Why are side tattoos so popular in the tattoo industry? Well, not everyone is still fond of tattoos. Although we say we shouldn’t care what other people think, some of these are our bosses or employers. And so, there’s a good number of tattoo enthusiasts who prefer to hide their tattoos. One perfect place is the rib. It’s usually hidden by your clothes that if you don’t want people to see it, they won’t.
But apart from that, side tattoos tend to be sexy. This may come from the notion that when people see it, you’ll have to be half naked to do so. Think of it as a special equipment in an RPG game – it adds to your charisma.
Whether you’re a man and taking your top off is the norm; or whether you’re a woman and going out in your bikini is more of special thing – rib tattoos are definitely stunning.
Brief History of Side Tattoos
As you may very well know, tattoos have been a part of our history for a long, long time now. With centuries that have passed by, it would be impossible to know when the first side tattoo was done. However, tattooing now and tattooing way back then are somehow similar.
While the purpose of getting a tattoo has become more about self-expression than magic, the placements are rather similar. People would often have their whole bodies tattooed, especially in cultures where body art is a means of telling someone’s social status.
Back then, side tattoos were a bigger part of a whole. Leaders and warriors from different tribes around the world would get full upper body tattoos. But side tattoos as the main focus would have been for the nations that are more about the design of the tattoos rather than where it’s placed. For example, Ancient Egyptians would get tattoos of medical symbols to avoid still birth and painful labor. Seeing as the ribs is closer to the abdomen, it’s possible that they were side tattoos.
Nowadays, the placement of your ink is greatly affected by the design and your preference. Some love it when their tattoos are exposed. Others are more into intimate and personal designs.
Meaning of Getting a Side Tattoo
Everyone gets a tattoo that’s aesthetically pleasing. But they also get it for their meaning. However, does the placement hold any meaning, too?
Not all the time, but certain placements like the hand do. When it comes to getting side tattoos, it mostly means that the person doesn’t want their tattoo to be seen by the public. They’ll have the control when they want to. But most of the time, it will remain hidden.
Some decide to choose side tattoos because it’s closer to the heart. The ribs and the left-side of the chest are perfect for those who want designs that are close to them.
Others just like the freedom that having a side tattoo entails. Most of the time, they can go crazy with the design without shocking everyone who sees them. It could be big or a complicated design. You won’t have to deal with everyone’s looks every day.
Popular Designs for Women
Designs for side tattoos range from the simplest to the most complicated ones. But either way, women’s tattoos are more often feminine. Most designs are made to give emphasis to the curves of women’s body. This might be one of the reasons why rib and side tattoos often look sensual on women.
To achieve that, the designs could be extended horizontally, conforming to the shape of the breasts. When you want to do it vertically, you’ll likely have a huge tattoo. You can extend the design down to your hips and even your thighs.
Here are some of the best and popular designs for women and what they could mean:
Quotes tattoos are one of the mainstream elements in the tattoo industry. It won’t come as a surprise that you’ll see one as a forearm tattoo, a spine tattoo, or in this case – a side tattoo. It’s their versatility that makes them such loved tattoo elements.
When it comes to a rib quote tattoo, it could either be horizontal or vertical.
Horizontal tattoos usually under the boobs to her side. Longer sentences could be cut into two lines so it won’t be too long. Most of these rib quote designs are simple and made with serif fonts. You can add a little design if you want.
Vertical quotes, on the other hand, is placed on the side. It could be on the center or it can run from the hips to near the underarms. Usually, it just runs along the normal length of the torso. It can also be made simpler like with horizontal tattoos. But others prefer script fonts to make it more elegant and sensual.
A flower tattoo is a household name in the area of women’s body art. It’s a design that is close to a women: something naturally beautiful and in full bloom. The meaning can also depend on what type of flower you’ve chosen.
These kinds of tattoos could go from a minimalist approach – with a stalk of rose under the boobs or perhaps a vine filled with little beautiful flowers. But it can become bigger and more complicated depending on the wearer’s choice.
Bigger tattoos can run from the side to the back or to the abdomen. It could be colored or with only black ink. For those who prefer the latter, it can form a minimalist effect, even though it’s bigger than most. Bigger designs, complicated or not, make use of more than one flower as the subject. It’s a whole bouquet of flowers in bloom.
Geometric patterns have become the trend these days. You can see geometric animals as tattoos. There are fireflies, birds, foxes, cats, dogs and more.
As with floral designs, the meaning would depend on the animal you’ve chosen. The fireflies, for example, are symbols of light and illumination. But they are also known to represent exceptional human beings.
Foxes, on the other hand, symbolizes cunning and wit. Birds are known to represent freedom. Cats are for femininity and mysticism while dogs signify loyalty, brevity, and courage.
Popular Designs for Men
Men’s design are usually rough or bad-ass. It’s something cool, fancy, loud, and just plain amazing. While women’s design often conform to their curves, men utilize the area around the ribs to the abdomen and even the back. That means you’ll likely see a lot of big tattoos that range from colorful to gloomy to abstract.
Here are the designs that men will definitely love:
A ship is a tattoo that signifies the state of your life and you, the wearer. The state of the ship defines you while the water and the weather represents your life as a whole. It could be going through tough waters but the sail is full and that could mean even if the challenges in your life right now, you are still headstrong.
Others also see a ship tattoo as a piece about home and wanting to come home. This comes from the notion about sailors who often think about home as soon as they sail to other places.
Ship tattoos can be as big as you want them to be. Men’s bodies are usually wider than women’s. That gives you more space to do what you want. You can add the background or other elements to your liking.
The ocean seems like a usual element in men’s tattoos as sea creatures are totally in. Fishes, especially koi, are common. In Chinese, koi fish represents good luck in business and academics while the Japanese see it as a symbol of courage.
Apart from fishes, sea creatures like the octopus and sharks are common designs.
The octopus has a diverse meaning from mystery to intelligence. These are great designs for those who want to extend their inks to their backs or the abdomen. You can do that with their tentacles.
On the other hand, sharks coming out of the water looking all vicious are also popular. Although they are feared, the Polynesians see hammerhead sharks as protectors. Sailors follow the same concept and believe these are talismans when they go sea-bound.
While women’s designs are more peaceful and calm, men tends to be aggressive. Even the animals they choose as their design are fierce – either on the pounce or roaring.
Tigers, wolves, and lions are three of the most common wild animals that are often portrayed on ink. These are also good side tattoos for women, but they are more known as men’s designs.
The styles can be different from one person to the other. Some would like a more traditional way of tattooing. Some like it 3D or photo-realistic. But it seems like tribal-styles of tattoos are as mainstream as ever. This could be because tribal style tattoos often link the wearer to nature.