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Tattoo Tales: Shawn Estrada’s Inspired INk

ROXY REAVES/The Stanford Daily

To the untrained eye, students on the Farm seem like typical future doctors, lawyers and business executives — they all look just the same. A closer examination reveals certain markers and attributes that prove even the blandest Tree has deep roots. A cleverly hidden tattoo placed tastefully on the back of the neck distinguishes Shawn Estrada ’14 from her talented peers.

The scripted phrase, “Let Love In,” brilliantly characterizes the bold and confident Estrada even better than her role as president of Stanford Mock Trial or her aspiration to pass the bar. Inked for the first and only time a little over one year ago, Estrada still believes in the powerful message the tattoo holds. She was inspired by phrase after seeing it signed by Glee actress Dianna Agron at the end of a blog post advocating for gay rights.

“It’s just the philosophy, really, of living life with love instead of hate that stuck with me,” Estrada remarked.

As expected, her parents weren’t quite as struck by the message tattooed on their daughter. Friends, on the other hand, though slightly shocked, enjoyed being able to make certain suggestive jokes out of the phrase at Estrada’s (admittedly amused) expense.

Estrada reminisced about the experience of walking into a super heavy metal tattoo shop with her friend and asking for a “super girly” tattoo.

“I almost think that it made my hardcore tattoo artist a little uneasy.…He drew the tattoo on in pen and kept having to redo it because it was crooked,” Estrada said.

Even after a year, Estrada still loves her tattoo. She admits it was a little inconvenient over the summer because she was working in a professional law firm where tattoos are generally not smiled upon.

“It was a problem because sometimes I forget it’s there, honestly, because I can’t see it,” she confessed.

Still, it’s those perfect moments where Estrada doesn’t have to be a model of professionalism — the moments where she can put her hair up in a ponytail and be completely real — where you can catch a glimpse of the tattoo and tangibly see her outside-the-box personality.