Tat-Tuesday: Students share stories behind their ink


Kassidy Sablatura

Biology sophomore Kassidy Sablatura has always chased after the idea of self-liberation. She credits the UT community with helping her redefine her values last year and figure out what personal freedom means to her.

To celebrate her transformation, Sablatura designed a tattoo that combines it with her lifelong love affair with music: a bird made of musical notes. 

“I’ve always liked bird tattoos,” Sablatura said. “They’re kinda the concept of freedom and liberation. They’re peaceful animals to me, and it’s a universal symbol of freedom.”

After growing up surrounded by music in all of its forms, she currently uses dance to express her love of music.

“Dance is really musical,” Sablatura said. “You have to hear the beats and move in a way that emphasizes them. It made me listen to music more critically.”

Sablatura strongly credits music as the driving force behind her freeing, intrapersonal journey.

“I felt like I had to free myself of other people’s biases to have enough confidence to be strong,” Sablatura said.

Allison Medina

After biochemistry junior Allison Medina’s grandmother died of breast cancer, she decided to memorialize her with a tattoo of the pink breast cancer ribbon.

“It was pretty hard losing her,” Medina said. “I want to go to medical school and do oncology, so it’s meaningful to me. A constant reminder.”

The small tattoo is hidden on the side of her torso to keep it out of sight from others. Dreams of working in a professional field prevent Medina from having visible tattoos, motivating her to strategically place it in a concealed area.

“It’s hidden so people don’t see it a lot,” she said. “But I know it’s there, and it affects me.”

Regina Baker

Tattoos blanket the body of psychology senior Regina Baker. Comprised of different styles from different artists, each design has its own unique meaning, but her favorites are a series of stars that stretch the length of her body.

“There’s 63 stars from my shoulder to my ankle,” Baker said. “Really, they don’t mean a lot. It was kind of a spur of the moment gift from my son’s uncle.”

Baker’s love of art is what propels her drive to ink her skin. Baker takes pride in the artists’ many distinct styles.

“It’s basically a collection of art I get to wear,” Baker said.