By Celica Cook, SBM Student Life Editor


Senior French and international business major Abby Ruth has quite a few adventures up her sleeve—or rather, on her shoulder. Her tattoo represents a journey, in a physical and emotional sense. It is also representative of the memory of a close loved one that she lost as a child. Take a look at the story behind her tattoo to find out more.


So, what tattoos do you have?


“I just got my first one. There are a lot of different ones I want to get, but the one I have now, it’s the word ‘regardless’ with a mountain range fading into the sand dunes and the ocean, and then there is a bird flying over the top.”


Does it have a meaning?


“Yes, it has a lot of meaning. The word ‘regardless’ I associate with my freshman English teacher. She was kind of like a grandmother to me. She really nurtured my love for English. She had gone through a lot in her life, but regardless of happens, regardless of what people think of you, you are loved. You are valued. You have a purpose, and that has stayed with me since freshman year of high school. That’s kind of why it’s in typeset font too, as a nod to English. The mountains, dunes and ocean are my favorite natural places. I went on IBI this past summer, and those were my favorite places we visited. But, also getting through the valleys of life, the waves that crash over you and when there are deserts, all that. The bird could be either an eagle or a hawk. I intended it as an eagle because my first actual, true and devastating loss was when we lost a family friend to cancer when I was 10. His favorite verse was Isaiah 40:31. It says, ‘They shall rise up on wings like eagles.’ I also just like watching the hawks out here.”


When did you decide to get a tattoo?

“I’ve kind of wanted them for a while. I was home-schooled for many of my school years. It was very conservative Christian homeschooling. All my grandparents were very against it. I decided I wanted this one a few years ago, but my parents told me to wait until I knew for sure. Making the appointment was kind of spontaneous, but this particular tattoo has been in the works for over two years.”


Did you design it yourself, or did you have it designed?


“I can’t draw to save my life, but I drew a rough sketch of what I wanted. My artist sent me what she came up with, and it was what I had in mind.”


What do you think makes your tattoo unique to you?


“It shows my love of English. It shows that I’ve been through struggles, and it shows my love of nature.”


Would you consider tattoos as an important art form?


“God says our body is a temple, and I think this is a way to represent parts of you that aren’t really visible. I mean, it’s beautiful. Tattoos are beautiful, and it’s a way to put art on a different sort of canvas.”