GRAPHIC: Davis High students show their stick and poke tattoos. Most are made by friends.
By Sarah Griffiths,
Olivia Waldren winces as her friend repeatedly pokes her side with a sewing needle. The stench of rubbing alcohol fills the air and bottles of black ink surround her.
The junior is getting a stick-and-poke, an at-home tattoo that uses a needle to penetrate the ink into the skin, trapping the substance to display your design for life.
“I got my stick and poke the summer before junior year. My friend first drew the wave design on my rib cage with a marker, then numbed the spot with ice and started to poke the ink into my skin about eight times around. It swelled up the next day and was super bruised,” Waldren said.
A popular spot to get these tattoos are around the bikini line to keep it hidden from view. Senior Helen Farrar got an outline of a heart in eight grade, right on her pelvis.
“I thought it would be cool. I wanted to make memories with my friends that last forever. It’s a heart that symbolizes the love I have for my friends. It didn’t hurt that bad, to me it was worth it,” Farrar said.
There are many dangers that come with stick and poke tattoos. Skin infections, bloodborne diseases and allergic reactions may occur if the tattoo is not done properly, according to VICE Health.
“I didn’t even know infection was possible,” Farrar said.
Some parents are not so happy with their children’s new body art addition.
“My mom was very very angry with me. She made me go to the doctor to make sure I didn’t get HIV from the needle my friend used,” senior Graham Segel said.
Segel has a cloud conjoined with a lightning bolt on the back of his hand.
“I still think it’s cool but I wouldn’t have done it right in the middle of my hand because I might want to get a job in teaching later in life so I wish it was more hidden,” he said.
Senior Lily Byrne has a symbolic three dots on the side of her pinky to represent her mom, dad and sister. “My mom thought it was funny and wants to get matching ones,” she said.