Are tattoos worth the commitment?


Chloe Thoroughgood ’23 used the same tattoo artists for both of her pieces. Thoroughgood said, “The artist’s name is Sammy and she worked at Bone Deep Tattoos in Camarillo. I followed her on Instagram for a while and liked her artwork.” Photo by: Chloe Thoroughgood

Miles Newman and Hugh Murphy

VHS community members weigh in on the worth and value of tattoos 

Tattoos are a form of body modification that consists of ink being inserted into the skin with a needle. They are practically permanent, requiring expensive and painful laser treatment to be removed. Tattoos have been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient times throughout several cultures. All 50 U.S. states require individuals to be 18 years old to get a tattoo on their own, with some states granting permission with parental consent.

Now high school students are getting tattoos and other body modifications more frequently than in the past. As the school year continues on, more and more seniors at VHS turn 18 years old, giving them the freedom to get a tattoo. 

Chloe Thoroughgood ‘23 has two tattoo pieces on her, including one on her left arm. Thoroughgood’s pieces have sentimental value for her. 

Thoroughgood said, “My tattoo on my arm I got for my grandma and it is ginkgo flowers because those are her favorite flowers. And I have a tattoo on my rib cage that says ‘gratitude’ because my mom has always said to me how important it is to have gratitude for yourself and others. I am very pleased with how both came out.” 

Raney said, “There’s always the expectation in my head versus in the artist’s head. So there’s always a little bit of a difference, but you work with them and you keep an open mind about things, then it works out, and I’m very pleased with how they came out.” Photo by: Hugh Murphy

English teacher Greg Raney also has a tattoo on his left arm that has sentimental value for him. He said, “Yeah some of them connect to my family and reminders of family and others represent certain ideas. One of them is inspired by a line of poetry I like.” 

Due to their permanence, tattoos are an important decision for an individual to make. 

“I think getting a tattoo is very worth it because it is a good way to express yourself,” said Thoroughgood. 

“[Getting a tattoo is] not always [worth it] it. [It] depends on each individual. It usually satisfies something at the time, but I think anyone who has one would admit, they grow out of it. So it depends when you get it and it depends what your life is like at that time and if you’re okay [with the fact that] you’re gonna change. If you make a certain decision at a point in your life knowing youre gonna change then it may or may not be worth it. But if you make those decisions with careful reflection and insight then it can be worth it,” said Raney. 

Tattoos are an artistic expression reserved for adults, unless parent permission is given for non-adults, and is associated with reverence. However, with increasing popularity, tattoos are becoming more socially acceptable to the masses, and prove to be a valid and creative form of self-expression.