A tattoo can be a great way to show the world what you believe in, the things you love, and the causes you feel strongly about — but it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect design to express your feelings. Need some inspiration? Read on for some starter ideas if you’re interested in feminist tattoos — these can all also be customized by your tattoo artist to get a look that’s uniquely yours!
Classic Feminist Symbols
Design by artist Julie Bolene.
Bra burning became a symbol of the feminist movement in the late 1960s — even though no bras were actually burned during the famous demonstration in 1968. Bras and other constricting underwear were thrown in garbage cans during the protest outside that year’s Miss America Pageant.
“The Future is Female” is a slogan that first emerged in 1975, but it's recently made a resurgence. This particular tattoo features Wednesday Addams, the eldest child from the Addams Family, but you could always replace that with a portrait of your favorite feminist icon.
Design by artist Daiana Andrade
These designs are awesome because not only does the shape mimic the classic feminist symbol, but they also represent pride our fight for bodily autonomy.
Fun and Girl-Centric
Design by Sam Tokely Tattoo.
"Girl power" as a mantra may have been co-opted by groups like the Spice Girls, but in the early ‘90s it stood for something else — the idea that girls are this incredible untapped power that can change the world if we just work together and put our minds to it. It was started by music group Bikini Kill in response to the anti-female parts of the punk music industry, but it has grown into a fantastically feminist chant.
Design by Sam Tokely Tattoo.
If you want a tattoo that plays with the lighter side of feminism, why not adorn yourself with a jar of boy tears? While it might sound a little harsh, it' sbecome a lighthearted joke and way to defend against anti-feminist rhetoric on the internet. Yes, it’s a meme — but it’s an effective one!
Image used with permission from Prisca Rodriguez
“Divina” means “divine” in several languages, including Spanish. A celebration of intersectionality in the movement, a feminist tattoo such as this one is great for showing appreciation for all of the beautiful things that Latina women bring to what it means to be women.
Pop Culture References
Design by artist Robert Gibson at Golden Rule Tattoo.
Lemonade is more than just a music video — it’s a revolutionary work of and for feminism. This 56-minute modern feminist fairy tale has everything you could possibly want as a feminist and as a woman. If you’re looking for the perfect feminist tattoo, an homage to Queen Bey definitely isn’t the worst thing you could pick.
Image used with permission from Christine McQuaid.
Rupi Kaur is one of the modern age’s most prolific feminist poets — and many people choose tattoos based on the artwork that adorns pages of her poetry books. If Kaur’s poems don’t speak to you, look into a tattoo based on your own favorite feminist author or artist instead — there’s no shortage of amazing writers and creators to choose from.
More Serious Subject Matter…
Design by artist Natalie Rogers at Alternative Arts Tattoo.
During the suffragette movement of the early 20th century, brave women broke the law in their efforts to achieve gender equality. Their mantra, “Deeds Not Words,” is an amazing choice for a feminist tattoo.
Abortion is a touchy topic, especially with the current administration trying to destroy abortion rights in the United States. This tattoo, with its simple message of “We Deserve Better,” is a powerful statement on reproductive rights, and a challenge to keep us from falling back to the days of back alley coat hanger abortions.
A little note on the artist: When we contacted Patrick for permissions, he let us know that Lucky’s has five women tattooing under one roof, and feminist tattoos are popular there. If you’re looking for strong feminist tattoo artists and you’re anywhere near the Northampton, Massachusetts area, check ‘em out!
Feminism is about gender equality, but even the love and solidarity we find with others isn't as important as the love we feel for ourselves. Mental health and body positivity are incredibly important topics and are finally being discussed more in feminist spaces and in the media in general. Self-love is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself, and this tattoo serves as a beautiful reminder.
Expressing Yourself Through Ink
Obviously this list doesn’t even come close to being able to feature the full extent of feminist tattoos you can get. Tats are all about creativity and personal expression. What you think of as feminism is an extremely personal thing as well, so take the time to find something that fits you best. And if you’ve already got a fantastic feminist tattoo, we’d love to see it!
Photos used with permission
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