EDITOR'S NOTE: This story, courtesy of the Mattoon High School Mirror newspaper staff, is part of items offered weekly by MHS journalism students for the JG-TC website.
Different from the temporary tattoos that most people get as kids, Mattoon High School students are getting permanent ones. People all over the globe are experiencing a culture change with personalized art. Celebrities and other big names who are getting tattoos has put the spotlight on the inking frontier, while it's leading MHS students to express themselves in more ways than clothes; they are getting permanent tattoos, too.
Taylee Carter, MHS senior, after turning 17, got the words, “You are my Sunshine,” inscribed on her foot while on a trip in Florida. She felt the tattoo was well worth it, even after the painful and nerve-wracking experience.
“My mother and my grandma used to sing it to me. Plus it is in my mom's handwriting so I guess it keeps her close,” Carter said.
Breanna Easton, 17, also has a tattoo that represents the love for her relatives and her own self-expression.
“(It was) the idea of just becoming more of who I want to be, and also my family. My whole family has at least one tattoo, so they played an influential role,” Easton said.
She was not alone when she got the tattoo; she had a loved one nearby.
“My aunt went with me when I got the tattoo. She was my support at that time,” she said.
Going beyond the walls of MHS, Cassy Ramey, previous graduate, shared her tattoo story.
“My first one I got on my 18th birthday, April 15. Then I got one that May,” Ramey said. Her first tattoo was of an orange puzzle piece with a small heart that now means a lot to her.
She was in the middle of getting two more meaningful tattoos at the time. Ramey said she would not change anything about the tattoo she got her senior year.
“Even though me and my ex-best friend got matching tattoos, I don't regret it. We put thought into it in case we stopped being friends. Plus, it's cute and my favorite color. Ever since then, I've been addicted,” Ramey said.
Ramey, along with Carter and Easton, all recommend the experience of getting a tattoo if someone wants to get one.
After getting a tattoo of a dandelion on her shoulder, Easton now has a memory that will last a life time.
“I highly recommend it!” Easton said.
Tattoos are permanent things, but that does not seem to change the minds of high school students and MHS grads.
“I love mine so much,” Ramey said.