Tattoos have been around for as long as there have been people who wanted to decorate their bodies. While most people associate tattoos with women and celebrities, men have been getting inked too. The variety is endless – from elaborate flower patterns to elaborate portraits of people and animals – and with digital art making things simpler than ever before, people can access amazing designs at the touch of a button.

What has changed over the past few years is that tattoos have become a lot more than just decoration. As with any other fashion or beauty choice, people are getting inked for meaning. More and more men are getting inked with meaningful quotes, words, or phrases to represent a time or event in their lives. Some men even have tattoos of their children’s names to commemorate their love and devotion for their children.

The Rise In Male Tattoo Culture

While we have always seen a small percentage of men getting tattoos, what is different today is that there is a greater variety of designs and themes than ever before. Take a look at some of the most in-demand tattoo designs for men.

  • Tiger Tattoos (Tiger) ((Black) or (Colour)): The dark nature of a tiger is represented beautifully by their sleek, muscular bodies with bright yellow eyes. These powerful animals have been known to attack humans, so it is no wonder they have become such important symbols of strength and ferocity. What is important to keep in mind is that a tigress does not necessarily have to be portrayed as aggressive to be powerful. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, for example, a tigress is a symbol of fertility and abundance.
  • Dove Tattoos ((White) or (Colour)): This gentle bird has become a universal symbol of peace and understanding. It is no wonder that the dove has been used to symbolize all kinds of messages for so long. From conveying religious devotion to heralding good fortune, it’s an animal that always seems to bring good luck and happiness.
  • Black-Skinned Monkey Tattoos ((Black)): The simian variety is one of the most popular themes for men today. While we usually think of monkeys as funny and cuddly creatures, they can be amazingly clever and even ferocious if angered or threatened. You may have heard of the story of Hansel and Gretel – a classic tale of greed and distrust that was made into a popular fairy tale in 1899. It is said that the titular characters were inspired by a street urchin they encountered on their travels who was carrying a basket filled with the miscellaneous stolen goods that the pair subsequently picked up and traded for food and lodging. The boy was so happy to have stolen a meal that he ran off and jumped into a river to enjoy his sweet revenge. This scene is often reenacted in popular culture, with many people in movies carrying a sack or basket similar to the one the urchin is holding in the story.
  • Polar Bear Tattoos ((White) or (Colour)): The white bear is a majestic creature that mostly inhabits the Arctic Circle. They are known for their strength and ferocity and have been featured on coins, in mythology, and on the Olympic emblem. Polar bears are also important to the Inuit people, who consider them a symbol of strength, courage, and perseverance.
  • Barbed Wire Tattoos ((Naked) or (Colour)): This theme continues on the rough side of life with barbed wire. If you’re familiar, barbed wire is a type of fencing that is designed to easily confine animals and humans alike. Its design was inspired by the pattern found on the skin of a snake, which provides the perfect camouflage for when the animal is hidden in plain sight. If the pattern is visible while the animal is in the process of crawling through or over it, however, it can be a warning sign of danger.
  • Koala Bear Tattoos ((White)): You may have seen a koala bear in zoos or wildlife parks if you’re traveling in Australia. These cute and cuddly creatures produce bright, bold colors that have made them popular for Halloween stickers, cushions, and pillows. They have also been used in art and design since the 1800s.
  • Dolphin Tattoos ((White) or (Colour)): If you’re an animal lover, then you’ll want to get a dolphin tattoo. This fish, which can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is known to be one of the most intelligent and agile animals in the sea. They are also incredibly social, which makes them perfect for people who want to be represented by a symbol that is unique to them and their friends.
  • Horse Tattoos ((Brown)): The powerful horse has been a symbol of both strength and speed for centuries. Not only does it have the ability to provide humans with powerful transportation, but it can also be an important part of their diet considering its meat is highly regarded in many cultures.
  • Bumble Bee Tattoos ((Yellow) or (Colour)): Bumble bees are very social insects that live in honeycomb hives. Their gentle nature makes them a popular choice for people who want to be represented by a symbol that is both elegant and unique to them. Many cultures also value these insects as pets and use them as practical jokes because of their docility makes them easy to train.
  • Shrimp Tattoos ((Orange)): This aquatic crustacean is very popular among men who want to embody strength and durability. Shrimp are known to be very hardworking creatures, and many cultures around the world see them as powerful symbols of good luck. Getting a shrimp tattoo is a little more complicated than just putting a pattern on your body, however. You need to find a partner that is willing to get a shrimp tattoo with you in order to be able to keep the promise that you made to each other when you got the tattoo.

Why Do Men Get Tattoos?

While women have always been associated with tattoos, it is not until recently that they have become popular among men. The simple answer is that men are getting tattoos for the same reasons women have for ages: to decorate themselves and have a permanent memento of a special event, person, or feeling.

What is significant is that men are getting tattoos for different reasons than women. While women may have always gotten them for decorative purposes, men are getting tattoos to represent their individuality, creativity, and interests.

Deciding on what to get tattooed or when to get tattooed is tricky, but there are some obvious times and events when it makes sense to get inked (or laser-removed). Here are a few examples.