A look into tattoos within the BSM community


Fiona Lynch

Suzy Haakonson’s tattoo she got with her sisters, as described in the interview.

This story is written in a Q & A format. 

Knight Errant: What’s your tattoo?

Suzy Haakonson: I have two different tattoos. So the first one is a smiley face and I did that one myself. And then the second one is three stars. So me and each of my sisters we just drew one and then on my 18th birthday, we all got them together.

Ms. Overbo: My tattoo is a drawing of a stock of wheat. I drew the sketch and had them directly transfer it onto me, because I wanted it to look like a sketch.

Ms. Olson: I have the number 85 tattooed on the back of my hip.

KE: When and where did you get your tattoo?

SH: I got my tattoo at ACE piercing and tattoo. I got it about maybe two weeks after my 18th birthday.

Ms. Overbo: I got it at St. Sabrina’s in Minneapolis. I really liked the environment and knew that they took safety and sanitation really seriously. I felt good about going to that place as a place to get my tattoo rather than some other random spot, you know?

Ms. Olson: I got it when I was 19 and I think I went to Aloha Monkey, but I got it filled in at St. Sabrina’s.

KE: Why did you choose the design you did?

SH: Me and my sisters all wanted tattoos, and our parents always told us you’re never getting a tattoo. But if we all get them, they can’t cut all of us out of everything, so we got them together.

Ms. Overbo: I had gotten a tattoo of a toe ring on my toe that was somewhat impressive. But I wanted to get one for real, but I didn’t know of anything that would be important enough. Then my dad happened to pass away in 2008. Then obviously, it’s not immediate, it was within two years, but then kind of figuring out if I was going to memorialize my Dad, how did I want to do that? And then it came down to both my sister and I, she was on her way to the Peace Corps. And she drew an antler which was super cool. It took a couple of weeks really for me to brainstorm and think about different things. And then it popped into my brain when I was doodling one day, and I made a couple of different versions of it. And the one that I was happy with, that’s the one that I went with.

Ms. Olson: My grandpa’s football number for the Packers was 85. And so when he died I got the tattoo in memoriam.

KE: How did you feel getting it, did it hurt? Were you nervous?

SH: I wasn’t nervous. It hurt but I got it. In a really hard spot. I got it like right on my ribcage, but it wasn’t that bad.

Ms. Overbo: I was a little bit nervous. I was excited because honestly, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. It wasn’t excruciating. It’s doable. One thing that made me much less nervous even while I was there is that we probably placed the transfer four different times to get it in just the exact spots, which was nice, because I got to be picky. And, it made a difference what angle it was and it was really nice also to work with a tattoo artist who totally understood. And to have 100% confidence in the way that it was happening. It was nice the artist was very flexible.

Ms. Olson: I was nervous because I didn’t tell my parents, even though I was over 18. It’s a pretty fleshy part of the body so it didn’t hurt a ton. I was just kind of bound and determined.

KE: When did you decide that you wanted a tattoo, is it something you thought about for a while or a rash decision?

SH: I thought about it for a couple years before I did it. I didn’t know what I was gonna do. And I definitely didn’t expect to get something with my sisters because we weren’t that close growing up.

Ms. Overbo: It was definitely something that I have thought about for a while, maybe as much as 10 years, maybe just five years. I got the first tattoo in 1995 and then got this tattoo in 2009. It was just sort of something that came along that felt significant enough and deserved a tattoo. Not everybody needs a tattoo that’s super impactful, and holds a deep inner hidden secret.

Ms. Olson: It was something I thought about for a while. I think I wouldn’t have gotten one at that point if my grandpa hadn’t died. I will say that once you get one, you want more. And I’ve had another design in the works for a while but I just financially can’t really justify it. As of now.

KE: Do you think you’ll regret this?

SH: No.

Ms. Overbo: No, I don’t, because I even went so far as drawing a couple of the different things on me and walking around with a pretend version of it.

Ms. Olson: I don’t think so.