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Tattoos for Women: Best Design Ideas with Photos


Tattooing is a form of body art, a way of self-expression and demonstration of one’s beliefs. Most women get inked to express their personality, attract luck, or just to adorn their bodies. However, before you get a tattoo, make sure to study the meanings of the design. Let’s look at the most common tattoo designs for women and their meanings.

Women’s Tattoos: An Introduction

Many women treat tattoos as a way to express their personality and view of life. However, in some cases, ink is just an unusual body decoration. In many countries, tattoos on women became a norm not so long ago. But in India, for example, the tattooing tradition is deeply embedded in the country’s culture in the form of mehndi.

Read more about mehndi here.

So how do tattoos for women differ from those for men? Women often gravitate towards delicate, romantic, and mysterious designs while men prefer more minimalistic and simple ones. Some women choose the design very carefully, often asking for a custom sketch to reflect their character and style best. And they have a good reason to be so deliberate: a tattoo will stay on the body for the entire life and will be a reminder of certain events, decisions, or beliefs.

Why Women Get Inked

Earlier, tattoos served not only an aesthetic but also a practical purpose. In ancient times, people believed that patterns on different body parts could help to change the wearer’s destiny, avoid misfortune, and attract luck. Nowadays, tattoos are mostly viewed as a way to decorate your body or convey an important personal message.

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If you ask tattoo artists why women get tattoos, you will probably hear something along the lines of the following:

  • to try something new
  • to hide skin imperfections, for example, scars
  • to raise self-esteem
  • to stand out
  • to celebrate a relationship or an important event
  • to express their beliefs or interests.

Sometimes unusual tattoos on women do not mean something special. They can just go for a certain design

  • if they like it
  • if they want to decorate their body with work by a famous tattoo artist
  • if the new design complements an older tattoo.

Variations of one and the same design can mean different things. As a rule, tattoo artists have great knowledge of various symbols, so it’s worth consulting with a professional before deciding on a design.

Popular Motifs and Their Meanings

Let’s look at some designs that can be commonly seen on women.


The rose symbolizes youth, beauty, love, revival, and a strong personality. This flower embodies almost all qualities many women value in themselves. A rose with thorns can speak of sorrow.


This small bright bird represents uniqueness, delicacy, softness, and grace. Just like many other bird tattoos, hummingbird tattoos are associated with independence and the desire to be free.


A dolphin tattoo on a girl may mean friendliness, openness, the desire of spiritual and material wealth, and the love for the water element.


Butterflies are associated with delicacy, independence, beauty, and charm. Some women want such a design to highlight their soft and loyal personality. Others see butterflies as the symbol of openness and the desire to explore. A flying butterfly can speak of the search for freedom and independence. Symmetrical wings also mean harmony, balance, and maturity.


The angel is seen as a guardian and women often choose this motif as a talisman. Another common meaning is thinking of oneself as a little and pure creature.


Snake tattoos can have very different meanings: wisdom and practice of medicine on the one hand and temptation, cunning, and treachery on the other. To give a design additional connotations, artists add different elements: a rose says that the wearer is not without sin, the moon means secret knowledge and wisdom, and a sword — that life is a constant struggle.

Read more about snake tattoos here.


Tattoos depicting this ferocious yet majestic predator are a common pick of men. Wolf tattoos on women are much less common. Women treat this motif as the symbol of loyalty, bravery, the ability to defend oneself and be aggressive when it’s needed.


A fox tattoo is often associated with sexiness, cunning, acumen, and the ability to come off clear in any situation. Women who go for a tattoo depicting this animal may want to highlight their quick thinking and playfulness. In contrast, a curled up fox symbolizes a caring nature, strong family ties, and faithfulness.


Strength, power, leadership, courage, and protection of the weak — this is all about tiger tattoos. Some women opt for a tigress or a tiger cub. Another popular motif is a woman wearing tiger skin, which speaks of inner strength, gracefulness, and boldness.

Read more about tiger tattoos here.


Stars are a symbol of luck, success, prosperity, and fulfillment of desires. Some star symbols, for example, pentagrams are viewed as an amulet that is believed to protect its wearer from black magic and ill-wishers.


Lettering tattoos take the form of an important phrase: a motto or a quote. People choose phrases in different languages, for example, famous quotes in Latin. However, make sure that you know exactly what these words mean before you get them inked into your skin. You don’t want to end up with a tattoo of a phrase with an unpleasant or even offensive connotation.


Patterns for tattoos are numerous and various. Some feature mysterious symbols that are believed to change one’s destiny, but most patterns are mere decorations.


Many women prefer decorating their bodies with different symbols, hieroglyphics, runes, or staves. Pick the symbol carefully to avoid getting a tattoo with a negative meaning.

Popular Tattoo Placements

Many women gravitate towards small designs in places where they can be easily hidden with clothes. Some, however, go for big tattoos on the back, thighs, or forearms.

Here are some popular placements:

  • collarbones
  • back and lower back
  • neck and areas behind the ears that are perfect for small tatts
  • shoulders and forearms
  • wrists
  • bikini zone
  • thighs
  • spine.

Summing Up

Tattoos on women can be an unusual decoration, a form of self-expression, a special symbol, a means to stand out from the crowd. Choosing a tattoo is an important task, if you want it to look awesome and convey the right message. So make sure you pick the design, placement, and tattoo artist carefully.

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