The first tattoo I got as soon as I turned 18 was a doodle of a cat on my ankle. To strangers and even friends, it might have just seemed like I really liked cats. The tattoo, however, was for my grandma, and was the first of many tattoos that mean family or are inspired by my relatives in some way, to come into my life. Rather than falling into the cliche tattoo trap, Speegly the cat is a drawing that my long distance grandma used to doodle on letters to me when I was younger. The message ultimately means a lot to me, even if it does require a little explaining to strangers. (FYI, I'm a dog person and I also hate shitty art.)
Although tattoos don't have to have a deep personal meaning, when you're embedding a message or image into your skin forever, you often want it to have a bit of a story (even if it's that you were drunk with your best friends on holiday in Ibiza). If you ask me, a tattoo for your family is a good way of easing your relatives into your love of body mods. How pissed can your mom be if the tattoo is specifically designed to commemorate her? Well, even if she is mad, you'll have a reminder of the importance of family forever. Here are seven unique tattoo designs to consider when commemorating your relatives via ink.
Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
2. Zip Code
The zip or post code of your parents' house, your grandparents' house, or the street you grew up on is a special set of numbers that has a coded familial importance to you.
3. Pet Tattoo
This is a representation of unconditional love, because no matter how mad you get at your human relatives, you never fall out of love with your dog. It's the perfect emblem for family.
Elephants often bond with friends and relatives for lifetimes, unlike many familial relationships in the animal kingdom — humans included. We can dream, though.
5. Family Tree
A tree! Because like, a family tree! Get it? You can also hide names, hidden messages, and jokes special to you and your loved ones amongst the branches.
What's more unique and personal than an individual's handwriting? Maybe their fingerprint, but I doubt that'd be as tattoo-able.
7. Matching Tattoos
Matching tattoos are the perfect way to feel constantly linked to another person.
At the end of the day, we may not always like our families, but we do often love 'em. What better way to show that weird love than with a permanent display of affection?
Images: Georgina Jones