10 Beautiful Tattoos With Amazing Stories Behind Them

10 Beautiful Tattoos With Amazing Stories Behind Them

Every tattoo tells a story –– a story that is personal and uniquely your own, but also one that allows all of us to connect on a deeper human level.

Tattoos are one of the most personal forms of self-expression. Your ink becomes a permanent part of who you are and reveals your true inner self. People get tattoos for all kinds of reasons –– to commemorate a lost loved one, to express their personal values, to honor an obstacle they have overcome, and sometimes because it just felt right. For many people, their body art has immeasurable sentimental value that brings them happiness, security, and inner peace.

Every tattoo tells a story –– a story that is personal and uniquely your own, but also one that allows all of us to connect on a deeper human level. Everyone has their own reasons for why they chose to get a tattoo when they did, why they picked the specific design that they did, and what it symbolizes or means to them. Below, you’ll find ten tattoos with ten amazing stories behind them, all from very real, raw, beautiful humans.

1. One With The Ocean

(Photo courtesy of Alanna Hogan)

“When it comes to tattoos, I love simplicity. I have a drawing of three simple waves on my back, just below my neck. The waves and the ocean have always been an important part of my life - I grew up on the coast and have known the water intimately since birth. (I mean that literally, as I was held in a pool of water by my dad immediately after being born.) The coast is a home to me, a place where my worries shrink and my thoughts quiet. I love that there is an infinite beauty about the sea, but also a sense of wild, an expanse that will never be tamed. And waves are such a perfect representation of the ups and downs of life, of the current that carries on no matter what. The ocean will always be a part of who I am, and so I carry its depths on my back.”

2. Like The Lotus

(Photo courtesy of Tanisha Mcgreevy)

“My tattoo is a lotus flower with a Japanese enso around it. The enso is a symbol of strength and elegance and the lotus flower represents the beauty of it as it arises from the muddy waters, untouched and [un]damaged from the mud around it. The words say "live unsoiled by the world" -- it is part of a Buddha quote that expresses how we should all live like the lotus flower, that no matter what we come across in life we should not let it affect or change the beauty we have inside and out. I designed this [tattoo] myself as a reminder to go through life with strength and elegance, and untainted by whatever I may go through.”

3. "When God Gives You Wings"

(Photo courtesy of Emily Crockett)

(One night, while she was studying abroad in Italy, Emily was raped by a local man. She has since started a successful, moving blog to empower rape victims, and document her road to recovery.)

“Until the day I die, I will never regret the bird that is on my arm. It reminds me not of where I was, but of where I’m going. The bird does have that night encapsulated into its design, but it symbolizes my strength and my independence, both of which felt lost after everything happened. The bird is hope rising from the ashes. The bird is Jenny whispering “dear God, please make me a bird so I can fly far away. Far, far away from here” -- a prayer very similar to my own that night. The bird is freedom and healing and hope. I could’ve never known when I named my blog many moons ago how poignant the name would become. God has given me the wings to fly from my situation, always in a different way, whether it be good friends, or stimulating conversation, or exciting events; each of them has allowed [me] to fly just a little bit further. The bird represents the guardian angels I have around me, the feathers they leave to remind me that they’re there. The bird is my voice, the healing I’ve found through music, but also through my blog.”

To learn more about Emily's journey, visit her amazing blog: When God Gives You Wings

4. Guidance From The Mountains

(Photo courtesy of AJ Blum)

“The compass rose provides guidance and serves as a reminder to be true to myself. My first hike in New Hampshire was up Mount Washington. To this day I remember that hike so vividly -- it opened me to a world of exploring and adventures. The summit of Mount Washington in the middle [of the compass] reminds me of the White Mountains, where my adventures began. The compass reminds me to stay true to myself so as not to lose myself on the journeys through life, in both the physical world as well as the spiritual world.”

5. A Constellation Guardian

(Photo courtesy of Meredith Clarke)

“I had always wanted a tattoo, but never really knew what to get. One day after my second week at college, my roommate told me she was going into Portsmouth to watch her friend get a tat, and invited me to come. Somewhere in between the invite and me changing my shirt, I decided I was going to get a tattoo. I thought about it the whole bus ride there and I decided get one behind my ear. I was scrolling through pictures when I saw a picture of a Big Dipper tattoo my cousin had sent me. Immediately my anxiety melted away. About an hour later, I had my first tattoo.

A lot of people think it’s pretty unorthodox to get a tattoo so spontaneously and pick the design an hour before. Most people tell me that if they get one they have to absolutely love the design and they need to want it for over a year. I disagree. The Big Dipper never meant anything to me. I was always into the stars, but nothing particular about Ursa Major ever caught my eye. But now when I look up into the sky and see the Big Dipper, I feel like I’m safe - like I have a little friend –– someone or something watching over me. Whenever I walk to crew practice in the wee hours of the morning, I look up into the sky and always say hi. And now my friends see the Big Dipper at night and think of me, which is a pretty cool feeling. For me, I didn’t need my tattoo to be something significant that I would never forget, I don’t need a tattoo to remind me of something I’ll never forget, I need a tattoo to remind of something I will forget, which is to be spontaneous and free. Whenever I feel stressed out, I look at my tattoo and think of the time I decided to permanently ink my body on a whim. And I’ll remember that I’ll always have something watching out for me in the sky.”

6. A Symbol Of Change And Optimism

(Photo courtesy of Katie Beauregard)

“Two years ago I woke up and made one of the most permanent changes to my body––I hadn’t planned it, I didn’t tell my parents and I went to the first parlor that would take me that day. This decision took all of my money, set my back on fire and was simultaneously a form of therapy I never knew existed. Two years ago I broke up with the “love of my life.” After I realized this love had turned to comfort, and lust turned to confusion, I made what I thought would be the most devastating decision of my life––looking back now, it wasn’t. Although I may not have fully planned my first tattoo, or consulted my bank account, this extremely permanent fixture on my body showed me that I could emotionally, mentally and even physically make changes in my life––and be totally okay in the end. Two years have passed since I got my first unplanned, poorly financed tattoo and I have absolutely no regrets about my decision––I accepted the events that were surrounding me at such a transitional time in my 20-year-old life. That day, I decided to make, embrace and not run from change, I decided to “think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

7. Overcome And Appreciate Challenges

(Photo courtesy of Amanda Schwartz)

“I’ve always loved a challenge and within the past few years I’ve become extremely fond of hiking. I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in my life and mountains are symbolic to me in the way that they are similar to daily challenges. Our lows make us appreciate the highs that much more. So my tattoo is of mountains…I got it on my wrist as a daily reminder that with every mountain you face, you are one step closer to conquering the world. So keep climbing and keep exploring. Accept challenges, for they are just another mountain for you to defeat.”

8. A Tiki Self Portrait

(Photo courtesy of Jordan Judd)

“The tiki face on my left triceps is a symbolic self portrait of my Tourette’s. Each element represents a different facial tic that I have to consciously suppress on a second to second basis. It represents a side of myself that no one sees because I keep it so hidden. It is the crawling under my skin itching to be released.”

9. An Elephant With An Important Lesson

(Photo courtesy of Shalyn Texeira)

“Elephants have the spiritual meaning of being good luck when their trunks are up. The Ying Yang symbol signifies that with all the good there is some bad, and with all the bad there is always some good; but it’s inside the elephant to signify that even when you’re life is good or bad, you’re still lucky to be here.”

10. Some Fatherly Advice

(Photo courtesy of Scott Ruggles)

“This tattoo is a quote from John Lennon. When our family was in the middle of a very tumultuous time that challenged me to the core, my father and I went for a drive. We talked and talked; I was very emotional because my own family (which included 5 kids) was being devastated [by what was going on]. My dad said, "Scott, Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans."

Cover Image Credit: AJ Blum

Popular Right Now

35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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