Student seeks to break the stigma around tattoos 

Story by Andrea Valadez-Angulo

While tattoos are an extremely popular form of self expression, there is still a debate surrounding the art form.

Many people have a bias against tattoos because they feel as though it is irresponsible to get something permanently etched on your skin. There is also the school of thought that by getting a tattoo at a young age, you are increasing the chances of regretting that tattoo in the future.

Second-year Mary Corral has recently fulfilled their dream of getting their first tattoo of many. Corral was ambitious and chose a half sleeve depicting different types of mushrooms on their right bicep.

“It was an easy decision to get this tattoo… It’s something I’ve always wanted,” said Corral. “I really do find foraging for mushrooms a hobby of mine and something I care about deeply.” Living in the Monterey Bay area and having lots of beautiful nature around us propels this hobby.

Corral wanted to honor nature and specifically this type of fungi. For Corral, it was important to feature a variety of mushroom species since “all these mushrooms have different properties when it comes to medicinal purposes and even the way they taste… I believe mushrooms are the future.”

While Corral feels passionate about their decision, their parents have conflicting opinions.

Due to the size of the tattoo, Corral’s mother asked “Why didn’t you start off with something smaller? Maybe you’ll regret it in the future.” However,  Corral is convinced that since “I’ve been wanting this tattoo for a year, there’s no way I’ll regret it.”

Corral’s mother was hesitant, but overall is supportive of their tattoo. Their father’s potential reaction, however, is likely to be a very different story. “I haven’t shown it to my dad yet, I feel like he would be very upset… he’s a very traditional man.”

Even though getting a tattoo is a big decision, Corral wholeheartedly believes that it was the right thing for them.

“Sometimes you ask yourself ‘Is this something that I want or something that I need?’ For me, this [tattoo] was a need.”

The mushroom sleeve is Corral’s first tattoo, and they are already planning to add more detail to it in the future, as well as getting more tattoos in general.

“I’m very happy about finally getting this tattoo,” beamed Corral.

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