Assistant A&E Editor
My mother told me to never judge a book by its cover. In Waivelle Farmer’s case, if you read his tattoos, you could get a pretty good idea of what he’s all about. Family, expectations and aspirations are what puts the tattoo gun to his skin. He stands six tattoos later with a goal in mind and an open heart.
Farmer’s tattoos are more than just a style statement or a memorial to a loved one. They’re inspiration.
The junior was 17 when he received his first tattoo. He got it at a time when he really needed it, coming off a knee injury from football. He wasn’t sure of his football future. A lot of pressure was being put on him to get back into the game, and his hesitation was being seen as laziness. Farmer could hear the criticism but knew the words were false. That’s when he got the idea of getting, “I came too far to quit now and therefore only God can judge me” as a tattoo.
Another tattoo that says a lot about Farmer is the one placed right on his chest. It’s a tribute to his father and the great deal of respect he has for him. Farmer’s father, a plumber by trade, is the most respected man in his life.
“People look at [my dad] and say, ‘Oh well, he can’t be that smart… but unless you have a conversation with him, you wouldn’t realize his wisdom and the great level that it’s on,” said Farmer.
The tattoo says, “What’s concealed in the father is revealed in his son.”
Farmer went on to add how his dad is a caring, outgoing, smart and loving man, all traits that Waivelle looks to bring out of himself day in and day out.
One of Farmer’s tattoos that’s similar to the tattoo for his father is “Family,” with two roses tattooed across his torso. The two roses represent the two most loved women in his life: his mother and his sister. “Family” is for all the people he’s come into contact with.
“Family is big. The bigger that tattoo, the more meaning it has. It covers my whole side,” Farmer said.
The tattoos on Farmer don’t make him tougher or carry the usual stigma. They’re honest and truthful reminders of his life and the expectations he’s set for himself and the barriers he wants to break. When getting a tattoo, you take on the burden of people judging you for having a tattoo.
On the opposite side of his torso lies in huge print, “Welcome to the Jungle.”
“The reason I got that tattoo is because everything around us is a jungle and only the strong survive,” Farmer said.
The battle that he sees day in and day out is one fought out of fear, which brings us to his final tattoo that reads, “Fear the legacy left behind.” To Farmer, this represents his largest fear, this idea that if he were to die today, would people mourn his death for a day or two, or would he have left a mark? Farmer is out to make a change. Whether it be in his desired field of work as a doctor or just within the family he surrounds himself with, his dedication and passion are imprinted on his chest, literally.
With his six tattoos and a bright future ahead of him, Farmer looks to lay the idea of tattoos being a bad thing to rest. They’re his daily reminder of what he’s working for, his true inspiration.
“What does it matter what’s on my skin? If I’m black and you’re white, or you’re smarter, it shouldn’t matter what’s on my skin,” said Farmer. “Every piece of ink on me doesn’t lower my intelligence.”
The more people that see the meaning behind the tattoos, the more you’ll find they’re not just markings on the body.
For Farmer, they’re beliefs and motivation that remind him what he wants to do.
Kevin Moss may be reached at email@example.com