Kendall Wingler (left) and Trinity White (right) pose in Hinkle. Photos by Grace Hensley.
MAXWELL COLLINS | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Tattoo Tales” is a series in which The Butler Collegian speaks with a Butler community member about their tattoos and the stories behind them. Read on to discover the next of our Tattoo Tales through a Q&A style interview.
Trinity White, sophomore psychology major and shooting guard on Butler women’s basketball team, began getting tattooed last year, and currently has five. Most of these draw inspiration from White’s mother and grandmother, who play a significant role in her life. Kendall Wingler, junior sports media major and guard on Butler Women’s Basketball team, also has five tattoos, the first of which she got in her junior year of high school after her grandfather passed away.
THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: Could you give us a walk-through of some of your tattoos?
TRINITY WHITE: My first tattoo is the one on my right side, a tulip line tattoo. I got it to match my mom’s tattoo — her favorite flower is a tulip. The [tattoo] on my left side is of ferns, for my grandmother. She likes ferns a lot. I’m half Native American, so they are kind of tribal tattoos.
KENDALL WINGLER: The first one I got was in my junior year of high school. My grandpa had just passed away — I wanted that to be the first one I ever got. He hated tattoos, but hey, we’re just going to go with it. The second one I got was down my spine, and it is from the Bible, Genesis 3:19. It goes, “For dust you are, and to dust you will return.” It’s just a reminder to me, never think you’re always better than anyone else. It’s something I’ve held in my heart for the longest time. Another one I have is Matthew 7:23 on my wrist, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Growing up, I’ve had a lot of people in and out of my life, people I thought were really close to me, but unexpected things happen. It’s just something to remember that by.
TBC: Have your tattoos boosted your confidence?
TW: Yeah, I’ve been told they have. The previous director of operations [Jamie Ingram] for basketball told me that I hold myself differently. I do get compliments when I’m out in public.
KW: A lot of people when they first see me think I’m arrogant or closed off because of my tattoos, but once they get to know me, I’m really fun to be around. My tattoos help me feel more comfortable in myself — not that I rely on them, I just feel more myself.
TBC: Are there people in your life that have a strong opinion about your tattoos?
TW: My mom has helped with deciding where to put [my tattoos]. I always send her [tattoos] and say, “Oh, this is cute, should I get this?” My dad is the total opposite. After I got my first neck tattoo, he was like, “My baby goes off to college and gets all ‘tatted’ up!” He’s more concerned about my future; he doesn’t want people to judge me.
KW: Oh, my grandparents [hate tattoos], for sure. My dad was the one to help me design my leg piece, and he has no tattoos. For the longest time, I didn’t like tattoos either.
TBC: Was there a reason behind your change in opinion?
KW: It kind of just happened over time. When I first started getting into tattoos, I waited a really long time before I ever got my first one. After I got it, I was hooked. I started getting into that culture, I started looking into it more and I just loved it.
TBC: Have your parents’ opinions affected if you want more tattoos in the future?
TW: No. I mean, I’m the one paying for it. I think I’m done [getting tattoos]. Well, I said that about my neck tattoo, then a year later I got another.
TBC: Is being judged something you’re concerned about in your future?
TW: I tell [my dad] that the profession I want to go into [is] athletic training and [personal training, and] both of my [trainers] have full tattoo sleeves. It’s easy to cover up. Even if I work in an office like my mom, she said that one of her office buddies has two tattoo sleeves, and my mom has tattoos. She says her boss doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect her performance or her work.
TBC: Do you feel that having tattoos has affected any opportunities you have or have not gotten?
KW: Really I feel like it’s helped me in a way. Especially being in sports, when I started posting on social media more, brands have looked at [my tattoos] as an opportunity. I’m sure later down the road, there’s a possibility it might hurt me, but right now it’s made a statement. I guess [it] helps make my identity.
TBC: How do you handle people who give you a hard time about your tattoos?
KW: I just laugh about it. People always come up to me and say, “Oh, it’s such a huge commitment!” I’m unbothered! Sorry, it’s not on [your body]!
TBC: Is there anything that you wish more people knew about getting tattooed?
TW: Bring a buddy for moral support. Every time I went, I had my mom or one of my teammates. I think that builds the connection you have to that tattoo.
KW: I feel like a lot of people think [tattoos] are a bad thing. For me, I always thought they were cool. It’s a statement of yourself, really creating your own identity. It’s showing your creativity through works of art on your body for the rest of your life. It’s not a bad thing.