While tattoos are a permanent and sometimes costly investment, Stevenson University students have an array of artwork covering their bodies. While some ink is simply for fun and may not have a lot of meaning, some student tattoos have deep connections to their being.
Junior Christine Favata has a two-piece tattoo signifying her family and religious values. The top portion is a sun, moon and stars, representing the way the moon shines due to the sun’s rays.
“All of that work is God’s work. That’s why in my tattoo, the moon is shining but it is connected to the sun, showing that it would not have been able to be bright without giving recognition to the sun,” said Favata.
Not only do the stars add to the overall image of the tattoo, but they hold a deeper meaning as well. The three stars represent Favata herself, her brother and her sister, and the bond that they share.
The bottom half of Favata’s tattoo is in honor of her favorite place of all time: her aunt and uncle’s farm in New York. They remind her of their family hikes and the way the pines create a serene “hallway” through the mountain and cover the ground in orange needles. “The scene is magical and will always be a special place to me, so I wanted that to be a part of me as well,” she explained.
This piece of flowers, crossed fingers and a crescent moon, belongs to Meghan Incantalupo. As the free spirit of her family, she was nicknamed the “flower child” by her mom, who often made flower crowns out of wildflowers for her. The sentimental crowns and bond with her mother are represented in the wildflowers on her arm.
Incantalupo is very close to her family, also getting inked with her grandmother in mind. The moon makes her feel connected with her grandma as no matter how far they are apart, they will always see the same moon.
Topping off her tatted trio is a small hand with crossed fingers, which she had done right before she attended New York Fashion Week just a few weeks ago. “The crossed fingers signify good luck and hope,” said Incantalupo.
The third tattoo featured is that of Mike Edwards. With one on each forearm, his mom’s and dad’s birthdays signify the positive impact his parents have had on his life.
“My mother has always been extremely supportive of my decisions, thoughts, and goals that I have set for myself over the years. She continues to be my go-to person for anything in life and it was only right that I honored her for that,” said Edwards.
Of course, he also has a strong bond with his father that can not be forgotten.
“My father has been another major influence in who I’ve become today. Being a football player and athlete my whole life, my dad has shown me how to be a competitive person who works hard in everything I do,” he explained.
These tattoos, which Edwards got going into his sophomore year of college, are something he holds close to his heart. He says he is very proud of his tattoos, and enjoys getting to tell anyone who asks the story about them.
While Becca Rios has many tattoos, many of which show her love for Lord of the Rings, there are two that can be seen in this image. The one on her upper arm represents the Doors of Durin, which is a magical door from Lord of the Rings that brings together kings who were once enemies.
“It reminds me that no matter where people come from, they have the potential to offer bridges and insights into the world that I may not have,” she explained. This ink serves as a reminder for her to stay open-minded, especially while working in an industry as diverse as fashion design can be.
The tattoo of scissors on Rios’ forearm is an identical replica of a pair of antique scissors given to her by her great-grandmother. They were written to Rios in her grandmother’s will, but given to her earlier as a high school graduation present. When she got accepted into the fashion design program at Stevenson, it seemed as a fitting gift.
“I decided to get the scissors tattooed so I would have them with me forever, no matter where I am in the world,” she said, since they are her most beloved good-luck charm.
In a society where tattoos can be seen as taboo or unprofessional, students show their ink proudly and are eager to share their stories.