Ask a tattoo enthusiast, and chances are, they will tell you that their ink is more than just art. In fact, tattoos can increase overall self-image. For everyone, not just women with tattoos, getting some ink can make your body feel more like your own. A tattoo is a piece of art you helped create, rather than some random string of genetics that led to your look. So, it’s little wonder that tattoos can help boost your self-love.
What Body Positivity Is
The renewed focus on health that has occurred over the past couple of decades has had a dark side as well. Sometimes, well-meaning wellness communities focus on having a certain type of body, and unsurprisingly, it’s usually thin. Changing the size and shape of your body isn’t possible or productive for many people. Worse, a laser-like focus on diet and nutrition can often cause people to feel body-hatred. No bueno. Everyone’s relationship with their body is complicated, and what our bodies do for us is a lot more nuanced than what appears on the surface. Body positivity means that anyone, regardless of disability, size, color, or gender identity deserves to feel at home in the body they have.
The Link Between Tattoos and Body Positivity
Women, especially, face consistent messaging about how their bodies should look. Specific sizes and skin tones, youthfulness, and conformity are the expectation. Though tattoos have slowly made their way into the mainstream, they are still considered edgy and badass, if not taboo. It’s easy to draw the connection between having the courage to get permanent, visible ink and having the courage to, say, wear a bikini whether or not you have a so-called “bikini body.”
How Women with Tattoos Have Found Body Positivity Through Their Ink
More than just bravery, some tattoos carry a message of body acceptance. Words and images that remind us to love ourselves are a daily prompt to leave body negativity in the past. Positive phrases like “self-love is better than perfection,” or “I am enough,” can be transformative when you see them every single day.
The healing effect of a tattoo can be that it moves your eye to a beautiful ink piece that you love and away from something that causes you to spiral into self-hate. Plus, getting tattoos can be a process of reclaiming your body if you have felt distanced from it. That distance might look like treating your body like a project through constant dieting and unhealthy self-talk. And sometimes, women with tattoos find that their self-image changes for the better.
Deciding to Get a Tattoo Can Be an Empowering Decision
Women with tattoos know that taking control of how the outside world sees them—even if it’s just their sleeve—is a triumph. Instead of passively accepting others’ estimation of your appearance, a tattoo gives people a clearer representation of how you view yourself. This is, by definition, a power move. It’s easy to see why taking an area you felt was unflattering and turning it into something eye-catching feels revolutionary. Making a permanent choice about your body is still a statement, and it’s often an inspiring one.
Get inspired for your next piece in the Tattooed Women gallery!