Sometimes tattoos turn out to be masterpieces. Other times, they’re a complete disaster and seem meaningless. Either way, there’s always a story behind them.

Be it getting inked up behind their parents’ backs, or regretting that they got the name of their lousiest girlfriend printed across their chest, six people share the stories behind their tattoos.

“To me personally, Native American culture is really interesting. A dream catcher is a woven net with beads, shells, stones or even feathers; the things that are mostly found in nature. It is usually hung over beds or on doors and it brings happiness, positivity, and allows the good dreams to go through the net inside the person's head, keeping the bad dreams away. I'm a very superstitious person, and I've dreamt of having a dream catcher tattoo for the past three years. After I got it done, I unconsciously started moving away from all the negativity in my life. I had it done on my upper back between my shoulders, because I believe the bigger it is, the more effective it is."
- SerahNai, 20

“I got this tattoo to symbolize my family. Each word describes a member of my family perfectly. Meraki symbolizes my mother. It means the soul, creativity, or love put into something. Selcouth, the one that symbolizes my father, means unfamiliar, rare, strange, yet marvelous. Elysian means beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect, and was meant for my sister.”
- Lara, 22

“The circle is the Circle of Zen. It means that you should live in the present, not the past, because it’s a memory and not the future - because it’s what we want it to be. The letters under it are the tree language that is believed to be the source of the Arabic language. What is written means ‘the truth.’ We live in a world where truth is a concept and it’s not a reality. The truth is what we want it to be and until we find the ultimate truth, we have to keep searching.”
- Najib, 21

“My mom wanted to have a girl, but she thought she was going to have a boy. So she went to church and prayed and promised if she had a girl, she would name her Maria. Her siblings wanted the name to be Meghrig, after the town in Armenia that’s famous for its honey. She ended up having me and named me Meghrig Maria. The name means, 'honey'.”
- Meghrig Maria, 19

“It’s the symbol Om. It means, 'complete and absolute communication with the divine.' I did it because I related to the meaning.”
- Anonymous

“I got this tattoo during summer of 2012, after I got into a huge accident. It was the first day of my summer vacation, and I wanted to pick up my best friend to go to the beach. On the way to her house, my car turned off completely on a curvy downhill and it kept going. The whole time, I thought I was going to die, and there was nothing I could do. I wanted to hit something before someone else got hurt. So I did. It was impossible to get out alive without any scratches. But I did. Even though I am not religious, I definitely do believe in the spiritual world and other dimensions. I fell in love with the gentleness of this verse, Psalm 91: 11-12 from the bible. I got it as a tattoo to remind me of that day and to never give up. 'For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”
- Maria Ma, 23

Articles & Media

8 photos


Avatar 1
Post to facebook
Avatar 2

i loved how they were open in their stories... only recently did tattoos become accepted... and every tattoo has a story, from the most banal to the most intriguing, they all have a story: i guarantee it..

AnnieMS on Dec 20, 2014 via web