For centuries, tattoos have been a form of silent communication. They can transcend language barriers, make a cultural statement, serve as a symbol of remembrance, or express beliefs and ideologies.
As an art form, tattooing is much the same as other mediums of self-expression such as music, writing, or dance. However, the fact that a tattoo is indelibly inked on your body makes it all the more personal and a reflection of your inner self.
But that’s just scratching the surface. In this article, we delve deeper into why tattoos are an incredible form of self-expression.
Making a meaningful statement
If there’s an idea or principle that you feel strongly about, or someone or something you want to pay tribute to, a tattoo is a great way to make a statement that has meaning. It gives you a way to express yourself creatively and show solidarity with a cause.
Whether it’s a political symbol, an instantly recognizable pop culture reference, or a signifier like the semicolon that’s become part of a movement to raise awareness of mental illness, suicide, and addiction, a tattoo can express your views on something you feel strongly about.
Expressing a connection
Tattoos tell a story, and that story connects to who you are as a person. Whether your tattoo is sentimental, a reminder of a fun time, or it relays a narrative of part of your life, it’s an expression of what makes you uniquely you.
Some people ink poems or song lyrics on themselves, others have portraits or symbols. Whatever the tattoo and its style, it tells people a bit about yourself and what you’re deeply connected to. Tattoos also remind us who we are and the steps we’ve taken to get there.
A unique identifier
Even if you have a tattoo that’s been done before, it’s a form of self-expression that you take ownership of. You can choose where to place it, what style it’s done in, and how much the world sees of it. You may want to make it clearly visible, or if the art is more personal and intimate, have it in a place that only a select few see.
When choosing your tattoo design, the chances are you’ll be drawn to things that you love. If you’re a fan of vintage art or burlesque, you’ll likely opt for a pinup girl, or if you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to opt for a tattoo of a flower or an animal.
Symbolizing an event or occasion
If you’ve been through a life event that’s shaped who you are or you want to mark a special occasion, a tattoo lets you express this as a permanent reminder. From wedding or anniversary dates to the names of loved ones, tattoos like this take all kinds of forms.
A huge number of people also get tattooed after a life-changing experience, and plenty of people credit their tattoos with helping them to heal. Many survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing have had tattoos to honor the victims and to remind them to live every day to its full.
A link to your past
Tattoos have been around since 3370 BC, and Otzi the Iceman is the first example we have of these inkings. For centuries, tattoos have been used to express the art and culture of a group of people.
You can express your connection to your ancestors in the same way. From family crests to ancient texts, and religious and cultural symbols, there are so many ways to showcase your sense of self and your cultural and historical links.
Art that speaks for you
Tattoos are an art form, and art is subjective.
Your tattoo can take on the meaning you choose and reflect your personality—and your personal tastes. Even if your design is chosen simply because you like it and for no other reason whatsoever, this still speaks volumes about you and how you want to express yourself.
While the clothes you wear, your haircut and color, and your body or facial piercings are all temporary, tattoos are a permanent way to show the world who you are. They’re the ultimate form of self-expression and individuality. In short, they perfectly sum up the meaning of the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”!