Millenial generation adopts the tattoo trend

: Sammy Croteau, Arts & Culture Editor

Whether it’s a quarter-sized heart on your ankle or an arm sleeve of red roses, the majority of the millennial generation has come to appreciate the expressive and creative ink fad of tattoos. 

Roger Williams University students have been adopting the tattoo trend with tiny tattoos marked on their wrists, ribs, and even fingers, as well as on larger canvases such as their backs, thighs, and chests. Many college-aged individuals wish to permanently ink their bodies with a work of art for a handful of reasons, including sentimental value, freedom of expression, and other personal values.

The buzz about tattoos has grown in the past couple years among the millennial generation with its appearance and hype in pop culture. The Spike reality series “Ink Master” has intensified the tattoo world by highlighting the talent that goes behind each of these body markings. The show portrays a group of tattoo artists who compete against one another in various challenges that test their artistic ink talent. The artists must work on real human canvases to present their work, making each episode intriguing since there is no room for error in each ink session. The contestants’ work is judged by famous tattoo artists and enthusiasts. 

The show has a similar set up to America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway, where one contestant goes home each episode, ending with one season winner who is granted with a prize of $100,000. The show opens up ideas to original tattoo designs, including intricate human portraits or a combination of images put together in a colorful collage. The technique each artist applies to their ink image contributes to an overall realistic and eye-catching masterpiece. “Ink Master” is on its 10th season and plays on the Spike channel Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.

Whether inspired by media such as “Ink Master” or driven by an inside force, young adults are finding themselves sitting in the tattoo parlor recliner anticipating the beautiful artwork that lies on the other side of the needle. The experience of getting a tattoo is filled with adrenaline and mystery considering the slight risk associated with having someone print an eternal painting or symbol on your body. Perhaps this adrenaline-packed moment is what drives this generation’s college kids to the tattoo parlors; it is such an exciting and memorable experience for most goers, especially if they’re passionate about their future tat.

On the other hand, there are many young people who want only one tattoo for a specific reason. A popular tattoo category is to get a tribute printed on you for a lost loved one. Many use symbolic images that relate to their lost loved one or their name printed in feathery cursive. These meaningful tattoos are personal and hold a great amount of sentimental value since they are a reminder of someone who is no longer with that person. 

Expressive and meaningful tattoos could also be images related to a favorite place, memory, or word. A popular tattoo trend that has recently arisen is the latitude and longitude coordinates of someone’s favorite place, or somewhere that holds meaning to them, like a hometown. Many tattoo fans have chosen to mark their bodies with an image that shows something about their hobbies, attitudes, or likings. A person who loves the beach may get a tattoo of a wave or the sun, while someone who loves hiking may get a tattoo of mountains ranging up their forearm. 

With tattoos, there is endless room for creative flow when choosing a special visual to ink your skin up with. Some go the intimate route and get a tattoo in honor and remembrance of someone or something. Others take the artistic road with abstract images of fictional characters or intricate flowers painted over their bodies. Ultimately, the path you choose when getting a tattoo should reflect the person you are on the inside.