When it comes to tattoos, the body is basically one giant canvas that's just waiting to be inked. And yet, most people — when getting their first tattoo, second, third, or beyond — opt for more typical locations, such as the bicep, ankle, shoulder blade, wrist, or foot. As a society, we tend to stick to these more conventional areas, which makes tattoos in more unique locations seem all the more exciting.
Even though certain tattoo locations might not be that common, it doesn't make them "wrong." In fact, in many ways, it can make them more special. "Even though this may seem like a 'social statement,' in essence the physical body holds energy and in a very unique way some body areas call for tattoos," tattoo expert Lisa Barretta, author of Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos, tells Bustle. "Similar to acupuncture, the piercing of the skin stimulates energy held within the physical body [...] What we may view as a weird place to get a tattoo, in a sense these odd tattoos have a deeper meaning for the wearer."
Of course, for others these rare locations may seem like a great place to get a tattoo, simply for the fun of it or the novelty. Getting a tattoo is a unique experience for everyone, and one that can have all sorts of layers and meaning. With that in mind, here are some of the "rare" tattoo locations, according to experts.
1. Whites Of The Eyes
Believe it or not, some people choose to get tattooed on the whites of their eye. It's not only a unique spot, but one that's also kind of dangerous, which can be appealing for someone who wants to make a statement or try something new.
"This is a risky place to get tattoo ink injected," Barretta says. "Anything on the face shows how we express [ourselves] to the outer world and getting the whites of the eye inked definitely sends the message that you are unique, different, and daring."
And yet, due to possible complications, it's an area you'd want to discuss (and re-discuss) with your tattoo artist — and possibly even a doctor — before having it done.
Eyelid tattoos are another rarity. "Aside from permanent makeup, designs on the eyelid are starting to crop up," Barretta says.
It does, however, still remain an incredibly rare location on the body for ink. Due to the fact it doesn't always age well, since the skin here is exposed to the sun, it may explain why you don't see them too often.
3. Inside The Ear
According to Houston-based tattoo artist Bobby Mack, one of the most unique places he's ever tattooed a client was inside the ear.
He "tattooed flowers on the cartilage of the ear, then [put] diamond studs inside the flowers." While it sounds beautiful, it's definitely not a tattoo location he sees requested every day.
4. Bottom Of The Foot
It's fairly common to see tattoos on the foot or near the ankle. But how often do you spot one on the bottom of someone's foot? (Probably not very often.)
In his five years as a tattoo artist, Mack says he's only done "one on the bottom of the foot [...] though these tattoos often fade [because] of placement and the natural friction," which may be why it's so rare.
Mack has only had two clients request tattoos on the palm of their hand. Just like the bottom of the foot, this location doesn't hold ink very well. So while it may look great in the short-term, it's important to keep in mind that it isn't likely to last.
6. Inner Lip
While this tattoo location is picking up steam among celebrities for it's uniqueness, inner lips tattoos are not the most common spot for everyone else.
"This is a more intimate location, so, considering tattoos tend to be a form of expression, it's not typical to have a tattoo in this location," Mack says.
Face tattoos in general come with a lot of stigma. And while it's up the wearer to decide what feels right for them, they're still quite rare as a result.
As Mack say, "It's typically the case that people avoid the face due to 'societal norms.'"
"This is a very intimate and private body area," Barretta says. "Body art placed here usually ties into symbols that relate to your most private self."
But it can also be done as a novelty, or as a bonding experience with a partner — among many other reasons. It may not be an area people are quick to talk about, either, but it's still safe to say that genital tattoos aren't the most common.
9. Area Above The Butt
Another fairly rare location includes any and all butt tattoos, such as ones that cover the butt crack region, Barretta says.
"No doubt a place to be inked when you what to show your silly side," she says. "Can they be sexy? I guess it depends on what you choose to ink on this area."
They might not be mainstream, but then again, does anyone get a tattoo as a way to fit in? The process of getting inked, and choosing where you want your art to go, can be deeply personal. You can decide it's just for fun, or even a process that borders on something spiritual.
A tattoo may be in a rare location, but all that matters is that you like it.