Tattoos and piercings are everything to finance junior Josh Weidig, who has multiple pieces inked on his side.
“This one is ‘Life is Beautiful,’” Weidig said. “I got it from the Lana Del Rey song. It was a matching one for me and my ex-fiancé when I was 18.”
Weidig sees tattoos as an act of self-expression that let him show the world who he is.
“They’re blue roses,” Weidig said. “Blue is sadness, and sadness can be beautiful too.”
When graduate student Emma Grimes’ brother passed away earlier this year, her family used tattoos to memorialize him.
“The marigolds are the birth flower for the month of October, which is the month my brother was born,” Grimes said.
The hands in the tattoo are her own, and they represent her cherishing and holding on to the memory of her brother.
“It’s special to me,” Grimes said. “Everyone in my family has tattoos, so it’s kinda like we’re all coming together.”
Neuroscience senior Nicole Zarate always wanted a tattoo but was waiting to find an idea with meaning. As a lifelong “Harry Potter” fan, she finally found one in the well-loved J.K. Rowling books.
“I decided to reread the books and re-watch the movies again,” Zarate said.“I thought, ‘What better way to symbolize that than something from the books I grew up reading as a kid?’”
As a teenager, Zarate connected most with the fourth book, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” because the characters in the series begin to grow up and the themes grow dark. Zarate chose the Deathly Hallows symbol to not only represent the magical coming-of-age story but also her own coming of age.
Ever since she was a kid, psychology junior Natalya Doria always wanted to be her own knight in shining armor. But her parents had other plans for her.
“When I was a kid I was really into medieval fantasy stuff, and I always wanted to be a knight, even for Halloween, but my parents were like, ‘Gender norms! Be a princess!’ and that’s why I got a knight,” Doria said.
The knight is intentionally not of any specific design, but it incorporates elements from different sources.
“I picked some designs from some video games, but I just wanted a knight,” Doria said.
Every time law student Mac Wood looks at the symbol from his favorite video game tattooed on his wrist, he feels a surge of motivation.
“It is the Nobody symbol from Kingdom Hearts 2,” Wood said. “I got it at a time when I felt like wasn’t doing anything with my life, and I wanted to signify the only person keeping me from doing anything with my life is myself.”
Although Wood was initially opposed to tattoos, he eventually came around to the idea during his undergraduate years. He began researching designs, but ultimately, the choice was an easy one.
“That symbol spoke to me in a way that no other symbol had,” Wood said.