Man-tatted : A Look into the Ink of MC Students

By Adrianne Hutto, Production Editor

A campus full of 20-something year-olds and veterans, it is no surprise that MC students would be showcasing some unique tattoo pieces. From meaningful to fun and detailed to simple, students feature art of all kinds. 

Chris Norberto, a senior and veteran, has lost count of how many tattoos he has, with them on his arms, chest and thighs. While it is hard for him to choose, Norberto likes his chest tattoo the best, while it does depend on the day. 

“It’s a tiger with like Gothic filigree done in traditional style,” Noberto said. “But I’m also a big fan of my ‘la muerte’ tattoo on my right bicep to shoulder and then some days it’s this one, my sugar skull. It’s hard to pin it down, but those would be my top three for sure.”

For him, tattooing is a relaxing experience. Noberto explains that it can be cathartic for him, allowing him to enter into a zen state. 

“I’ve always enjoyed the artistic side of it,” Noberto said. “It’s like it’s the most intimate form of self expression I think because it’s permanent.”

Opposite of Nobert, senior John O’Connor, recently got his first tattoo. The piece itself holds a lot of meaning for O’Connor and was even designed by a close friend of his. 

“My tattoo is two fuzzy dice hanging from a rearview mirror with a nice landscape in the mirror,” O’Connor said.  “So the numbers on the dice make out 1111. And so that’s always been my lucky number, but also my grandma’s birthday is Nov. 11th, which is 1111. So there’s the meaning within that and then in the rearview mirror, there is a landscape and I’ve always said, ‘reflect on your past, but keep moving forward.’ So kind of acknowledge where you came from. And then there are three butterflies surrounding the mirror. And that is me and my two cousins.”

O’Connor explained that he likes tattoos because it allows you to add artwork to your body with total control as to where it goes and the meaning you take from it. While it can be anything from a small to a big piece, there is a special connection between someone and their tattoo. 

“It makes a special connection between the image and yourself and some people have tattoos where you can’t even see them,” O’Connor said. “It’s just to have it there. There’s so many ways to kind of carry something with you. And that was kind of my thing. I wanted it to be special because I wanted to carry the message that I have on my body now with me for the rest of my life.”

Kevin Corcoran, a senior at MC, has six tattoos across his body. His favorite being a knife on the back of his leg. However, he got his first one at 16 when his parents took him to New Jersey to get a symbol that has been consistently tattooed on everyone in his family. 

“The shamrock one kind of always symbolizes you and then all my family kind of builds around it [the shamrock],” Corcoran said. “So, my dad has his kids’ names underneath it, my brother has his daughter’s name around it and then like my sister has a whole thing. So it’s the family.”

Corcoran explained that he enjoys tattoos because he sees the body as a blank canvas that can be fun and expressive when covered.

“It’s just a fun expression,” Corcoran said. “It’s boring, like your body, it’s a blank canvas and so you just want to cover it with things that you like.”

Another senior at MC, Samantha Miraglia, has 13 tattoos. Her first tattoo was done when she turned 18, and is an elephant that she got done with her mother.

“Elephants have always been a symbol used in our family for good luck,” Miraglia said. “My brother was supposed to get it too but he chickened out.”

Of the tattoos she has, Miraglia explained that her favorite is a piece saying ‘You Are Art.’

 “I think those are my favorite just because the whole idea of my tattoos is that my body is art and I want to do with it what I can,” Miraglia said. 

For Miraglia, getting a tattoo can be an adrenaline rush. 

“It’s the excitement of it all,” Miraglia said. “I always look forward to when I finally pinpoint the idea I like and where I’m going to put it. It’s a fun experience overall.”

Campbell Alfaro, a senior communications major, got her first tattoo a year ago on a whim when a friend of hers came to campus to visit. While each girl only got a dot behind their ear, since then Alfaro has gotten two unique tattoos, her favorite of the two being her Yankees tattoo.

“It’s the facade that wrapped around the stadium,” Alfaro said. “It’s personal to me because I was raised on the Yankees and my parents both worked for the Yankees. So, it’s kind of just a little thing I did to contribute to them and to my childhood.”

Since getting her tattoos, Alfaro is more comfortable with the idea of getting more.

“My most recent one I got two weeks ago and that was like a Campbell’s soup can,” Alfaro said. “So, the random ideas kind of just come to my head and then I just go for it but it comes right out with it. Ever since I got those done I’m less skeptical about just going forward because I’m like ‘what’s done is done.’”

While experiencing the uncommon, MC student’s themselves are uncommon in their style and taste. As tattoos become more and more normalized, the number of MC students with personalized art is likely to increase.