Each tattoo on Stubbs’ body serves as a memory of her travels. Photo by Abby Fostveit.
GIANNA CASSIN | 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.
Lauren Stubbs, a sophomore history and political science major, has been fascinated by tattoos for a while. Last year, she decided to get her first tattoos–which all hold a special meaning, whether it be related to someone she looks up to or reminders for herself. Stubbs goes to different shops in order to have different kinds of artwork and memories to look back on.
THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: What inspired you to start getting tattoos in the first place?
LAUREN STUBBS: I’ve always thought tattoos are really cool. I liked them on other people. Then one day I was like, I want them on myself.
TBC: How many tattoos do you have?
LS: I have seven.
TBC: What’s your first tattoo?
LS: My first tattoo was the [scale] right [on my thigh]. I actually got three tattoos the first time. I had Christmas money to blow. I was like, “The pain isn’t that bad,” and then I sat there for two more hours. Originally [the scale] was going to be the only one.
TBC: What were the other two?
LS: The equality sign. Then I have this last minute one, the word “unwavering.”
TBC: Can you list all the tattoos you have and describe them and their meaning?
LS: I’ll start with my arms. I have this equality tattoo. I thought of it as I get out what I put into things. Then as I continue this journey through schooling and what I want to do with my life, the equality sign seems to fit that as well.
Then [the tattoo of flowers] is the newest one I got this past summer. It’s the tattoo my mom picked out and she means a lot to me. Then this word, “unwavering.” I always like to look at it because I’ve been told I’m stubborn, so I think it can help in some ways in life. This one right here is a favorite; it is RBG’s collar. When she passed, I was devastated. The year I was born is the year of the horse. This [tattoo] means horse [in Chinese].
As for my leg, the scale on one side has a heart, and [on] one [side] a brain, and in the middle of it is a spine. I like this because I tend to use both a lot in situations when I should be probably using more of my head than [my heart] … Keep some balance because I have an issue with that sometimes. Then I have “take care of yourself” on top of that just as a reminder to myself.
TBC: Would you say that people in your life are generally supportive of your tattoos?
LS: Yeah. [People] really like them, especially after I tell the meaning and the story behind them. My parents were like, “Be careful what [tattoos] you’re getting because of professional reasons,” but I don’t listen.
TBC: Do you have a tattoo that was most painful to get?
LS: Probably [the flowers for my mom], just because [while getting it I was put] in an awkward position and I had to keep my arm up.
TBC: Would you say you have a favorite tattoo?
LS: Favorite for different reasons. [The flowers] because it’s for my mom. I love her but also [the scale] because it keeps me grounded.
TBC: Do you have a specific shop that you like to go to?
LS: No. When I travel, I like to go to walk-in places. That’s a souvenir that sticks with you forever. I don’t have a place; I just go. If it feels right, go.
TBC: Do you have any current plans for future tattoos?
LS: Yeah. I have a whole Pinterest board of ideas. I don’t have any money though. Those are gonna be on the backburner.
TBC: Do you have anything else you want to say about tattoos?
LS: More people need to get them.