Tale Of The Tribute Tattoo
Tattoos are an ancient practice, dating back as far as 5000 years ago.
Why do people get tribute tattoos?
Some people find them repulsive, while others get addicted to them. Some people think they’re stupid, while others find them intrinsic. I’ve come to discover that tattoos all have different meanings because each person’s tattoos tell a story. I’ve learned that tattoo stories range from the happiest to the saddest moments in peoples’ lives.
Some people get tribute tattoos or memorial tattoos in honor of a moment or person in their life they like to think back on. Others get funny or meaningful tattoos that allow the person to express themselves with their tattoo stories. Regardless, tattoos allow you to tell your story, representing it on your body for the rest of your life.
Having had this realization, I got intrigued by each person’s story. If someone had tattoos in memory of someone, I wanted to know about the person and why they decided to get “in loving memory” tattoos. What if someone has a tattoo inspired by a living person? I want to know the story.
This interest sparked an idea to go actually interview and ask people about their tattoo ideas, taking me to the streets of Tallahassee, where I found people with different tattoos telling completely different stories.
What are some tattoo ideas?
1) David: Great Blue Heron Tribute Tattoo on Ribcage
David’s rib cage tattoo: he got it when he was 20 years old. He explained to me that his mom told him he could never get a tattoo, but he wanted one anyway. Finally, in college he decided he was going to get it.
When I asked him what the tattoo was and what it meant to him he explained:
David was very down to earth, and his tattoo stories about his tribute tattoos were really interesting to hear. He would elaborate about how tattoos were a way for a person to express themselves on their body, if the person had not liked the way their body looked before. He explained how the tattoo gave him his own self-image, which allows him to look at his body differently. I thought that was moving.
2) Marc Inspirational Tattoo: Lens of Truth Tattoo on Ankle
He thoroughly explained that he loved this tattoo because it reminded him of his childhood. This is how he described it:
Marc’s tattoo story is pretty elaborate. A free spirit, he said the reason he wanted a tattoo was as a daily reminder to just follow the road ahead. I respect that.
3) Paula’s Tribute Tattoo: Angel Wings “In Loving Memory” Tattoo on Ankle
Paula got her tribute tattoo a year after her sister, Jamie, died. Emotional, she told me that she was glad to share her story with the world. After losing her sister to cancer, Paula wanted to get this tattoo on her foot, close to her Achilles tendon. She described her sister’s meaning in her life.
“This tattoo,” Paul said, “is in loving memory of my sister, who fought and battled through a terrible disease. She is now the angel looking over me at all times of everyday.”
Describing Jamie as her “little sis,” Paula always looked down to her, which is part of the reason she got the tattoo on her foot. She said she likes to look down everyday to be reminded of her sister and the memories they walked through together.
Paula’s tribute to loss hit home the hardest of all my tribute tattoo conversations. Tattoo stories often remind us that our bodies change along with our lives, but her love for her sister remains the same.
Like these tribute tattoo stories? Tell us!
Next time, our touching tribute tattoo stories will include video!