11 Ways Tattoos Can Help You Love Yourself

by Gina Jones 2

For me, getting tattooed is a cathartic act. Tattoos help me love myself. Whether it's because I'm transforming a negative memory into something positive, permanently making a new memory or idea a part of my being, or even just making the act of tattooing into a positive memory itself, there's a lot to be said about the body positive potential of tattoos. Particularly if your tattoo is a body positive quote in and of itself.

Perhaps this article will be a reminder to love the tattooed skin you're in, or maybe it'll inspire you to finally get some ink that celebrates your interests and your body. The way tattoos can do such things is one of the many reasons I love getting inked as much as I do. Sure, it may hurt — but that can be cathartic, too. And afterwards? You'll be left with a permanent reminder as to why your body and your soul deserve to be loved.

Even if you end up with a silly outline of a stick figure cat — like my own first tattoo — the meaning ink can hold for everyone is worth so much more than many other ways of decorating your body or skin. At least, that's what I have come to believe. Here are 11 reasons why tattoos are a recipe for self-love.

1. They Can Be A Way To Reclaim Your Skin

If you've ever had a negative association with part of your skin for any reason — self harm, for example — covering that skin with actual art can be one of the best ways to find love for your body again.

2. You Can Use Them To Remind Yourself Of Positivity

Need a body positive or self love reminder? How lucky that you have one tattooed on your skin so you can literally never forget.

3. They're A Way Of Making Yourself Into Art

From my experiences, seeing your body as a piece of art makes it pretty impossible not to love yourself.

4. You Can Assign Positivity To Specific Body Parts

You can force yourself into adoring a body part you previously hated by getting a tattoo on it. Hopefully you'll love the artwork so much that you'll love the body part, too.

5. They Can Offer Important Reminders

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You're not likely to forget your self-love message or positive memories if they're inked on you forever, right?

6. They're A Phenomenal Way To Express Yourself

Let the world know who you are and what you're about with a tattoo that perfectly expresses a facet of your persona.

7. They'll Help You Remember The Good Stuff

Immortalize a good memory or feeling with a tattoo that commemorates it so you'll never forget a time when you did love yourself. Hopefully doing so will encourage you to remember why you're so rad in the first place.

8. They're A Way To Process Feelings

I got one of my less specific tattoos — a set of pastel roses — when I had finally gotten over a long-term ex boyfriend. I'd processed the memory and commemorated it; and even though the tattoo doesn't directly reflect that, I know that it does deep down.

9. You Can Make A Memory

Even if your tattoo is just for a bit of fun, the process of getting the ink can easily be a positive experience in and of itself. Whether you're acknowledging how impressive it is that you went through all that pain without crying or you're reflecting on an interesting conversation you had with your tattoo artist, making new memories can be just as important as remembering old ones when it comes to feeling love and respect for yourself.

10. You Can Assign Them Personal Meanings

To anyone else in the world, this is a stupid tattoo of a cat drawing. To me, it's the cat that my grandma used to draw on letters to me as a kid because I hated phone calls. It gives me a lot of love on a personal level, in a way that no one on the street could ever get without an explanation. It's a secret I can keep to myself.

11. They're A Way To Move On

You've just made a choice that is permanent — a decision that will likely be with you forever — and that's beautiful. Having the confidence to get inked and leave your old, unmarked skin behind is a reason to adore yourself.

Hopefully you have already found ways of loving yourself and being body positive. But if not, let these reasons serve as inspiration to adore any tattoos you have, any that you're planning to get, and the body that allows you to have them.

Images: Georgina Jones