Q&A with Eliana Sexton
February 17, 2017
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Q&A with Eliana Sexton, a senior whose tattoo is just one of the latest examples of a hot American trend. Tattoos are a great form of self expression and nowadays, it seems like everyone is doing it. According to the Pew Research Center, 36% of Americans aged 18-25 have at least one tattoo. I caught up with Sexton to learn the story behind her ink.
Q: When did you decide to get a tattoo? What inspired you?
A: I knew I wanted a tattoo for my eighteenth birthday, but I wasn’t sure what to get. This was around the beginning of the summer. On July 24th my “Memere” (great grandma) passed away. She suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s. On our way home from her funeral, I asked my mom if she would get a tattoo with me in memory of my great grandmother.
Q:How did you pick your tattoo and what does it mean to you?
A: As far as the design, I knew I wanted it on my leg or calf because that’s where my mom got her first tattoo. My Memere always used to grow pink roses in her garden so I got a pink rose in the middle. I had the word ¨Memere¨ tattooed above with the phrase ¨belle âme¨ which means “beautiful soul” in French. To me, my tattoo will always represent that she is always with me. My grandma didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French, so we communicated through physical gestures. The only phrase she knew was “I love you” so that was one of the only things she said to me. She meant the world to me so to have this for her is the least I could do.
Q: What do you think your tattoo says about you?
A: Some people get tattoos to show that they’re like “edgy,” but I got mine to continue the legacy of my great grandma because she was incredible. I guess it says I have a deep love for my family. I believe you can be a classy adult with a tattoo and still be able to do anything. It doesn’t really define who you are.
Q: How do others react to your tattoo?
A: Adults seem to have a negative reaction. It’s either “you’re going to regret that” or “you know it’s there forever.” My friends and kids my age seem to accept it more, but I guess the general reaction is “I didn’t think you would get a tattoo.”
Q: Do you have any regrets?
A: No! Because it really means a lot to me and I like where it is. I like the way it looks! I think a lot of people ask if I regret the size because it covers the majority of my calf, but I love it.