Local Views on Tattoos

Back to Article
Back to Article

Local Views on Tattoos

Image via Krista Schlueter from The New York Times.

Image via Krista Schlueter from The New York Times.

Image via Krista Schlueter from The New York Times.

Image via Krista Schlueter from The New York Times.

Sofia Hellemar, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Tattoos are becoming more popular as time goes by, and have been controversial because of some of the meanings behind them, but times have changed. They’ve gone from sometime gang symbology to art statement. Here are some views on the matter from Denver locals.

Xochitl LeBaron, 18,  studies business at Arapahoe Community College. She sees regular changes on the views of tattoos. She sees more people wearing them in varied occupations, like baristas and cashiers. LeBaron thinks the views on tattoos have changed because the stigma around them has died down. “Tattoos used to only be on people who committed crime and/or were in gangs, but have now become something very different,” says LeBaron.

Image via Sofia Hellemar. Xochitl LeBaron, 18. She studies business at ACC, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

LeBaron is a fan of tattoos herself and has a tattoo on her ankle that a friend made for her. The tattoo she has was made in the “stick poke” method, where you use a normal needle and ink to create the tattoo. Her tattoo is a red circle and the reason she got is because she simply wanted it. LeBaron is very interested in learning the “stick poke” method herself to create tattoos. These tattoos are usually made at home by amateurs and could, like any tattoo, be dangerous if you don’t use the right products and keep it sanitized.

Here is a video showing how it’s done,


Xochitl LeBaron showing her ankle tattoo, which was done using the “poke stick” method, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

LeBaron says “My mom was not happy about it, she thinks that getting a tattoo is a way to ruin life.” LeBaron thinks that having tattoos can be an obstacle when applying for jobs, but it’s not as hard now compared to a few years ago.

Image via Sofia Hellemar. Kelly Athey, 62 years old. Mother to Erica Laley, 37 years old, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.

Kelly Athey, 62, thinks tattoos are more accepted today and that it has become a norm to have them. Tattoos used to only be a trend for lower class or military, she believes. Kelly does not have any tattoos, but two of her daughters do and she thinks it’s a good way for people to express themselves. She is not considering getting tattoos herself since she thinks they would look bad on aged skin and their appearance will become worse over time.

Athey believes that there was a time when getting a job with tattoos was really hard, but that it’s not a big issue in searching for jobs today. She sees a lot of people in Denver with ink and believes that most people who live here are not against them.

Erica Laley, 37, has many tattoos and doesn’t see anything wrong with having them despite others opinions, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

Erica Laley, 37, is a big fan of tattoos and the meanings behind them. Erica especially likes the traditional style of tattoos. She likes the art because she is an artist herself and sees it as a way to express herself. She feels that tattoos are more accepted nowadays. She did not know a lot of people with tattoos growing up, but now she sees people from all walks of life expressing themselves – telling stories with their ink.

Erica Laley, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

Laley has 8 tattoos herself and is planning on getting more. She lived in Austin, Texas where she believes tattoos are more common than in Denver. She feels this is because people are more liberal and artsy in Austin, where she has recently moved back to Denver from.

Laley knows a lot of people who think that the tattoos will look bad once you get older, but she does not agree. She thinks tattoos look good on older people too and that it is not a big deal to have them. She says her father was not very happy about her getting tattoos, but she does not really have any problem with what others think of her self-expression.

Tattoos have now become more of a statement and a way to express oneself and is much more accepted now than a few years ago. Today, the meaning behind them is typically not to show your gang affiliations or what crimes you have committed, but rather a decoration on your skin for everyone to see.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email