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We asked UNC students what emoji they'd get tattooed

Over 40 percent of millennials have tattoos, according to the Pew Research Center, and we’re telling the stories of the UNC students and Chapel Hill/Carrboro residents who fall into that 40 percent. This is one of multiple stories in the Swerve Tattoo Impression series. Read the rest here.

Tattoos can be a reflection of a person’s character, but also a symbol of the world in which a person grew up. Emojis are a big part of youth culture today, so we took it upon ourselves to ask students at UNC what emojis they would get as a tattoo.

Zoe Fisher (on trying to explain the BLAH emoji) 

Business Administration 

“The upside down smiley face or the one that’s like,” *splays hands out under her chin* “The really excited one, the one with the hands.”

Purshotam Aruwani (on finger guns)


“Oh, do I tattoo them exactly on my fingers?”

Grace Pearsall (Detective, but the old one)

Environmental Studies 

“Well, they changed it in the new update, but the old detective one I really liked!”

Isabel Bors (on the sparkly emoji), left 

Environmental Studies, Chemistry

“It’s cute and neutral.”

Cerina Ziemke (on the cat and heart eyes emoji), right 

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“It’s cute as fuck and you could put it with anything."

Allison Melrose (on the sunflower emoji)

Media and Journalism 

“I’m not a big user of emojis so I would get a tattoo of a sunflower anyways.”

Ellie Hartye (on many emojis)

Global Studies, Romance Languages 

“I’m not an emoji person. If I’m trying to send a message to the world I would definitely do the one with the two hearts in the eyes, because it would be symbolizing appreciation and love and positive energy, like putting it out there. Or I would do the one with the tears in the side like the crying laughing because it’s also fun to laugh really hard.”