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Butterfly Tattoos

Butterflies and butterfly wings are one of the most popular choices in tattoo design

Butterflies and butterfly wings are one of the most popular choices in tattoo design

A search for pictures of people with butterfly tattoos on bmezine.com results in 2,766 images. Trumped only in numbers by the star tattoos category, with Japanese kanji tattoos running a close second, butterflies seem to be the tattoo of choice among women and young girls. The butterfly has always been a popular selection for someone who is getting tattooed for the first time--it's simple, small, colorful, and can be placed anywhere on the body and still look good. Visual imagery aside, if you look deeper into the philosophy you'll realize that the butterfly is also a powerful symbol of freedom and rebirth. Think about it: the creature begins life as a caterpillar, slow, sluggish and unsightly, munching on leaves and only leaving the ground when she finds a tree to climb. Then one day something changes, a force is felt deep inside that urges the caterpillar to retreat from the rest of the world, to hide in a corner and wrap herself in a self-made cocoon. When she emerges, she is transformed into a beautiful, magical being with wings that let her soar above the treetops. What once could only crawl has now learned how to fly, the ugly duckling transformed into a swan.

Perhaps this is not what the majority of girls are thinking about when they enter the tattoo parlor and ask for a butterfly on their ankle. Maybe the fact that butterflies are pretty is good enough for them. But I can't help but acknowledge the process that ordinary caterpillars undergo on their way to becoming their true selves, and compare it to the changes we all go through as we progress through life and up as who we are.

There are some people who want to actually become a butterfly--who wouldn't want the freedom to fly?--and they do so by tattooing life-size wings in the unmistakable colors of black and orange across the width of their backs. Others prefer to detail the butterfly in it's entirety elsewhere on their skin, either as a solitary butterfly who flies alone or in a trail of multiple winged things spiraling up the arms, legs or sides. Although it is thought that the unique colors found in the butterfly's wings are what makes the creature most beautiful, there are many tattoos that feature simply a silhouette of the butterfly's form and are equally as stunning. Either way the mere outline of a butterfly's likeness will always be a popular choice, and will always represent the freedom we find when we grow at last into who we are meant to be.


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anakantu on October 11, 2011:


Floo on December 06, 2008:

la mariposa negra con los ojos esta barbara!! =) re genial .. !!

becki on August 26, 2008:

tryin 2 design a tatto with stars and butterflys anyone know of n e ideas???

sarah on August 12, 2008:

trying to find a butterfly design where two people joined holding each other closely form the body of the butterfly, anybody know were i could find a design like this?

starrkissed from Arizona on July 28, 2008:

i've never been a big fan of butterflies but some of these are gorgeous!!

raveneyes on June 18, 2008:

wow some of these tatto's are so detailed they must of taken hours to do,ive been thinking of getting a new tatto myself but it's so hard to find a design that i love.

butterfly personal checks lover on May 04, 2008:

These butterfly tattos that you have are just simply awesome! I can't wait to have my first butterfly tattoo which I'm planning to put on my shoulder! I love butterflies and I even have a lot of my own butterfly images that I have drawn & painted on my own! I even put some of these images on my personalized checks! Why not try to check out this site if you want some of these images of your own on your personalized checks? Great hub, by the way, becauseilive & thanks for sharing these images!


GreatTattoosNow from San Jose on September 22, 2007:

Great hub page yet again! Lots and Lots of nice pictures of butterfly tattoos.

taylorblue from Canada on September 22, 2007:

you know I usually don't like butterfly tattoos because everyone has them...but these are some really original ones....!!

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