Many people have expressed their love for the current presidential candidates in several ways, from bumper stickers to t-shirts, from banners to hats. However, there seems to be a new trend, and it's certainly unexpected. People have started to truly honor their commitment to the candidates by getting tattoos of their favorite presidential hopefuls.
That's right – tattoos. Some folks want to express their undying support for certain candidates, even if that person will never serve as President. However, a person can't walk into just any tattoo parlor hoping to get inked. It turns out, some parlors have their political opinions too. Often this opinion depends on whether they're a bigger fan of the donkey or the elephant.
"The shop receives five calls a day and has given away 30 Bernie tattoos."
A matter of preference
Of course, tattoo parlors in candidates' home states may have a preference. Just take Aartistic Inc. tattoo shop, which is based in Bernie Sander's hometown of Winooski, Vermont. The shop's owner, Tyre Duvernay, is giving away free tattoos of the senator's head and iconic glasses to anyone who's interested. The idea has been such a hit that the shop receives approximately five calls a day and has given away about 30 Sanders tattoos. Duvernay's idea all stemmed from his disdain for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
"We wanted to support [Sanders] some way and with the caucus coming up there was a rumor that there's a shop in New Hampshire that's giving away Donald trump tattoos … and we just couldn't have that," Duvernay told news publication News10. "We were personally insulted by the whole free Donald Trump tattoo and I don't want people to get the wrong idea only Donald Trump has followers that are that passionate."
Before Duvernay decided to compete with Trump tattoos, his idea was simply to help regretful residents cover up any Trump tattoos they might've gotten in the past. However, once he started doing them, they slowly turned into outlines of the socialist senator's head. Now, his idea has even inspired tattoo parlors in places like Arkansas and Texas to give away free tattoos.
In New Hampshire, voters are showing their support for Sanders as well. A Burlington, New Hampshire parlor called We the People admitted that they are willing to give customers tattoos of Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, but they are unwilling to give any tattoo related to presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
The tattoo parlor owner Rick Meyer noted he really wants to give someone a full Bernie Sanders portrait.
"I would like to do one, nice Bernie Sanders portrait. It will probably take around 5 to 6 hours to do. The longer you have on a tattoo, the more detail you can get into it," Meyer said.
Casting a vote
However, not all tattoo parlors are in support of Bernie. Others would rather vote for Trump.
Just take the Clay Dragon Studio in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Tattoo shop owner Bob Holmes is offering free Donald Trump tattoos to anyone who wants one. Holmes noted that his kind gesture started as a joke. However, once he thought about it, he realized it could bring business to the shop and encourage people to get out and vote.
His idea has been a booming success, and Holmes has given 24 tattoos so far. He admitted that he has gotten calls from all over the country with people saying they wish they could get a Trump tattoo. Others are willing to make the trip. Holmes told KUTV that he had just gotten off the phone with a customer who was willing to drive two-and-a-half hours for a Trump tattoo. Unlike Duvernay's simple Bernie head, Holmes is willing to give customers whatever they want, from the campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," to an image of the infamous billionaire. Following Trump's beliefs, Holmes plans to give some of his tips to the Wounded Warrior project.
But what about if they lose? Are these free tattoos worth it then?
Of course, some people can opt to head to the nearest tattoo removal shop to have the tattoo lasered off. However, some may choose to keep it as a memory.
That's the case for Rachel Severance, who was the first customer in Duvernay's shop to get the free Bernie tattoo.
"I love it. I'm on his team even if he doesn't win," said Severance.