Students strengthen relationships with matching tattoos

Morgan-Taylor Thomas

After walking in and out of the tattoo shop multiple times trying to decide if their impulsive idea was worth it, Jimena De la Mora and her two best friends sat down in the parlor chairs and watched as a memory was permanently etched into their skin.

Committing to a tattoo can be nerve-wracking, but committing to a matching tattoo with someone else can be even scarier. Some students said the permanent ink has only brought them closer to that person.

De la Mora said she is living at home in McAllen, Texas, this semester, so when she came to Austin to visit in early September, she wanted to make the most of it. De la Mora said she and her two friends were walking down South Congress Avenue when they came across the tattoo parlor. She said they knew if they didn’t go in then, they were never going to do it. 

“One of my friends has a pink (cowboy) hat that lights up that she takes to random parties, and it’s super cool,” journalism junior De la Mora said. “I said kind of jokingly, ‘Why don’t we just get a (cowboy) hat?’”

De la Mora said now the three best friends all have a small cowboy hat tattoo on their ankles to commemorate the moment and their friendship. 

Alma Zamora, a radio-television-film junior, said two weeks before moving to Austin for their freshman year, they went with their mom to get matching tattoos on their wrists. Zamora said the tattoos are of the three stars that are on every page of the Harry Potter series.


The Harry Potter series has been a favorite of Zamora’s since childhood. When Zamora was in high school, their mom finally read the books for the first time and also fell in love with the franchise. From then on, they said Harry Potter has been the duo’s “thing.”

“To us, (the stars) mean friendship, love, family, your chosen family and overcoming (obstacles),” Zamora said.

The two chose to get the tattoos on their wrists so the matching stars would line up when they held hands. 

After getting piercings together since high school, political communication senior Kennedy Quintanilla and her best friend decided to get matching ink.  

Quintanilla said even though this wasn’t her first tattoo, she wanted to get it on her foot because she likes to keep her tattoos covered for professional reasons.

Quintanilla said she got her tattoo done at a shop called Axis Tattoo, where she and her best friend have been getting piercings since high school. They knew it was where they wanted to get their tattoos done too. 

“(The tattoo) is a little sun … but it’s actually the logo of a band we like (called) Bad Suns,” Quintanilla said. “But about three weeks after we got the tattoo, they changed their logo, so that was kind of comical.” 

History sophomore Joshua Williams said two years ago, he and his childhood best friend decided they wanted to get matching tattoos. He said it took a while before they settled on anything, but when they did, it truly described their friendship.

Williams said the tattoo design is a black outline of the famous hands from Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” painting accompanied with the phrase “it’s platonic” underneath. Williams said they like to pretend it’s their hands touching.

“Anytime we go anywhere, people either think we’re siblings … or we’re dating, so it became a running joke,” Williams said. “It was the thing we said so much it became part of our friendship.”