Gambier Ink: Tattoos Around Campus, Part XI
Isabel Landers ’18
I got a rose because Rose is my middle name, and I really like the flower. One of my brothers and my sister thought it was fake when I showed them, I guess because of the watercolor. My other brother found out I got a tattoo from my dad so he didn’t have any trouble believing me, although he did kind of rib me for not telling him in the first place.
The phrase “get mad” on my back was my first tattoo, and I only thought about it for about 24 hours before I went and got it. I use anger to motivate myself, so it seemed fitting for me to get that tattoo. The ant on my foot was my second tattoo, about a year after my first. It’s for my dad, whose name is Anthony. Everyone in the family calls him Ant, and my mom suggested that one to me. My third tattoo, the three stars on my bicep is the product of a group tattoo with my mom and sister, with whom I’m very close. My mom has a sun on her wrist and my sister has a moon on her arm, so together we make the sun, moon, and stars. My most recent tattoo, the Venus symbol on my wrist, is meant to symbolize female unity and my passion for feminism.I feel very passionately about tattoos. It’s very true that they are addicting to get, and the whole experience is really exciting. I’m interested in getting something literature-related once I graduate with my English degree in May. I’ve always wanted the phrase “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum,” which means “don’t let the bastards grind you down” and was featured in Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale.”
The finger tattoo is pretty self explanatory. Some people are taken aback, but mostly people laugh when they see it. It can be useful too. Once, after learning a bit about me, a guy dropped what I think was meant to be a pick up line(?) and said, “But you’re too pretty to be a feminist.” After telling him to go fuck himself, I flashed the tattoo, part of which is conveniently located on my middle finger, and left. The one on my shoulder is of Charlie Chaplin hanging off of a hot air-balloon. I love The Great Dictator, and the famous speech from that movie and a hot air-balloon all figured into a really good trip I had a few years ago, so that’s that. The last one on my forearm is my newest one. I got it mostly because I thought it was really beautiful, but also because metaphysics (and problems of free will within metaphysics) has been one of my favorite areas of study while I’ve been at Kenyon.
My tattoo is a play/pause button. It was inspired by Hannah Hart, who has a similar tattoo. I tend to get worked up about things – dig myself into a mental/emotional hole, as it were – and it reminds me to take a step back once in a while and look at the bigger picture. At the same time, it reminds me that I have to keep moving foreward in life and not to dwell on things too much.