The students, the tattoos, and the stories behind them

From sentimental moments to drunken escapades, these SFU students disclose the meaning behind their favourite tattoos

Chris Ho / The Peak
Chris Ho / The Peak

by Molly Lorette, Meera Eragoda, Juztin Bello, Paige Riding, Kim Regala, Kelly Chia

Molly Lorette, SFU Student

Chris Ho / The Peak
Chris Ho / The Peak

My mom is pretty fluent in French, and has been integrating little phrases here and there since I was little. Every night after putting me to bed she would close the door and we would say “Bonne nuit, dors bien, fais de beaux rêves, à demain.” (Good night, sleep well, have sweet dreams, see you tomorrow). 

We’ve also always shared a fondness of lavender oil as a sleeping aid, and used to harvest it from a bush we had in the front yard of my childhood home. To me, this tattoo not only serves as a reminder of my mother and my childhood, but as a reminder to persevere through to the next day.

 

Meera Eragoda, Staff Writer

This is Happy Noodle Boy. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but I love it. Happy Noodle Boy hails from the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comics by Jhonen Vasquez, which were some of my favourites in high school. This tattoo is basically an appreciation of my strange and dark taste, and I like to think it symbolizes my disavowal of mainstream normative culture. 

Happy Noodle Boy is a very minor character in these comics, but I love him because he’s ridiculous and is often on the soapbox you see in this tattoo yelling angry gibberish like “RAMEN.” Which is #deep. I initially got this because it’s so nonsensical that it made me happy, but the longer I have it, the more I realize that I’m basically becoming Happy Noodle Boy. 

He’s happiest when he’s allowed to yell about things that he’s passionate about, and I really identify with that. Although, I hopefully am not spewing gibberish, but who knows? Maybe that’s still to come. Just kidding. I’m with it, I promise. Moo.

 

Juztin Bello, Copy Editor

Chris Ho / The Peak
Chris Ho / The Peak

Last summer I went to Hawaii with three friends. One night, after already having a few drinks, we bought a bottle of wine and sat on the beach — the waves of the shore crashed while we drank, laughed, and talked under the stars. Amidst our drunken, wholesome escapade, we realized we needed something to uncork the bottle. Thinking swiftly (while inebriated), I pulled out my house keys. My friend, thinking equally as swiftly (and equally as inebriated), took my key and stabbed it into the cork. What followed?

The key got stuck. In a rush, thinking we could somehow make this work, my other friend took my shoe and pushed the key further — the thought was that pushing it in further would make it easier to pull out. And then what happened, you ask? 

The key bent. Panicked, the friend who first stabbed the key stood up and ran to the corner store to buy a wine bottle opener. Meanwhile, my friend who used my shoe decided to try wiggling the bent key out. Guess what happened next: 

 Yup, the key snapped in half. Suffice to say, there was no easy way to explain how my house key broke to my mom when I got home. This broken key tattoo is to commemorate this chaotic, but hilariously joyful, memory. 

 

Paige Riding, News Writer

Chris Ho / The Peak
Chris Ho / The Peak

The idiom “they have their head in the clouds” has a sort of negative connotation. Considered as out of touch with reality, a person with their head in the clouds is thought to be a dreamer —  maybe lazy, maybe irrational. I wanted to reinvent the notion of having my head in the clouds every time I look down at my arm.

I’m reminded that taking time away from the harshness of reality is okay, and even healthy. I’m not talking hypnotic drug use here — I mean embracing my creativity and imagination, embracing this side of myself and enjoying life beyond its suffocating 9-to-5. By pausing, calming my mind, and taking time for myself, I can turn around to be a better version of myself for others, but most importantly, for me.

 

Kim Regala, Staff Writer

Chris Ho / The Peak
Chris Ho / The Peak

I’m sorry to disappoint my fellow Aziz Ansari fans, but no, this is not a reference to that Netflix TV show with the same name. You may have heard the phrase “A jack of all trades is a master of none,” which refers to someone who dabbles in many skills but fails to be an expert in any of those trades. As someone who has consistently lacked focus to only practice one interest or skill to master, I naturally resonated with this quote. 

Along with its derogatory connotations of only being mediocre in all things, I internalized the idea of being a master of none, and took it as my greatest weakness. However, it wasn’t until I discovered the latter part of the quote “though oftentimes better than a master of one,” when I began to see these words in a new light. I learned that my tendency to learn about many things, rather than specialize in only one thing, wasn’t something to be ashamed of. Instead, it only goes to show that I can be passionate about many things. Now, I’m proud to call myself a master of none, and I’ve got it tattooed on my arm as a permanent reminder.

 

Kelly Chia, Features Editor

Courtesy of Instagram
Courtesy of Instagram

My first and most meaningful tattoo is on my left thigh. I had the idea to get Neo Queen Serenity  — the future version of Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon — on my body. I am not sure where the specific idea to get her as a tarot card came from, but I decided that it would embody her grace the best, and so I chose the Empress card to capture her. 

The Empress usually represents nurturement, guidance, and fertility. While I do not want any children, I thought this would capture the character as she has been a guiding influence in my life for a long time. The character, Usagi Tsukino, AKA Sailor Moon, has always treated others — including her enemies — with beautiful empathy. Rather than defeat, her goals have always veered towards salvation. 

Out of context, that sounds like real hippie shit, but you’d best believe that young Kelly was touched by her kindness and still is. She was an important figure in my formative years, and I’m happy this tattoo reflects that. I don’t often get to see my tattoo when I am out and about since it’s on my thigh, but having this beauty on it makes me beam with joy.