The hidden and not-so-hidden truth

By Mohamed Bafakih (@Moe_Fresco):

Looking at San Jose State’s women’s basketball team, you would think tattoos are nondescript.

With age, there’s a deciding factor on whether a tattoo is something a person would want on their body permanently.

The squad features a young bunch, but many players have a way of revealing their story through ink, small or big.

Sophomore point guard Taylor Turney typically wears an elbow-length compression shirt under her jersey, giving her just enough room to show off a half-sleeve piece on the left arm.

“I’ve always been a fan of tattoos,” said Turney, who got hers during senior year of high school. “Whenever I used to see them on people — I just think it’s art. I don’t really like how people judge, you know?”

A colorful jaguar is spotted on the back of Turney’s forearm because it’s her favorite animal. She credited her mom for the colors because Turney’s darker skin complexion favored the design.

On the front of her forearm are roses stacked on top of one another with feathers and angel wings that sit above.

“My roses mean love, happiness and new beginnings,” Turney said.

Her Cherokee Indian background is represented with the feathers and the angel wings are a reflection of her being saved.  

“If something means a lot to you, I suggest why not get it on your body,” Turney said.

Compared to the rest of the team, Turney’s tattoos are far more visible, but junior forward Andrea Kohlhaas is selective with the placement of them.

“I personally — because of what my major is [international business] — just don’t know where it’s going to take me in the future,” Kohlhaas said. “I would never want that [tattoos] to be a reason why I wouldn’t get hired or why it would limit what I want to do in the future.”

With that, the two-time Academic All-Mountain West selection chose the back of her left shoulder to get an Italian saying that translates to “always with me” in honor of her late grandfather, who was Italian, and wings on her ribs.

Unlike Turney’s meaning with her wings, Kohlhaas said it’s about the sky being the limit and it’s “within your ability to reach what you want.”

For redshirt freshman forward Anna Thomasdotter, her small, lone tattoo on her right heel was about the sensation.

“I really only got it because I wanted to see what it felt like,” Thomasdotter said.

What appears to be a sun, which she said goes unnoticed to her teammates, carries a scientific meaning.

“I’m a bio major and science stuff is really fascinating to me,” Thomasdotter said. “I wanted something that represents what I think about the world-ish.”

She left the middle part of her sun-shaped tattoo open as way of things coming together and becoming concrete.

Meaningful or meaningless, the young players will continue writing their own story, which eventually could translate to more tattoos.

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