HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY!! What do you want to do now that you can? Vote? By a fish from Petsmart? Start smoking?


You are an actual adult now, your world has opened up. What about getting a tattoo?


The Pew Research Center reports that 38% of people ages 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo.


In the past, tattoos were only worn by bikers, drunks, and people you don’t want to be around. But now, they are an art form, a way to express yourself, and sometimes to memorialize someone.


The night of my 18th birthday, I got a scorpion on my right foot. It was so important to me, I needed to have a symbol that I am now an adult. Being 17 was in the past, the tattoo was like the picture at the start of a new chapter of my life.


Another fellow senior, Breleigh Mease, has gotten 4 different tattoos before even being 19.


All the adults in our lives always tell us how permanent tattoos are, and that we will regret them when we are older.


Breleigh put it perfectly when she said, “After getting 4 tattoos I don’t regret any because they’re all things I’ve thought about for awhile before getting and they’re all beautiful and all have sentimental value to me. I catch myself looking at them all the time because I love having art on my body.”


That is what tattoos are today, and that is what they will always be to our generation.


Art that describes the moments in our lives.


So my advice to you if you are thinking about getting inked is, start a Pinterest board of your ideas. You can develop your own personal design.


Also, never rush into it. I had my tattoo idea since I was 15. This thing lasts forever, so you have the time to plan it out the right way.


Research different shops and artists. Every artist has a specialty, and you should pick the one based on who matches your idea.


Breleigh also gave very good advice about the getting tattooed part, “Remember to breathe, do not move no matter how bad the pain is, drink water, and make sure you’ve eaten a good meal beforehand.”


Yes, it does hurt. Breleigh compared it to a knife, and I compare it to a very angry cat with sharp claws.

But the pain is so little compared to the mosaic that you now have decorating your body.


I highly recommend Lefty’s Tattoo & Body Piercing. I had an amazing time on my 18th birthday because of their friendliness and their clear passion for their jobs.


Let’s change the way people view tattoos together. Let’s prove them wrong. Let’s prove that they are art and not a mistake.


Written by Emma Kossayian

Pennsylvania born, Iowa grown.


  1. Emma, this is a great editorial piece. You invite the attention of your audience by including the statistics at the beginning and sustaining the secondary research throughout your piece. Keep up the great work with your editorials.

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