Think tattoos are just skin deep? Think again. Meaningful tattoos can embody strength and offer empowerment.

Permanent body art has moved from the back alleys into the mainstream, bringing with it a whole new world of reasons why peeps choose to get inked. Gone are the days when tattoo styles were just anchors, skulls, or hearts declaring “Mom.” Now, they’re as meaningful as they are beautiful, acting as marks of personal history, pains, and triumphs.

Whether it’s a butterfly’s whisper or a dragon’s roar, each tattoo carries a weight far beyond its visual appeal. If you’re thinking of getting inked with a symbol of inner strength, continue reading to learn more about tattoo designs that adorn your body and serve as powerful reminders of who you are and all you’ve overcome.

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Photography by B Krokodil/Stocksy United

Ready to wear your strength on your sleeve — or wherever you fancy? Consider these epic tattoo symbols to amp up your style and shout out your inner power and resilience:

  • Lion: Step aside, Simba! This isn’t a Disney reboot. A lion tattoo is a roaring manifesto of courage and kingship. Perfect for anyone who’s ever felt like the ruler of their own wild life or survived a jungle of challenges.
  • Eagle: Not only for the patriotic at heart, the eagle tattoo screams freedom and high-flying dreams. This birdy skin art could be a solid choice if you’re all about soaring through life on your own terms while aiming for the sky.
  • Bear: A bear tattoo shows strength mixed with a pinch of wisdom. It’s the ultimate mark for peeps who protect what’s theirs and stand tall even when going solo feels like the only option.
  • Oaktree: The oak tree is nature’s OG survivor. These incredible trees are deeply rooted with branches that can weather any storm. It’s the ideal symbol for anyone who’s ever stood firm despite all the fuckery that life throws their way.
  • Phoenix: Talk about a glow-up from the ashes! The phoenix tattoo is about overcoming, rebirthing, and slaying despite the odds. Snap this up if you’ve ever turned an ending into a beginning.

If you fancy a little more mystique or modern symbolism with your skin art, try these tattoo designs:

  • Dragon tattoo: Channel this mythical beast for a tattoo about mastery, mystery, and not taking no for an answer when fate breathes fire.
  • Butterfly tattoo: Who said change has to be painful? Okay, it often is, but a butterfly tattoo celebrates graceful transformation. A butterfly tat could work well if you’ve come through a metamorphosis with your wings outstretched.
  • Semicolon tattoos: The semicolon tattoo is a powerful pause, showing that you chose to continue your story when things got tough. More than a grammatical symbol, this inking shows the world that your story isn’t over.
  • Lotus tattoo: From murky waters rises the pristine lotus. This tattoo is for anyone who’s ever found beauty and strength in their struggle, showing that purity and beauty can emerge from the darkest waters.

Loving the tattoo ideas, and you’re ready to ink? Hold that needle! Here’s what you need to mull over first:

  • Meaning: Tattoos are forever (sort of), so it’s vital that the symbolism behind your chosen design truly resonates. Yes, it’s about aesthetics, but it’s about finding something that holds deep personal significance, a symbol that will still mean something to you years later.
  • Location and size: Where do you want your tat? And what size? A sleeve might not be ideal if you’re in a conservative career, whereas a tiny tattoo on your ankle might give you the subtlety you need. Location and size impact the visibility and impact of your ink, so choose wisely based on your lifestyle.
  • Artist: Not every tattoo artist is a fit for your specific vision. Do your homework and research artists who specialize in the tattoo style you want, whether photorealistic, traditional, or watercolor. Look at portfolios, read reviews, and meet in person to ensure they understand your vision.
  • Safety: The importance of getting inked in a sterile, professional environment cannot be overstated. Check that the studio follows rigorous health and safety practices to avoid the risk of infection or complications. This means everything from sterilized equipment to disposable needles.
  • Aftercare: Proper aftercare ensures your tattoo heals beautifully and stays vibrant. Follow the aftercare instructions given by your artist, such as keeping the tattoo clean, moisturized, and out of the sun.

Tattoos are powerful, personal, and permanent. They’re your stories, triumphs, and sometimes secrets, inked in indelible lines.

Whether you choose a symbol of strength, a marker of memory, or a declaration of independence, a tattoo can empower and inspire you. So, take your time and th-ink about it carefully!