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.
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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

To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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