Body alterations influenced by pop culture trends

Mia Merchant, asst. features editor

When looking out at a crowd of students, whether it be during passing period or during lunch, a variety of different styles can be observed. There are several students who have altered their bodies as well, from hair dye to piercings to tattoos.

Junior Alexis Rosenfeld has been dyeing her naturally black hair bright red for three years now. She has multiple ear piercings as well. According to Rosenfeld, she had been wanting to dye her hair since she was 10 years old. She originally wanted to dye it blue, then purple, and then finally settled with her mom on red. This was a decision that mostly came from herself, but it was also influenced by her idols.

“I like a lot of rock bands, and people in rock bands dye their hair and have multiple piercings, and I just thought it was so cool because of it,” Rosenfeld said.

Just like Rosenfeld, senior Maya Dominguez has several piercings, including a septum piercing and an industrial piercing. Dominguez’s decision to alter her body was influenced by the alternative rock genre and wanting to be a part of it.

“When I see another person with piercings, I feel like we’re similar, we’re in the same boat, and I feel a little bit of a connection,” Dominguez said.

Junior Olivia Lee has a tattoo of a black arrow on her left arm, which connects her to her family. She got it on Veteran’s Day last year, in memoriam of her cousin, who died two years ago. Lee says that this symbol has made her closer to her relatives because several members of her family, including her mom and sister, had gotten matching tattoos with her.

“For me [the tattoo that I got] is a constant reminder to keep loved ones in your heart,” Lee said. “It’s a daily reminder of my cousin and what she loved.”

Influences in style can come from anywhere, and Rosenfeld has observed that trends often follow celebrities and pop culture. She has noticed that more and more people have altered their bodies in recent years because of this.

“Celebrities will change their hair as fast and as quick and as often as they change their clothes, and it just starts trends,” Rosenfeld said. “Especially because K-pop is really popular and people in K-pop change their hair color a lot. So a lot of people change their hair color according to their biases.”

Lee has noticed an increasing trend in tattoos, especially tattoos with a minimalistic style. She has seen that because of social media platforms such as Tumblr, VSCO, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, more people are inspired to get tattoos by images of aesthetic-looking designs.

“They’re three giant platforms for aesthetic looking purposes,” Lee said. “For example, with Instagram, you want to show off the best of what you do.”

South students have a myriad of different reasons for altering their bodies. One of the reasons she got her tattoo is because she loved the way body art looked, Lee says.

“I love that you could customize your body to look how you want it to look and put different pieces of art on it and just have it there forever,” Lee said. “Even if it is a little weird-looking in general, it’s such a cool idea.”