There is definitely a stigma in the tattoo world of getting a “white girl tattoo.”
Anchors, feathers, swallows, any quotes written in cursive (whether it be biblical, personal, or from a song), or anything to do with an infinity sign are almost taboo because of how mainstream they have become (weird, right?).
Personally, I hate how we look down on women for following trends. So, in order to attempt to de-stigmatize many styles such as these, I’ve decided to look deeper into some trends in the alternative world that have been deemed too “main stream” by our growingly cynical society. I’m going to look into how the trend started, what the common meanings for the tattoos are, and possibly pinpoint why they have struck a chord with our society.
This week’s trend is infinity, something that may have gained it’s popularity from John Green’s book, A Fault in Our Stars. However, infinity signs symbolize the eternal. There is something about it that feels mysterious, as many of us don’t know what infinity is. Is infinity our life times? Or something more? It evokes a nostalgic feeling for times gone by, and a sense of wonder for times to come, both that we know we will experience and things we hope to experience after our bodies expire. In a way, it’s very beautiful.
“Infinity tattoos are steadily on the rise with many people opting to get these in one form or another. The infinity symbol, often used in mathematics, represents a never-ending loop and is depicted as a number 8 on its side. In the tattoo world this can be seen as a symbol of never-ending or limitless possibility. Some cultures also believe it to represent rebirth or reincarnation,” said TattooSEO, a blog for artists and enthusiasts of ink.
“Historically, this symbol is similar to mythological creatures such as Ouroboros; the snake which consumed its tail and became a creature without end. The endless loops and circles that comprise the infinity symbol can also be likened to the seasonal cycle which endlessly repeats year after year. These tattoos, while simple, can be customized in a variety of ways. Popular choices for this type of tattoo include a word or phrase inside the loop, such as “love”, “life” or “friendship”. These of course signify a relationship that will never end and are often used as matching tattoos for two or more people. One can even add additional symbols such a hearts, stars or other embellishments to add to the flair of the design. For religious meaning a cross can intersect the looping lines to reflect ones never-ending faith.”
“Another choice, made popular by the ABC series “Revenge”, is that of two infinity symbols interlocking,” TattooSEO pointed out. “This can be seen as meaning “forever and ever” or can depict the love from two souls being together forever. The interlocked symbols are reminiscent of Celtic knotwork this making them seem more intricate than they are.The infinity symbol tattoo design can hold great meaning to the wearer no matter where they hail from. The concept of infinite time or endless possibilities is incredibly intriguing to most and can add to the appeal of this type of artwork.”
More often than not, infinity tattoos are paired with something else. A popular design is combining the tattoo with words, such as “life”, “love”, “dream”, “infinity”, “faith”, “strength”, “hope”, “family”, and the phrases “I refuse to sink”, “and beyond” or “Love yourself”. Another popular design combines the feather design as the center of the infinity, often with some of the aforementioned words on the outside. Others include the double infinity, the infinity within a heart, or the infinity in a celtic knot. The most popular places to put them are on inner wrists, in between fingers, or on the lower neck/upper shoulder area, although I have seen many on ankles and behind ears, as well as some on the upper arms or forearms.
“There are few tattoos that can hold much meaning and still look beautifully simple,” commented Tattoo Destination. “Most tattoos that fulfill both of these criteria are religious symbols like the Star of David, cross or aum (om) symbols. The infinity tattoo design and symbol, on the other hand, is one that is non-religious, but holds much meaning and is very beautifully simple. While some people may consider this symbol one for mathematicians, the infinity tattoo design is actually a very popular tattoo design in the general population and in its own right.”
Kristen Stewart and Shay Mitchell sport infinity tattoos, while Asami Zdrenka has a matching double infinity tattoo with her mother.
Feeling like you can touch the eternal? Hoping to remind yourself that there is more than this rough patch? Why not get an infinity tattoo? Are you up for it? Let us know in the comments!!
Collegian Blogger Sarah Ross can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @HowSarahTweets. Read more of her content on AltLife.collegian.com or at collegian.com under Music. Leave a comment!