and the first thing someone’s going to ask you is ‘What does it mean?’”
Sutton also advised to wait until you’re old enough and know what you want. ”I’m really glad I didn’t tattoo a bunch of stuff on myself when I was in my twenties,” she admitted.
Each of Sutton’s tattoos are Asian art themed, inspired by her trip to Asia studying different art styles. She passionately explains how she fell in love with the style, driving her to get her first tattoo at 33 of a blue dragon, and many others following the Asian art theme.
“My tattoo says ‘hope’ with a cancer ribbon on it, because my cousin has Hotchkins Lymphoma cancer,” shared senior Elisia Clayton. “I like tattoos with meaning.”
Tattoos have long been an expression of one’s self; some have deep symbolic meaning, and others not so much. Rising in popularity, the practice is becoming less of a taboo and more of a fad. Choose wisely, because what may be popular now will remain in your skin forever.