Students find themselves through self expression

When walking down the hall many glints of piercings, flashes of bright colored hair, and even glimpses of tattoos catch the eye. Especially now, many students have gotten tattoos, piercings, and more to help express themselves.

The term ‘self-expression’ is defined as “the expression of one’s own personality” in the Merriam Webster dictionary. Students also have their own definition of self-expression.

“You can express yourself in a ton of different ways from art to dyeing your hair to getting piercings,” junior Patton Bailey said. “It’s just about showing other people you. It’s showing what you are as a person. Self-expression can make you feel better about yourself. If you can’t express yourself, you’re just frustrated.”

Senior Mia Molzahn also believes that it’s important for students to be allowed to express themselves with different styles, colors, and clothes.

I think it’s really important to be able to express yourself,” Molzahn said. “I went to Trinity and we had uniforms. I hated that I couldn’t wear what I wanted to wear. I had to wear the same thing as everybody else, and I don’t like to be the same as everybody else. It was terrible. Being able to express yourself is really important for your own personality and just being who you are.”

Senior EJ Moackler is an advocate for self-expression, and believes that everyone should be allowed and encouraged to express themselves. Moackler has a nose piercing and a tattoo of ‘I love you’ in ASL behind her ear to honor a family member who is deaf.
“I’ve had a bunch of people ask if it hurts, and that makes me happy sometimes, because then I’m like, ‘no, it doesn’t hurt’ and then they’re like ‘oh cool’ and then a couple months later I see they have a tattoo behind their ear too,” Moackler said. “That’s pretty cool.”

There is a misconception that tattoos are exclusively for meaning, Moackler believes, but tattoos, piercings, and more should be about what they truly want – whether that is a meaning or simply because they think it looks interesting.

“I believe if people really want a tattoo, (piercing, etc), they should get it,” Moackler said. “If a person wants to only get a tattoo that means something, they can, but if you want to get a tattoo because it looks cool, go for it! It’s a choice that you get to make.”

Despite the excitement of getting something new, it can be scary to sit in the chair and wait for something to change, Moackler says.

“They can be really scary and can hurt, especially if it’s your first time, but in the end it’s an interesting experience,” Moackler said. “You might be expecting it to hurt a lot more than it does or not hurt at all and then when it does happen, you sit there like ‘wow that wasn’t as horrible as I thought’ or ‘that was awful but now I have this sick tattoo’.”