freshman Celia Long tells the story behind her five tattoos – The Elm

freshman Celia Long tells the story behind her five tattoos – The Elm

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By Mikayla Silcox

Elm Staff Writer

If you look closely, Washington College has a tattoo culture hidden just under the surface. The various tattoos of WC students attest to the freedom of expression that WC prides itself on.

Freshman Celia Long has five unique tattoos, each with a unique story.

On March 18, 2022, Long received her newest tattoo — a testament to her love for musician Harry Styles. Above her elbow sits a replica of the moth tattoo that Styles has on his stomach.

Not only is the tattoo a statement piece, but it represents the impact that Styles, who Long has looked up to since age eight, has on her life.

“Harry practices and preaches choosing love, treating people with kindness, and being yourself, which I’m reminded of whenever I see my tattoo,” Long said.

Long feels that she can immediately bond with others who recognize the tattoo, as they likely feel just as connected to Styles as she does.

This eye-catching “permanent accessory” is not the end of the work done on Long’s arms; she has two self-inked stick-and-poke tattoos on her hands.

She also has a matching tattoo with her mother — a large heart hugging a smaller one. The idea for this tattoo came from Styles’ song “Sweet Creature,” in which he sings, “two hearts in one home.”

On Long’s left arm, she has “xoxo” written in her grandmother’s handwriting to replicate how she signs Long’s birthday cards.

While many view tattoos as art, some see them as unprofessional. Oftentimes, older generations warn adolescents that they will regret their tattoos. Long says that this belief is outdated.

“The world is progressing and becoming more accepting of how people choose to present themselves. I’ve already held a job with all of my tattoos, and I’m sure by the time I find a career it will matter even less than it does now,” she said. “They can worry about their own bodies.”

These five tattoos are not the end of Long’s journey.

“I have an entire notes app list full of ideas, and I’m planning on getting another when I go home over winter break,” she said.

Ultimately, Long hopes that through her own tattoos, others are inspired to express themselves through art.

Photo courtesy of Mikayla Silcox.

Photo caption: Freshman Celia Long views her tattoos as a form of self-expression in which she can celebrate her beliefs, interests, and loved ones.

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