Carah Faye Charnow has at least 17 known tattoos:
Carah Faye Charnow has a full sleeve tattoo on her left arm with Japanese imagery, from the Geisha on her upper arm to the hibiscus flowers at her wrist. She wrote: “I just wanted the whole piece to be a collections of things that fascinate me about Japanese culture.”
Carah’s parents have not always been supportive of her tattoos, but she says “I smiled so big when my dad first said he thought my sleeve was pretty….I really felt like I had broken through their stereotype of tattoos”
The pirate swords on Carah Faye Charnow’s stomach were her very first tattoo and are her only tattoo without a meaning. More recently in March 2013 artist Dam Smith added a series of letters and numbers that represent Carah’s straight edge (drug free) lifestyle. The swords themselves look like X’s.
The letters “SE” stand for “Straight Edge” while “84” is for 1984, the year she was born. “OLOC” stands for “One Life One Chance,” which a song by the straight edge band H20 as well as the name of H20 singer Toby Morse’s anti-drug advocacy organization.
Carah considers herself straight edge since 1984 because she has always been drug free. Her uncle was killed by a drunk driver when she was a child, making her aware of the dangers of drinking from a young age. In her One Life Once Chance testimonial, Carah explains: “When I was about 5 or 6 years old my uncle died in a drunk driving accident. My grandmother was crying and I didn’t understand, and they explained to me what happened. My grandmother was freaking out and she grabbed me and she said ‘Carah, promise me that you will never, ever drink.’…And I was like ‘I promise grandma, I swear.’ I was so young, but I understood that alcohol had killed him.”
As she’s grown older, Carah’s convictions have grown even stronger. She says “It is so important to me that people know that there is nothing good that comes from [drugs and alcohol]…It just gets you no where. Every moment of my life that has reminded me of that has only strengthened me.”
Carah Faye Charnow has a straight edge “XXX” tattoo on the webbing between her fingers. Carah lives a straight edge lifestyle which means abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
She has always been drug free and felt at home when she discovered the straight edge community. She explained “I’ve been very fortunate to have already sort of had that mentality before I found straight edge. Straight edge was like ‘oh dude, these guys think how I think!’ And it was just such a positive influence on my life.”
Carah Faye Charnow has “Walk Together / Rock Together” tattooed across both of her forearms. She explains: “Walk Together, Rock Together” was an album/title track for a punk band names 7 Seconds. I had it on cassette and it was one of my favorites back in the day! It’s just a great message of unity.”
Carah Faye Charnow has the words “Straight and Level” tattooed on the inside of her right wrist. Carah says that the writing on both of her wrists are her most meaningful tattoos: “‘Straight and Level’…was what my Grandfather end his stories with.”
The tattoo also represents positive thinking. Explaining this tattoo, Carah wrote “cause forward should be the only direction we know #PMA.”
The “PMA” tattoo inside Carah Faye Charnow’s lip stands for “Positive Mental Attitude.” The importance of keeping a PMA is stressed in the straight edge culture.