Why Your Tattoos Don't Have To Mean Anything...


Being quite heavily tattooed, I get a lot of questions regarding the meaning of my ink. Surprisingly, a lot of people seem really disappointed when I don't tell them a heartbreaking story about why I have dots on my fingers, a fawn on my chest or birds on my wrist. Some of them just don't have a meaning while others might do have one. And you know what? That's okay.
A lot of people feel like they have to justify themselves in front of their tattoo artist when they go into a shop and request them to draw something up. But you know what, and this might gonna hurt now but: tattoo artists usually don't care about the meaning of your tattoo. They've heard it all a thousand times. They don't bother if the flower on your arm is dedicated to your dead family member or if you just like flowers. The only thing they care about, or at least should care about, is the quality of their art. They want a satisfied customer - that's all. Tattoo artists aren't psychologists - they are artists.
Art is art. And you know what? Sometimes you can't explain art. Sometimes you just want to look at it, it gives you this warm feeling and you're happy. So if you get a tattoo just because you like it: that is absolutely okay and you don't need to have a super deep meaning behind it. It's like two people having sex with each other only because they are physically attracted to each other but besides that there's nothing else between them. No feelings, no meaning. It's okay as long as both of you consent and art will always consent with you. It's you who decides if you want it for the rest of your life. Your body - your choice.
Left: The day I had my chest piece started; April 2012 // Right: A few weeks later after the first session of 6h all healed up / Artist: Phil Wilkinson 
I obviously knew that people are gonna ask me about my tattoos when I first got them. And I love talking about them. But I like talking about artists and different styles and the quality and it's also okay to ask me if I'll regret them in a few years or if it hurt but stop asking me about the meaning.
And here comes why...
There are two types of people - the ones who really want to know and then the ones who just ask to make conversation. If I know you and you know me and we've talked for a while and we are friends: feel free to ask me about the meaning. Absolutely no problem! But let's just pretend that all of my tattoos actually have a meaning. We meet for the first time. You notice my tattoos. We meet again. You ask me about the meaning of my finger tattoos. Do I really want to tell a person that I don't have a deep connection with that each dot on my fingers stands for a person I've lost (hypothetically! I promise they don't have a meaning!)? I don't know but in 90% of the cases it ends in awkward "sorry for your loss" "yea, thanks, don't worry" "... so how do you like this bar?" kinda situations. It's not fun - for neither of us.
Elbow ditch / From stencil to tattoo / Artist: Jonas Pedersen Crooked Moon Helsingborg 
I know that most people don't have bad intentions when they ask about the meaning but just think about it for a second... a lot of people get tattoos to process something and a lot of people also aren't done processing whatever they're dealing with in their life. Maybe asking them will make them uncomfortable and the argument that "if you don't want to be asked then don't get tattooed" is absolutely invalid here (...and basically at anytime). People get all kinds of things done all the time (even if it's just little things like getting your hair dyed) and most of them don't do it for others but for themselves.
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What do you think? Do tattoos have to have a meaning or does it not really matter to you either?  Leave a comment, and let me know, I'd like to hear your opinion!

4 Kommentare

  1. You are so freaking beautiful and kickass. I only have one tattoo, but I agree- we don’t have to justify anything that makes us happy. My tattoo is just a song lyric that doesn’t have any deeper meaning beside the fact that it makes me happy. <3

    1. Aw, thank you so very much that is so kind!
      That's what its all about - happiness! :)

  2. Although I don't have tattoos myself I love hearing others share why they were inspired to have one done. But you are so right, there isn't always a reason for one. Thanks for sharing!