Dana is a 15 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.Marquesan tattoo by Brittanie Shey.

Today we teenagers live in a fast paced environment surrounded by everything and everyone. Good influences, bad influences, every influence you can imagine. Sometimes though, even with a good one teens can get sucked into a whirl of bad judgement and cloudy decision making. It all started last week when one of my close friends and I were sitting at a lab table in school bored as anything. I saw one of my piers lean over to pick up a pencil and I noticed a rather large tattoo on her lower back. It was the word “Delicious” in hot pink letters that stretched from her mid to lower back. I looked away, but then my close friend proceeded to tell me how she wants 15, yes 15, tattoos by time she is 18 like her Aunt. Then she began to describe the size, color, and picture with a great deal of excitement of each one she planned to get. She asked me what I thought. Uhhohh, here’s the tough part about being a friend. Do I hurt her feelings or tell her the truth? I’m a very honest and easygoing person and I can’t hide my feelings. I blatantly told her “You sound like you need a piece of paper. Not a tattoo gun. I mean really?”  Maybe I should have been a little more careful of what words I chose. She wasn’t offended though, just a little surprised. Yes people in this situation I’M the crazy one. Clearly we disagreed on this topic and moved onto something else. Of course I don’t have a problem with people who get tattoos. Many people I love have them. But at such a young age, I think its horrible to mark yourself. I mean seriously when that girl is a 45 year old woman does she really think she is going to want “Delicious” on her back?

It’s not like its one or two of my friends, every where I go especially in class, I see large colorful tattoos and words stamped on them that only a teen girl would say. When these girls are older there’s no way they are going to want that. Your taste changes as you get older. You change as you get older. You can’t guarantee that “Brad Bear” and you are going to be together forever. So don’t get his name on your ankle! Not getting his name doesn’t mean you don’t love him, or doubt your relationship, it just means you like this guy but do you really want to make him a part of your body? To a 15 year old a tattoo is sparkly, cool, hot. But to future employers, or future in-laws a tattoo stating how “Delicious” or “Sexy” you are might not be the best way to make a good first impression. Sure there’s tattoo and laser removal, but it costs a fortune, and still that’s not even a guarantee you’ll get it off; it may fade but that could be it.

Lately, tattoos have become the alarming new trend. Even if you don’t actually have a tattoo you’re still considered “marked”. Like if you have a tattoo that’s “bad ass” or “hot”. If you don’t I suppose as you walk by some people label you with being innocent, young, scared. One day we will grow up, and be thrust into a world where high school nonsense will be nonexistent to us any more. So don’t do something to be cool in high school, because chances are it will just make you a lame adult. Not that long ago my one friend was staring at me in awe, and was extremely offended that I didn’t agree to get matching tattoos with her when we get older. Not to be rude but I don’t want ink on my body that you have as well, or in general. Of course I care for my best friend, but I am not going to put my morals and personal beliefs aside and get a large orange butterfly on my ankle so your feelings don’t get hurt for five seconds. Yes I like butterflies, but I don’t want to stare at one on my ankle every time I go to shave my legs or wear shorts. Peer pressure or not, I’m not doing something I don’t feel comfortable with. Because I have to live with whatever decision I make. They don’t.

Some people get tattoo as a memorial or tribute to someone they love who passed. It serves a beautiful purpose, but it can also be a constant reminder of how much you miss that person, or what happened. I don’t think that person would want you to relive their death every time you looked down. So if you feel like you have to get a tattoo for something among those reasons, know that person wouldn’t love you any more or less if you got a tribute to them on your body or not.

If you have a tattoo, I am certainly not discriminating against you. Everyone has a reason behind what they do. I hope by expressing my opinion this article prevents many teen girls from making a huge mistake, and saves them from a lifetime of regret. Think before you act. Are you going to fall into peer pressure and be like everybody else? Or are you going to follow your heart and avoid getting M A R K E D? It’s in your hands now.

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