It’s National Tattoo Day, so we’re celebrating some rad tattoos!
I’m going to be honest with you: tattoos terrify me. Not in the same way that spiders or airplanes or noises in the night do. It’s a different kind of fear, the kind that only scares perfectionists. Tattoos are permanent, after all. You can’t test out an actual tattoo to see if you like it and change your mind a week later (you can, however, test out children’s tattoos and if I wanted an Elsa headshot or Minion or tail-cut-off dino, I’d be all set). And for someone (ahem, me) who agonizes over every little detail of her life, a permanent decision like this can bring on the nauseas feelings.
That said, there are some tattoos out there that even I would go all in for. Some tattoos are so unique, so detailed, so simple and gorgeous that I find myself 100% intrigued and ready to take the plunge. No, maybe I’ll never be awesomely bold enough to get pop culture tatted onto my bod (like this American hero now sporting a “Left Shark” tatt) but there are certainly some ink designs out there that get me all starry eyed. I’m living vicariously through the tattoos below. Maybe it’s time to take the plunge after all.
This city skyline
For those urbanites who, for sanitary reasons (duh) must constantly resist the urge to hug the city they live in, this tattoo may be for you. Getting your favorite skyline printed across your arm or ankle is a simple way to say “Hey, NYC/London/Boston/The Shire, I love you! And I ain’t ever letting you go!”
The “On the Wait List” tattoo
Back in April, HG wrote a story about LA-based tattoo artist Brian Woo’s gorgeous, delicate, single-needle designs. We’re still thinking about them and want all of them.
The subtle quotation marks
One of my writer friends mentioned this tattoo to me and I’ve been intrigued ever since. Putting quotation marks on your wrists turns the space in-between into your story. You’ll also never need to use air quotes again. You can just hold up your arms. Two birds, as they say.
The perfect bracelet
This tattoo is so simple and so perfect and—gah—I want it right now. via tattoomagz.com
A trip to Never Neverland
If you’ve lost your shadow, if a youthful spirit is totally trapped inside you, if you have a dog named Nana, then you might be interested in this Peter Pan tattoo. Plus, there’s always the possibility that a Peter Pan tatt is the modern IRL version of fairy dust. OR, it might just be an adorable tattoo. Sounds like a win-win either way.
The feminist “Non-Compliant” tattoo
Inspired by the comic series Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, this tattoo is the letters “NC,” which stands for for “Non-Compliant.” In the comics, it’s used to brand inmates who have defied the patriarchy by being boldly and beautifully themselves, and now women are using it as a symbol for their own fierce independence. Theres are so many striking iterations of “NC”—all the arm-flexing emojis for this!!
A hidden friend
So you’re telling me Waldo has been behind your ear this entire time? And people have been frantically searching for him and publishing books about his disappearance and you said nothing?! You’re cruel.
These tattoos are some of the most beautiful and ethereal I’ve ever seen, but you definitely need the right tattoo artist, or else the design could look like a preschooler’s art project. This one is by Ada Yadou, in Poznan, Poland.
The Harry Potter “Expecto Patronum” treatment
There are a billion amazing Harry Potter tattoos online but this one intrigued me the most. Get your own personal patronus tattooed on your hands or feet and along with it get a lifetime of protective vibes. Or, if you want to be really fancy, get it in UV ink so it lights up in the dark.
More HP with Marauder’s Map
I find UV tattoos fascinating and, in this case, they can bring your tattoo to the next level. Just like the map from Rowling’s book series, this tattoo appears innocuous at first glance. But when put under a UV light, the true meaning is revealed. Told you there were billions of Harry Potter ink options out there.
The Semicolon Project
“The Semicolon Project is movement, represented by semicolon tattoos to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness, and particularly depression and anxiety. The semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended but chose not to. As the website elucidates, “that author is you and the sentence is your life.” Check out our entire story about the project here.
“Music to My Ears”.
If the world ever decides to start naming tattoos, I’d like the record to show that I just coined the name for this one and it’s puntastic. On a different note (MORE PUNS) ear tattoos are the dopest, but I might be too much of a wimp because that LOOKS PAINFUL.
Diamonds are rad (and forever)
I love this, I love its 3-D-ness and I especially love it on a less-traditional-than-ring finger
Sooooo, which one are we getting this weekend?
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