Kayla Traylor: My Body is My Canvas


-By Kayla Traylor

I got my first tattoo a few weeks after turning 18 years old, and telling my dad all year that that's all I wanted.

Kayla Traylor showing off her arm tattoo's
Kayla Traylor showing off her arm tattoo's

You're probably wondering what my parents think: My mom has two and refuses to get anymore because of the pain.

However, when it comes to my dad .. he's the reason why I started to get them in the first place. He has two full sleeves and half of his back and stomach done.

He is the one who told me "tattoos don't define who you are. So, don't ever let someone tell you that they do. You can be the nicest person on earth with the biggest heart. 'But, because you're covered in tattoos, you're viewed as a thug, punk or viewed less than compared to others. When in reality the guy next to you with no tattoos could be the rudest guy in the room, but is viewed differently because he "doesn't look like a bad guy."

Tattooing has been practiced across the globe since about 1200 BC. Originally coming from China, however, the word "tatau" originated in Samoa.

Many are not fans of tattoos for reasons including both pain and religion. Many say that tattoos are against religion and always fall back on this verse: "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you." - Leviticus 19:28.

However, I always think of the verse James 4:12: "There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and destroy, but who are you to judge your neighbor?"

When it comes to the prices of tattoos, it just depends on what you get done within that tattoo. The smaller the tattoo, the less the cost. My most expensive one would be my half leg sleeve, that was about $400 plus tip.

I get asked, "Why would you pay that much to be in pain?"

The reason why I love tattoo is because I think of it as an expression of my mind. So, does my dad. He told me tattoos are his expression of the mind, too, just permanently.

I view my body as a canvas, and the tattoos on my body are the paintings on that canvas.

I have seven tattoos-- two religious tattoos and five non-religious. All of which surprisingly didn't hurt except for the Japanese one that I have on my left arm.

Out of the seven tattoos my absolute favorite would be the quarter sleeve I have on my right arm. I call it my "black excellence arm." I say it's my favorite because I have quotes from black activists such as Malcom X, Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Traylor's "Black excellence arm"
Traylor's "Black excellence arm"

Kayla Traylor, 21, is a mass communication major and member of the Lady Wildcats softball team.

Kayla Traylor
Kayla Traylor