Collection of varied tattoos creates collage of meaning

Topper Tats showcases the most interesting tattoos students are sporting around the Hilltop. 

Liz Mong does not shy away from letting you know what is on her mind. Sit down with this transfer student from Massachusetts, and you will learn a thing or two about how she defines herself and her place in the world. If you do not get this opportunity, do not fret. You can read her story on her skin.

“I’m like a bible—I have a lot of words on me,” Mong said.

 These words, in addition to all the symbolic images she has, make up eleven tattoos on Mong’s skin. Just from the four that more visibly apparent, you can quickly get a solid idea of what this girl is all about.

Look to her wrists and you will see the ink that has been with her the longest: an infinity symbol on her right wrist and the word “family” on the left, both in white ink. Though the white may seem odd at first, Mong has a plan for them; she says she opted for colorless tattoos because she wants to leave the spaces for her children to color in when she has a family.

The first bit of black ink of hers that might catch your attention is the phrase, “This too shall pass” on her forearm. 

Like the four-word phrase on her right forearm, many of Mong’s  tattoos are relatively common ones. A rose on the hip, a lotus flower, an Om symbol, the flower of life on her right shoulder, the phrase, “cogito ergo sum”—all commonly recognized tattoos which Mong argues contributes to her theme of universality.

Mong says that coming to St. Edward’s University and Austin from an all-girls college in Massachusetts, and a boarding school prior to that, is a major shift for her. She feels that she is now part of a more in-depth tattoo culture and that social acceptance is far easier to come by on the Hilltop and the city that surrounds it.