Stories to Make Your Tattoo Seem Meaningful

Who among us is above having one too many diet piña coladas and waking up with a permanent mistake drawn onto her body? Nobody, that’s who – which is why we’ve gone ahead and written thoughtful backstories for seven of the emptiest tattoos you’ve gotten while blacked out. Borrow them at your leisure.


Butterfly Tramp Stamp
The above-the-rim papillon is a favorite of late teens and confused moms everywhere. Despite probably being chosen for its proximity to the front of the tattoo book, the butterfly actually packs some serious symbolism. Tell the hottie who’s undressing you that you used to be a devout Christian who had a transcendent experience at an Ayahuasca ceremony and suddenly realized God is nature. The butterfly represents your spiritual transformation…and your willingness to engage in anal sex.


Tribal Armband
Popular with vegans and Ultimate Fighting Champions, the tribal armband can seem like a thoughtless choice you made on your 19th birthday to ignorant observers. Put them in their place by telling the story of how you lived with the endangered Olongo tribe on the island of Tuamotu in French Polynesia. Tell them about how Iolani, the tribe’s most valued virgin, helped you grow into your sexual identity. And how after finding you face down in her Pacific Ocean, the elders tried to burn you both at the stake. Tell them how you escaped, and watched from the next village as Iolani disappeared into a cloud of smoke. Your first love, reduced to a pile of ashes. They’ll have nightmares about your skin for weeks!


Shoulder Dolphin
With so many California girls walking the streets with these tiny Flippers draped over their shoulders, it’s hard to differentiate yourself from the pack. Make your tattoo seem special by explaining how it’s a reminder of the year you spent working for Greenpeace, liberating dolphins from captivity in various Sea Worlds nationwide. With a story like that, you’re guaranteed to score some sweet surfer empathy – even the guys with taste!



Chinese Characters
So, you haven’t taken the time to Google the word that’s been etched into your bloodstream for the past eleven years. The good news is that no one else has, either. Tell inquiring minds that the foreign alphabet above your belly button actually spells, “End the Chinese Veil of Civil Rights Oppression.” If people seem surprised that you’re so engaged in Asian politics, remind them that you spent a summer teaching English in Shanghai. They won’t question you out of fear of having to sit through another pretentious travel story.


Back-of-the-Neck Star
Given its clever placement under the hair, the Back of the Neck Star is open to less scrutiny than its more visible counterparts. But wear a ponytail on a 95-degree subway car in the middle of summer, and some pervert is sure to ask what the hell your problem is: Tell him your grandfather was the first African American astronaut in space and the star reminds you that you can break down barriers if you believe in yourself. If you’re white, just say you’re the astronaut.


Random Bird
A new study in Ink Magazine shows that 72% of tattoos carved onto thirty-something women are of birds. And who can blame us? They’re just so decorative. Help yours stand out by recounting your battle with depression and how you were able to spread your wings and rise out of the dark recesses of your mind to soar like a unidentified American songbird.


Whole Back Lotus
Just say you were in a band.