Tattoos and Generation Z is all about the opinions and beliefs of humans born in the 90's and 00's. They all carry their own story, embody different statuses, and are inspired by new-age influences. This 7 part series is meant to provide different perceptions surrounding the art of tattooing. Does the generation you were born in reflect your opinion on tattooing?
PART 1: SERENA @serena_est96
Serena is a 3rd year Journalism student at Ryerson University. She’s actively involved in her school community and is extremely enthusiastic about the creative aspect of tattoos. She was skeptical about the permanency of tattoos, but recently got her first permanent one! The journey to that decision wasn’t easy.
Do you remember the first time you heard of the idea of tattoos?
"I absolutely loved it! I wanted to learn more and have always been intrigued by what people would put on their bodies. However, I remember initially being terrified of needles. So, for the longest time, I appreciated others getting them done, but not for myself."
In your personal opinion, what is society’s perception of people with tattoos now and where do you think it’s headed?
"It’s difficult to sum up my thoughts of society’s perspective, but I think we’re slowly becoming more accepting of the idea of tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still reluctance with very visible tattoos, but I know a lot of people who work in professional settings that have multiple tattoos and will just strategically cover them while at work. It’ll take time to get to that place where everyone can freely show their tattoos (in professional environments) without receiving push back."
How does your family feel about tattoos?
"Tattoos were never encouraged in my immediate and extended family. I’ve always lived in an academically inclined family, but as a child I gravitated towards the arts and humanities rather than science and math. I think because I was never the best at the ‘academic subjects’, my entire family knew that I was different. The differences in my family’s interests and my own has never stopped me from attempting to excel in these more creative fields. I proved my capabilities throughout childhood, high school, and now university."
What did they (family) think when you got a permanent one?
"My parents never actively supported the idea of me getting a tattoo, but they also weren’t disappointed when I finally took the plunge. Maybe because the design I got looks very different compared to the tattoos they were used to seeing back in Hong Kong. The generation gap plays a huge role in this perception of tattoos. For my parents, tattoos meant gang relations. I think to fully understand and accept someone else who has different beliefs takes time, but only good communication forms a loving bond that can rid of ignorance."
She’s still trying to convince her mom to get matching ‘mother-daughter’ tattoos with her!