Skin Deep

Jordan Brewington ’13 shrieked as the needle pierced her left wrist and her mother watched, laughing.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, mom, can you sing to me?” she said.

After 15 minutes and a rendition of the Jaws theme, Brewington had two dots permanently etched into her skin.

“It felt like a knife was slowly being dragged across my wrist,” she said. “It’s creepy to know there’s ink underneath the surface of my skin.”

On March 9 at Studio City Tattoo, tattoo artist Jose offered Brewington a coffee and after stenciling the design onto her wrist, used a needle to poke ink under her skin.

“I was having a moment during class and decided to draw this on my wrist and I thought, what a great symbol of me and my mom,” she said. “The big one is her, the little one is me.”

Brewington was careful to make sure her tattoo wouldn’t hinder her in the future.

“I wanted it to be small, concealable, and not a whole lot of mess,” she said.

Unlike Brewington, Maggie Bunzel ’13 did not tell her parents when she got her tattoo at 16.

The three hearts on her left hip-bone are meant to represent “love and happiness in the past, the present, in the future,” she said.

For six months, Bunzel told her parents it was a “permanent henna.” After getting in a fight with her brother, he told her parents it was real.

“They were shocked,” she said. “They were more mad about me lying about it then actually getting a tattoo. They were annoyed because they think in a few years I will regret. I don’t think I will.”

Bunzel plans to get another tattoo on the left side of her ribcage or wrist before graduation this time.

“It will be a dove with an olive branch,” she said. It means peace for myself and for my grandmother. It’s just a cool way for me to remember her.”

Connor Kalantari ’14 plans to get three tattoos this summer when he turns 18.

First, he wants an elephant stretching across his right shoulder, upper arm, and back.

“Elephants in my family are pretty significant and my grandma has always loved them because they are protective, good luck and travel in packs, but they’re also sensitive,” Kalantari said. “It fits me because I’m big and strong and protective but also sensitive.”

His mother and sister also plan on getting elephants tattoos.

Along with the elephant, Kalantari wants his mother’s name within a cross within  a heart.

“It’s pretty typical but I’ve wanted to get it for years,” he said.

The final tattoo Kalantari is still considering is of the words “live without fear” in Spanish on his left arm.

“I’m Mexican and my whole family is tattooed except for me, so I’m the last one to have it,” he said.

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