Led Zeppelin-inspired tattoo helps student define her identity


One of Zecena’s tattoos is inspired by a Led Zeppelin album.

Marlen Zecena, a freshman forensic science major and psychology minor, currently has five tattoos that are “all small and fairly simple, but all very meaningful.”

Her first tattoo, which was inspired by the song “Joker” by Steve Miller Band, specifically the line “I’m a grinner, I’m a sinner,” was done the week before her 18th birthday by a friend of a friend because she simply could not wait another week before getting a tattoo. She smiled as she recalled the somewhat sketchy memory of her first time being inked, but expressed a love for her tattoo all the same.

The tattoo on Zecena’s ribcage was a more thoughtful piece in her collection. Inspired by Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, her piece combines each of the symbols that the band members chose as self-representation symbols for the album.

She described the album as her father’s favorite, and said the tattoo was in some ways for him.

Going into more detail about her father’s attachment to Led Zeppelin, Zecena shared how he wrote his will in conjunction with the lyrics to the song “Stairway to Heaven,” and how the band holds great personal meaning to her dad and her.

Zecena said she feels that each human’s body is their own, and that she as well as others should be free to put whatever they want on their body without fear of how they will be treated in the workplace or otherwise.

In the future, she plans to get more tattoos. Zecena has had experience at several shops in the Austin area including Platinum Ink, which she noted as overpriced, as well as Lady Bird Tattoo, which offers great deals such as “twenty dollar Tuesdays.”

Her next tattoo is an anatomically correct heart with an arrow through it, which she plans to get with her friend Alysson.

When asked if she uses tattoos as a way to commemorate bonds and relationships in her life, Zecena explained that she valued and realized that tattoos allow her to do that, but the true meaning behind her tattoos was more personal.

“My body never felt like my own until I got my tattoos,” Zecena said. 

She described how even if there were to be a falling out with her father, or anyone else for that matter about her ink, it would not affect the way she currently feels and how it is a beautiful reality to existence.

“Everyone changes as they grow,” Zecena said.

Zecena’s tattoos are beautiful artifacts to honor pieces of her life and personal evolution.