As someone who is significantly tattooed, maybe the question I hear the most is “what does that tattoo mean/stand for?”. And the simple answer to that question is simply “nothing”.
This isn’t to say that I just randomly found an image online and decided to have it slapped on me like a sticker. Some of my tattoos are inspired from my favorite movies and literature. Some of my tattoos were impulsively chosen and I got it without thinking too hard about it. But we as a culture have to let go of the notion that your tattoos MUST mean something. Hear me out.
Tattoos are not so different from selecting a particular style of clothing, or how you do your make up, or if you dye your hair vivid colors. It is just a style that you want to project to the world. Tattoo art is just that: ART. Its your perspective of the world, reflected on your body. Again, this isn’t to say that you can’t get a tattoo that has a deep meaning to it for yourself, but if you found an incredible painting that you wanted to hang in your home, you wouldn’t expect that art to have a particular meaning to it- you like what it looks like, you want to see it on a regular basis, so you hang it up! Your body can be the same way!
Growing in popularity, gathering tattoos from an artist who’s style you appreciate is more common. Regularly, these artists will post a new piece they have designed and want to tattoo on someone, and it will get snatched up by a fan of theirs. Whether you ascribe to this mindset or not, tattoos are pieces of art and your body is a canvas. Tattoos have lost their subculture reputation in the past decade, and that has allowed a flood of those who were worried about projecting a certain image to enjoy and get tattoos on their bodies. The idea that you won’t be able to get a job with tattoos, while is still alive and well in very niche job fields, has all but fallen to the wayside in recent times. Now you might see a doctor, lawyer or some other high ranking career haver covered in tattoos. And thats okay.
Again, wanting a tattoo that has meaning to you is still very common. But that doesn’t mean just because you saw a dope fire-breathing unicorn you HAVE to assign a meaning to that tattoo. It’s perfectly fine and normal these days to get that fun tattoo that simply makes you happy. Don’t let the notion of having a meaning behind a tattoo stop you from getting it! If your vibe is to be covered head to toe in cartoon characters, then strut your stuff! If you want to get a flower that your mother loved when you were growing up- GET IT! The tattoo world is your oyster, and you are nothing but a canvas to work magic on!