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Campus Couture: KU freshman Bella Wasson shares her tattoo journey

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Bella Wasson

Freshman Bella Wasson's tattoos are a way for her to express her love of art and the meaningful people in her life. 

Freshman Bella Wasson, a humanities major from Olathe, first fell in love with tattoos a year before it was legal for her to get one.

She got her first tattoo when she was 17. Since then, she's acquired seven new tattoos in the span of a year. 

Wasson’s family and friends motivated a few of her tattoos, including the very first one. 

“I was 17 when I got my first tattoo, so I had to have my mom sign off for it. I got the big dipper on the back of my neck, and my sister got the little dipper,” Wasson says. 

Wasson often collaborates with people she is close with when getting a new tattoo. She adds significance to the art by including relatives and friends. Her second tattoo was a tribute to her family, inspired by quality time watching “Golden Girls” with her grandma. 

Bella Wasson 'Golden Girls' Tattoo

Wasson got a tattoo of a line from "Golden Girls" in her grandmother's handwriting to commemorate the time spent together watching the show.

“A few months after the first one, I got one on my arm that says, ‘Thank you for being a friend,’ in my grandma’s handwriting. It is the first line of the 'Golden Girls' theme song,” Wasson says. 

Wasson’s love for books, film and media also inspired several of her tattoos. Her passion for the creative field motivates her to give her favorite art forms a permanent representation on her body.  

“Art has always been super important to me. I have always been an arts over STEM person,” Wasson says. “Art, all forms of art, is the thing that makes me most happy, so of course I want to get tattoos for them.” 

Wasson collaborated with another friend, named Renee, for a tattoo of a human figure with flowers growing from the shoulders. Her friend drew the tattoo digitally, and Wasson had the drawing copied onto the back of her arm. 

Wasson Friend Tattoo

Wasson collaborated with a close friend to get this personal, friendship-inspired piece

“We have a long story behind it, but basically she drew one of her plants as a person,” Wasson says. “I like the idea of getting a tattoo that represents a story you have with a friend."

Wasson’s newest tattoos were also film inspired, including a screw and a spinning top from “The Breakfast Club” and her all-time-favorite movie, “Inception.” Although all of her tattoos are special to her, her favorite is a sunflower painting by Vincent Van Gogh on her forearm. 

“The sunflowers are my favorite. It is the only one I have in color, and it looks so much like the painting,” Wasson says. “He is my favorite artist, so they mean a lot to me. [The tattoo artist] did such a good job with it, and I love it so much.” 

Wasson Sunflowers Tattoo

Wasson got a tattoo inspired by a painting by her favorite artist: Vincent Van Gogh. 

Wasson also acquires inspiration from her love of music. She has plans for several more tattoos, one of which is based on one of her and her dad’s favorite musicians. 

“I definitely want to get something from the Beatles. I also want to get wildflowers and a honeybee, which are both Tom Petty songs,” Wasson says. “That would be for my dad because we both have always loved Tom Petty.” 

Throughout her journey of getting tattooed, Wasson has stayed dedicated to her desire for each of them to have meaning. Her passions greatly influence her tattoo decisions.

“I totally respect people that get tattoos that don’t have any meaning, because they are a form of art, but I have a weird philosophy with it,” Wasson says. “I have so many things that I am passionate about, so I don’t want to waste space. I want them all to have a meaning.”

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester.

Guy: Maybe she's dead.

Girl: Or studying abroad.

Girl: They're like oil and water.

Guy: Wow, you're so good with analogies.