Campus News

Bethel students wear tattoos proudly

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Tattoos have been around for many years, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that tattoos became a part of this Western mainstream world and recently, Bethel College. Once looked down upon by many in society, tattoos have, for the most part become accepted by today’s society. Where it was once taboo, it has now become a part of our culture and you can see people with tattoos in the professional job market. Hours of pain involving needles that inject ink under the skin is what it takes to get a tattoo, and to many, it’s a worthwhile process. Look around the Bethel community, the chances of spotting a person with one or more tattoos on campus is more likely than what it used to be. Alec Betz, a junior at Bethel College and a part of the track team, has 23 tattoos. He said he doesn’t have a favorite and he got each one for a different reason. “It’s hard to narrow it down to a few that are my favorite considering I got them all for a reason,” said Betz. Betz is also well known to proudly expose his tattoos to the Bethel community “First is my left arm half sleeve tattoo of a lighthouse,” he said. “I got it for my high school friend who died in a car crash and lighthouses represent guidance. Another favorite is my chest piece. They are hands that hold a torch with a writing that says ‘Take your flame, Ignite the world’, and it’s all about taking your talents and abilities to the world.” For others, they have only started in their tattoo journey, such as senior Andrew Staal, who currently only has one smaller tattoo. “It’s a small tattoo on my ankle, and its five Greek symbols for “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior,”Staal said. When asked that it’s something that he won’t ever regret and proud showing, Staal said “absolutely.” “I want another,” he said. “I have no idea what I’ll get but I want another.” Others have tattoos that not only represent their belief and faith, but also family. Joao Couto, a soccer player and senior at Bethel College from Brazil, has an interesting story to tell behind his tattoo. “I only have one tattoo that is dedicated to my mom that reads ‘thank you, mom’ in Portuguese,” said Couto. “In addition, in the same tattoo, I have Psalms 23 written, which is my favorite passage in the bible.” Couto too, is thinking of getting another one, and when asked what it will be, he said that “it will have something to do with soccer.” Tattoos in Bethel’s community will likely continue to grow, and to some, will continue to be a way of self-expression and artistry. “My last favorite written quote tattoo is the one I have on my leg that says “Born to Raze Hell,” said Betz. “I got it for a play on words because I like tattoos that make people ask what they mean.”
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