100 Tattoo Ideas for Women and their Meanings

Emanuel Garm By por Emanuel Garm | Last update: 12 February 2021

This practice was once exclusively for men (like many other activities throughout history). The few women who had tattoos in the last century were looked down upon or treated like circus freaks.

Nowadays everything has changed, and women are getting tattoos more and more for a diverse array of reasons, but most of all for artistic and aesthetic purposes.

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Beautiful Tattoo Designs for Women

From feathers, names, phrases, to butterflies, roses, owls, and flowers...there are thousands of ideas to choose from when getting a tattoo. Before anything else, you should have in mind what you want or have an idea based on internet searches or looking through drawings and images in tattoo books or magazines.

Design trends change from year to year and given that, it’s a good idea to choose something that you really identify that you won’t ever regret. In the last few years, the trends have leaned towards anchors, the infinity symbol and phrases like “Love”, but there are also universal designs that work for everyone like flowers, vines, Chinese symbols or letters, stars, etc. Choosing a beautiful design will ensure that everyone you know loves your new tattoo.

Small tattoos that are Ideal for Every Woman

Small tattoos on women or even men, are more common on the hands and feet (above all on the fingers), and also more recently, on the nape of the neck or behind the ear. Remember that these zones are painful places to get a tattoo, but if they are small tattoos and your pain threshold is average, you aren’t likely to have a problem, since it will just be a few pokes and you can even choose to have anesthesia if you want. Ideas:

- Origami: Tiny paper planes and boats are cute. They have a great deal of meaning in Japanese culture.

- Clover: This is the universal symbol of luck; a tiny clover that you carry around is always a good idea.

- Cross: This is one of the most meaningful symbols in many religions, not just in Christianity.

- Cloud: A little cloud can look incredible. The Chinese associate the cloud with transition, or a person’s spiritual quest, and there are many different meanings in the Japanese and Greco-Roman cultures.

- Lightening Bolt: Even small, a lightening bolt tattoo represents above all, power, energy, and being alert in any situation.

A small tattoo can be anything that you decide, from stars, animals, fruits (cherries are popular), signs or symbols from other cultures.

Delicate Tattoos that Any Woman Would Love

When we say delicate tattoos we are referring to those that represent or highlight femininity, such as butterflies, stars, flowers, monkeys and words or phrases about love. The butterfly is the most popular of this category and represents the first moment of freedom, because of its wings.

- Monkey: Represents bonds and ties: remembrance, never forgetting.

- Heart: This is universal symbol of love, and can be drawn with fire, shine, or as a group of hearts. The color and design is your decision.

- Kiss: Also associated with love and passion. A feminine touch.

- The word “Love”: This is a universal word, and can be drawn in cursive or in a modern font.

The Meaning of the Most Popular Tattoos Among Women

The meaning of a tattoo is completely relative; that is to say that the tattoo’s meaning depends upon the person. However, there is a kind of code associated with certain tattoos. For example:

- Birds, butterflies or wings: Freedom, liberation.

- Anchors: Strength and integrity to remain grounded.

- The OM Symbol: The origin of the mantra, the union of the physical and the spiritual, connection with divinity.

- Yin Yang:The two energies that make up existence.

- Compass: Never losing one’s way, exploration

- Semicolon: All is not lost, there is always an opportunity to move forward.

I want to point out again that these are just universal interpretations of these symbols, but the meaning of your tattoo is yours alone. A lot of times personal or family traits, life philosophies, among other things are behind the meaning of a tattoo. They may also just be aesthetic without a meaning, which is also valid.

Ideas for Beautiful Back Tattoos

When it comes to back tattoos, it’s easier to have larger design since you’re working with the biggest canvas on the body to draw upon. It is important to point out that the back is considered a painful part of the body to get a tattoo.

Ideas:

- Wings: You can choose angel wings or those that appeal most to you. Archangel or fairy wings are also great, depending on what you like best. These can be tattooed in the area of the dorsal muscles and the pain in that area is moderate.

- Flowers: Whatever flower you like best: sunflowers, daisies, roses, lotus flowers, tulips, dahlias, orchids...there are an infinite number of flowers that can be designed according to your liking. It’s important that it is small and it will look great on the coccyx or at the nape of your neck, where your back begins. It could also be a flower with a stem that goes from the neck to the middle of the back following the spine. How does that sound?

- Dreamcatcher: This tattoo looks great at the nape of the neck and works as an amulet so that you never stop dreaming, and so that your dreams and wishes come true. It also represents banishing nightmares and negative energy which get stuck inside of the dreamcatcher.

- Feather: They are synonymous with freedom, and people who are not tied down, who like to travel, and go wherever the wind may blow. The feathers of the phoenix represent a person’s ability to rise after they fall, turkey feathers represent greatness, vanity and at time, healing and renovation. Everything depends upon the meaning that you give it. A heart with wings can also be a good option.

The area of the coccyx and part of the ribs are considered less painful places to get tattoos. Some people have wing tattoos on their backs, like real ones, but many women also have them on their coccyx since many men find it sensual.

The Best Designs for the Wrist

I would consider wrist tattoos among the top 3 most popular parts of the body for women’s tattoos, since it is a highly accessible area and is considered a less painful zone. In this area, you will find tattoos of birds, vines, hearts, spatial bodies, words and phrases. Some women use both wrists to form a word or phrase, or the name of a friend or someone they consider special.

- Laurel: You can choose a beautiful laurel for your wrist. In Ancient Greece it was a symbol of success and achievement.

- Letters: They might be initials, of your name or the name of your special person or both. You choose the design, and remember that if its on your wrist it should be small.

- Bracelets: A pretty bracelet design can also look great, whether it’s on one hand or both. I recommend that it just be one color, but you have the last word.

- Chinese or Hindu word: Use a translator, and look for a phrase that represents you and make sure that you like the design. If so, go ahead...talk to a tattoo artist and get to work. This wrist tattoo is going to be a sensation.

Ideas for Your Arm

We know that, on men, arms have always been the most popular place for tattoos. We have seen over the years how Popeye and other real sailors have tattooed women or anchors on their arms. However, it isn’t as common to see this on a woman, except for on the forearm. The arm is a moderately painful place to get a tattoo, but if you get the crazy idea to tattoo your elbow, underarm or creases of your arm, you will definitely feel more pain.

Arm tattoo ideas:

- Crowns: These represent self-control, honor and dignity, and being on top. Look for a design that you like and feel like royalty.

- Skulls: If you have a Gothic, dark or pinup style, a cool skull design could be an option. You can make it your own with a rose, thorns, symbols or however you see fit.

- Roses: Roses never go out of style, above all red ones; they represent love, passion, sensuality, among other things.

- Yin Yang:It may seem basic, but it never goes out of style. If you identify with this meaningful symbol of duality and like Taoism, this tattoo is for you.

For Your Shoulders

As we already mentioned, the shoulder may be the most popular area of the arm for tattoos, as we have seen throughout history. While women don’t see it as the most attractive place for a tattoo, men tend to have this part of their body uncovered, and even more so if they have good musculature and want to show it off; In this area you will also see a great deal of portrait tattoos; those who get them are often paying tribute to someone important in their lives. Here are a few other ideas:

- Symbolism: If you like prehispanic cultures you can look for a Maya or Aztec symbol. For example, the Mayan calendar. You can also look for Asian or Hindu symbolism.

- Moons: These provide inspiration for all types of art. We have heard songs and poems, and seen paintings that are inspired by this natural satellite. This tattoo is similar to the meaning behind the Yin symbol, as the sun is associated with Yang. The moon is tied to the feminine, autonomy, the night, and romanticism.

- Sun: Represents the opposite of the moon, but also represents reincarnation, immortality, and greatness; Fire, passion and energy.

- A phrase: You can also tattoo a phrase that you like; something with a beautiful font will add style.

Make Your Legs A Work of Art

The pain of tattooing your leg can range from low to moderate. If you decide to tattoo your knee, that is the most sensitive zone in terms of pain. The most common knee tattoos tend to be vines and vegetation:

- Vines: These are known as symbols of good luck and strength. They are also plants that climb upward, for which they can also symbolize growth and overcoming obstacles. Try and add a feminine touch.

- Arrows: There are many meanings associated with arrows, and you can look for information to find out more, but they are always associated with protection, gratitude, forgetting the past, and wisdom.

- Owls: Symbols of status, intelligence and of course, wealth.

- Snakes: Diplomacy and eloquence. It is said that snakes symbolize and conceptualize control over totality, the conscience and how to consume it.

Beautiful and Creative Hand Tattoos

Hand tattoos tend to be painful, especially on the palm...but everything depends upon you and how much you’d like to tattoo this area. Also keep in mind that this zone is very exposed and visible to everyone around you.

Small tattoos like letters, ancient symbols, flowers, animals, and stars can look great on your hand. Letters that form phrases on your knuckles are also an option, though they are most frequently seen on men. You will also see words tattooed on the fold between the thumb and index finger. it’s all up to you. Here are some examples:

- Sunflower: These flowers transmit light, optimism, faith and happiness. Their color is a radiant yellow.

- Phrases: How do you feel about a short phrase or word on the fold between your index and thumb finger?

- Hearts: A triple or double heart on one specific part of the hand can look splendid.

- Precious gems: It doesn’t have to be a diamond. There are other precious gems with interesting meanings that you can turn into hand tattoos.

Perfect Foot Tattoos

Just like hands, the foot tends to be a very sensitive zone, and therefore delicate when it comes to tattooing. You will need to decide how high your pain threshold is, since some  peoples’ are higher than others’. Foot tattoos are better when small and can be inspired by anything you like, for example:

- Eclipse: These are the duality of sun and moon, the joining of energies. Love and comprehension. Moments of light and darkness.

- Birds: Although your feet are on the ground, that doesn’t mean that you can’t fly. You can tattoo whatever bird you like most on your foot.

- Keys: This can be the design of an old key or one that you like. They represent the opening of doors and the closing of others. You add your own personal interpretation.

- Tribal vines: Look for a vine that fits your foot. A pretty design with a feminine touch will really stand out.

For Your Fingers

We have already mentioned the trend of tattooing a letter on each finger to form a phrase, though aesthetically I don’t recommend it. However, if it is something you want to do and it has a lot of meaning for you, go for it. Here are some other finger tattoo ideas:

- Eye: These tattoos represent knowledge; seeing, contemplating and learning. A small eye on the upper part of your finger can represent an idea.

- Music symbol (treble clef): Music is healing, and a small treble clef on your finger can represent so much.

- Water drop: Remember that water is a source of goodness, and a drop of water on your finger can be very meaningful.

For the Hip

Some men may find women with tattoos on their hip to be sensual, since this area is very feminine and a tattoo there can make the hips stand out more. Here are some ideas:

- Lunar Phases: You can associate each lunar phase with a different cycle in your life.

- Diamonds: Shine, power, strength, resurgence.

- Astronomical bodies: Moons, planets, cosmic dust, comets, galaxies. If you like this theme, look for one of these objects for your hip.

- Vines: These are universal. There are romantic, baroque, Gothic, from nature. They would go great on your hip.

For Your ankles

Ankles are known as being a painful place to get a tattoo, however this is one of the most popular places, since men find it sexy and it is a hidden place. Phrases or words go well in this area. As long as it’s small, you can tattoo whatever you like here.

Ideas:

- Desserts: It may sound funny but cupcakes look great, as do French macaroons, cookies, pies or cakes.

- Fruits: Strawberries, bananas, peaches, cherries. Which fruit best represents you that would also look cute on your ankle?

- Marine themes: Fish, coral, boats, mollusks, crustacean. What about a mermaid for your ankle?

- Cats: Cats have been worshiped since Ancient Egypt, and have a lot of significance in mysticism. You could choose a cute one or one with character for your ankle.

For Your Neck

This can also be a painful place to get a tattoo, and so it is recommended that you take some precautions. The best part of the neck upon which to get a tattoo is the nape, since you feel less pain there and it looks very nice. If you would like to do this, a small geometric figure could be a great option. Here are some meanings:

- Circles: These can represent the closing of cycles. Look for a pretty design or a circle with diameter.

- Triangles: This is the shape with most spiritual meaning in many cultures.

- Pentagon: This represents the 5 senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, as well as the 5 elements: fire, earth, air, water and wood or quintessence.

- Mandala: In Buddhism this represents the evolution of the universe in relation to a central point. You can create your own personal mandala design.

For Your Ribs

You should take precautions when getting a tattoo on your ribs, since it is one of the best known painful areas for tattoos, along with joints, genitals and nipples. These are the most sensitive places on the body and so they are only for the brave, but you can ask someone that has done it before, or a tattoo artist, since we know that the pain threshold depends upon each person.

- Wave or ocean: This brings the idea of infinity to mind, what goes beyond limits and also life itself.

- Tulips: The meaning depends upon the color. A tulip on your ribs represents loyalty.

- Infinity symbol: This horizontal symbol on your ribs can really stand out. It represents infinity and transcendence.

- Tree/Nature: You can tattoo a tree in your rib area. Trees with leaves represent life, rebirth, growth, among other things. Trees without leaves have a great deal of poetic meaning as well, such as maturity, and temples.

For Your Waist

Tattoos of vines tend to be common in this zone, as many people feel that they highlight femininity and can look sexy. If you choose a pretty design, you will surely turn heads and look sensual. Vegetation, feathers, or phrases are all options. This is a moderately painful place to get a tattoo.

More ideas:

- Feathers: They represent ascension towards the spiritual, and evolution to a higher plane.

- Vegetation: A pretty horizontal plant design would look great on the waist.

- Jungle animals: Some women think that tattooing animals like leopards, tigers, and lions is masculine...If you are an adventurous woman, a cougar or cheetah could be a good option on your ribs, which isn’t a highly visible zone. Or perhaps an elephant that represents nobility.

- Butterflies: Butterflies never fail, and we already spoke a bit about their meaning above. A good idea would be a trio or duo of beautiful butterflies, strategically places on the ribs.

Stars

We all know or have seen someone with start tattoos. They look aesthetically great and they also have many meanings, which is why starts so often appear in different religions. In esoteric beliefs, they represent the joining of the four elements (Earth, wind, water and fire) with the spirit. Spacial stars oftentimes represent internal shine, or a loved one who has passed away who is always with you, a guide, or simply connection to the galaxy or a faraway world.

Trends among Women

Tattoos are a fashion that will never go out of style, and for many women having tattoos is a lifestyle. The most colorful tattoos aren’t always the greatest. Simple designs can also be beautiful. For example, a tiny and simple design which is well placed can make you look very stylish. There are modern tribal tattoos that are also pretty, though these are generally recommended for men because of the tough looking designs.

Pretty tattoos for women like flowers, symbols, stars, moons, galactic bodies and perhaps animals. You can talk to your tattoo artist and tell him to make modifications. A good conversation with the tattoo artist beforehand is always a good idea. Choose a place that is certified over a place that is simply the cheapest. Do some research and look for a few references.

You are the owner of your body and decisions. Tattoos actually make this declaration, and express autonomy and freedom. No one can tell you what to do and what not to do, nor how to use your body based on society’s rules. Tattoos are art, culture and counterculture all at the same time.