Cherefawn Chang (TWN), scientist, New York

“My first tattoo is the one on my neck, as an act of rebellion against my mom. I was like: ‘fuck you mom, I hate you’, so I simply did something she would never approve.

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When she first immigrated to the States, she suddenly became very Christian, so to fight against that, I got a biblical tattoo. It’s a human heart on one side and an apple on the other, divided by a snake, referring to the Adam and Eve story. You don’t know what’s right unless you do a couple of wrongs, right? My mom and I never had a great relationship in the first place, but in that phase, I wanted to rebel even more. So I got the tattoo, but I’ve never actually showed her. She saw it once, by accident, but I told her it was a fake one and she actually believed it. Now I always cover up my tattoos when I go see her. I wouldn’t care if she knew now, but I just don’t want to deal with the hassle. She’s too conservative to understand or appreciate it. She hates my shaved hair too, so I keep my hair down whenever I go see her.”

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“I wonder if tattoos will still be as popular 20 years from now. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, … everyone is getting tattooed, and no one sees them as being different anymore. People look at it like this edgy, cool thing. A while ago, most tattoo-artists were just random guys with a tattoo gun who opened up a shop. Nowadays they are real artists, even outside their tattoo job, as some of them work as illustrators, painters, … the medium is evolving.

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I understand the popularity’s growth. After all, a tattoo is a big part of yourself; you wear it every day. It’s kind of like wearing your favourite jacket day in, day out. Only difference is you can’t really take it off.”

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