Rib tattoos are extremely popular and you can get designs from a small quote to elaborate pictures. Giant designs span from the underarm down – sometimes even to the thighs. Horizontal designs go from the underside to the middle of the chest. With the number of tattoos you can do on your ribs, it’s no surprise it has found a pedestal in the tattoo industry.
It has become a huge part of the body art community because it is easier to hide. You can wear your normal day to day clothes and nobody will know you have an ink. If you feel comfortable letting it out, you can wear clothes that can reveal parts of it. And perhaps, that’s what made it one of the sexier places to have a tattoo.
But what do you need to know about getting a rib tattoo? Will it hurt more than usual? How do you choose a design from a limitless number of options? Remember, if you want to get rib tattoos, your choice of the design will determine your experience under those needles.
Meaning of Rib Tattoos
- 1 Meaning of Rib Tattoos
- 2 The Pros and Cons of Getting Rib Tattoos
- 3 How Painful can it Get?
- 4 What should you Wear?
- 5 Popular Designs for Rib Tattoos
Rib tattoos could be linked to religious meanings. To be specific, we’re talking about Christianity.
In the beginning, when God first made the universe, it’s believed he created a man first. When he found how lonely it is for the man without a company, he pulled out Adam’s rib and created the first woman. That said, a lot of religious and Christian tattoos can be found on the rib area. As this is also close to the chest and the heart, it can also denote their love for their religion.
However, not everyone actually goes for that meaning. Suffice to say, not every tattoo enthusiast has the same religious belief.
For these kinds of people, the meaning of their rib tattoos actually depends on the design. As we all know, each tattoo design has its own meaning. Sometimes, the meaning is given generally. If you search on the internet, a bird has a general given meaning as with the heart and a mandala.
Nonetheless, there are also other tattoo enthusiasts who create their own designs. While these designs have the common elements, the meaning is different altogether. Usually it’s the wearer that gives his design a meaning. There are even times that designs were purposely made for aesthetics only.
The Pros and Cons of Getting Rib Tattoos
Before getting those rib tattoos, you’ll want to think about the pros and the cons of having one. You’ll also want to plan out the design and where exactly you’re it. This should then be followed by finding a good and reliable artist to work with.
In short, you need to plan the whole thing well and think twice before getting a tattoo. Why? Having one is a responsibility and a commitment. You’ll have to live the rest of your life with it on your skin. Although most people nowadays are more open and lenient with tattoos, there will still be others who will judge you. You should be ready for all the consequences with having a tattoo; whether it’s good or bad.
That being said, here are the pros and cons of getting a rib tattoo:
Generally, rib tattoos are very easy to hide. Whether you’re working or perhaps maybe a student, you can hide the fact that you have a large tattoo of a vividly colored beast on your side. Apart from that, the side allows you to have a smaller tattoo to a larger one. While most smaller tattoos get lost on all the space, minimalist and smaller rib tattoos still look good. But large ones are even better.
For girls, rib tattoos can emphasize their curves. That’s probably why almost all the women’s design has this sort of “movement” or shape. It also adapts to their curves – from the shape of their breasts to their waist and hips.
You can also create a bigger and better story with a rib tattoo. Most of the time, you can combine them with back, chest, or stomach pieces. If you’re an artist who loves creating stories out of art, then the ribs are the perfect place to have your tat.
But like with many things, getting rib tattoos also have some disadvantages.
One of the biggest cons of a rib tattoo is that the skin on this area is highly subjected to aging. That means it can change its appearance as years went by. That means your tattoo won’t look the same and sometimes it would even look disfigured. You can also gain and lose weight over the years and this is one area that can change a lot. This could also change the way your tattoo looks.
The process of getting the tattoo is long and hard, especially with a bigger design. It will be painful, especially when it’s on the rib area. The needles is closer to the bones so it will be extremely stingy and you’ll feel like your entire bone structure is vibrating. It will be unpleasant and you have to be mentally and physically ready to face that experience.
There’s also the matter with the aftercare. You’ll need to be extra careful during the time when your tattoo is healing. Avoid rubbing it with clothes so you’ll have to wear loose clothes. You might even want to give up on your favorite jeans for a while if your tattoos go down to your hips. Your arms rubbing on your side is also very likely so you’ll have to be extra conscious.
Giving up peaceful sleep is also an ordeal for the first few days. Sleeping on your tattooed side should be avoided if you can.
How Painful can it Get?
For some, it can be extremely painful. There are others who are rather ticklish. But no matter what you feel between the two, it would be unpleasant. Naturally, the bigger the tattoo, the more pain you’ll be in and likely, the longer you’ll have to bear it.
However, some people can actually live through the discomfort and actually feel less pain. That may be because they have higher pain tolerance. That means they can bear a high level of pain – such as getting a rib tattoo – while others are in complete distress.
It might also depend on the person’s sensitivity. Others are really sensitive on these areas while others don’t feel that much pain.
If you also have more weight, the extra layer of fat or muscles could help lessen the pain from the needles as well. If you don’t, then maybe you can find another area to have your tattoo or choose a smaller design.
What should you Wear?
As said, your clothes could get in the way of your tattoo’s proper healing. Apart from that, what you wear during the process of getting your tattoo could also make the difference.
For both men and women, wearing loose fitting clothes would be the best. After going out of the shop, you’ll likely have a bandage or plastic wrapped around the tattoo. But loose clothing could help the artist and you be comfortable with working.
When it comes to the healing process, most men could just be topless. This can help air and dry the tattoo for a faster healing.
But what about women? Again, loose clothes would work wonders. However, most women have to wear bras. For those who can live without one for a few weeks, you’re in luck. Yet for others who really have to, you might want to try with those sticky bras that are rather popular these days. Using a bikini top could also work.
In the event you really have to wear your usual ones, you can use a saran wrap or a soft medical bandage under your bra strap. Still, make sure you let the tattoo breathe and dry every once in a while.
These are all important since fabric that rub against your healing tattoo can be painful. Plus, it even prevents proper healing.
Popular Designs for Rib Tattoos
Either symbolic or for aesthetics, your tattoo design should be something you are sure you want. Carefully look through the design an if you’re having doubts, it’s better to change it. You’ll be living the rest of your life with that tattoo so it’s best if you don’t regret anything.
Here are some of the most popular rib tattoo designs we’ve found that could inspire your ink.
Women like anything that blooms – from flowers to plants. It offers a calming and sensual vibe. These kinds of tattoos are representations of fragility and tenderness.
Of course, you can choose from the thousands of flowers and plants. But you can create a style that incorporates these into one design. For example, a cascade of blooming flowers along your side. Or perhaps a bouquet of fragile-looking stalks of lilies and stargazers.
You can also make these designs purely in black ink or use sparse color palettes. But if course, you can turn them into a vividly colored work of art.
This design is often made for men. It can be a sign of freedom but also a sign of long for home.
However, most ship tattoos are done to represent the wearer himself. It could mean they are going through rough seas but are still moving forward with a full sail. Or they could be feeling wrecked and beaten.
They could be going through calm seas and are relaxed and fulfilled with their life.
It’s possible to say these things through a tattoo. But sometimes, sailing ships are too amazing not to put on ink.
Butterflies and feathers
Oftentimes, butterflies and feather designs are embodiment of femininity and freedom. Butterflies are also symbols of transformation. But perhaps, these kinds of designs are perfect examples of something beautiful and meaningful. That’s why many women tend to get this kind of design.
There are thousands of ways you can portray butterflies or feathers. You can use them for a simple design, add them with a quote, or create a picture that is unique and meaningful to you.
Since rib tattoos are rather meaningful for Christians, a lot of religious tattoos are also placed here.
Some of the popular Christian tattoos include the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and more. Most of these designs are very detailed, with some actually made with 3D style of tattooing.
These are great for men of great faith, especially those who are Christians.
Dark and gloomy
While most men usually choose this kind of tattoo theme, there are also female tattoo enthusiasts who love these rib tattoos. These are the designs that often have a dark and gloomy undertone. For example, a skull, bones, graveyard, and other Gothic designs.
These designs aren’t always dark and mysterious. The skull, for example, may actually mean death and the circle of life. However, it’s usually meant in a way that the wearer accepts death as a part of life.
A design most men get is a 3D biomechanical type. These designs include making the body look like half machine and half human. The 3D effect is usually with the layer of skin that’s been torn off, revealing the gruesome and yet awesome “insides”.
If you choose a great 3D artist, this tattoo would look extremely good and sometimes even believable. It’s one of those designs that can definitely catch people’s eye if they ever get to see it.
Tribal tattoos are a staple in the tattoo industry. While some choose actual traditional tribal tattoos – those that have historical significance to Polynesian countries – modern ones are merely for show. They do have the same vibe and the usual geometrical patterns and bold parts.
The only difference now is that these designs do not have any meaning. These kinds of designs are more for aesthetic purposes. Still, it’s a well-loved design for both men and women.