Beautiful & Intricate Tattoos For Women – A Guide By Tattoo Designers
As tattoos keep getting more mainstream, and thus more feminine, there is more need for inspiration for tattoos for women.
Women from all walks of life and all kinds of aesthetic values are looking for self expression in tattoos.
Body art are the forever statements that we believe in, telling our stories that are 100% us.
Regardless if they’re feminine or not, our tattoo ideas for women include all tattoo styles, placement options and sizes.
Most commonly girl tattoo ideas are mermaid tattoos, cute Halloween tattoos, flower tattoos, dainty feather tattoos, and many more.
So if you’re looking for a cool girl tattoo, below we go into detail about meanings, ideas, and 100+ girls tattoo examples!
Table of Contents
- History of Tattoos For Women
- Meaningful Tattoos For Women
- Small Tattoos Ideas For Women
- What Tattoo Styles Are The Best Of Women?
- Best Women's Tattoo Placements
- Tattoo Ideas For Women
- Tattoo For Women On Shoulder
- Tattoos For Neck For Women
- Back Tattoos For Women
- Tattoo For Girls
- Female Classy Half Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
- Sleeve Tattoos For Women
- Tattoos On Hands For Women
- Thigh Tattoos For Women
- Spine Tattoos For Women
- Wrist Tattoos For Women
History of Tattoos For Women
Contrary to the Western beliefs of the 20th century, women have been getting tattooed for thousands of years.
The oldest examples are actually a couple of Ancient Egyptian mummies adorned with tattoos . The two mummies, one male and one female, are dated back to between 3351 to 3017 BCE, making them the oldest tattoos ever found on a female body.
In ancient Egyptian tattooing, there is also the example of placing tattoos on the bellies of women as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth.
Tribal tattooing has also been present in Native civilizations for centuries.
The designs for these sacred tattoos would be chosen based on the family history of the woman and were a sign of high status and attractiveness of the individual.
In Pacific cultures, while the tattooist would be traditionally male, it was widely believed that the gods intended the recipients of tattoos to be solely women.
In the Judeo-Christian Western cultures, as said, there was a lot slower progress for the women to start getting tattoos.
In most records, we can see its start during the early 19th century.
Even though in that era women’s bodies needed to be hidden, wealthy socialites, for example, got tattoos as a form of rebellion.
The tattoos were discreet and decorative, sometimes even hidden from husbands and families.
Those women who chose to ignore hiding the tattoos were, however, completely expelled and marginalized from modern society and viewed as freaks.
Fun trivia – Winston Churchill’s mother Lady Randolph Churchill is said to have had a snake tattoo on her wrist (easily covered by a wineglass or sleeve).
By the turn of the 20th century, roughly three-fourths of fashionable New York City ladies had gotten similarly trendy tattoos, including butterflies, flowers and dragons, according to the New York World.
This continued for the better half of the 20th century, but the situations changes in the late 60s and 70s.
At that point tattoo subcultures began to develop and for women specifically, tattoos were much less taboo and were starting to become more of a tool of self expression.
As Cristian Petru Panaite, curator of an exhibit on the 300-year history of tattooing, open now at the New-York Historical Society, puts it,
Tattoos were an early way that women took control of their bodies.
What Are Meaningful Tattoos For Women?
As explained above, tattoos for women were historically seen either as protective emblems or decorative pieces of body art.
Depending on the culture you came from, the role of tattoos for women changed.
Nowadays, modern women are looking for both the decorative as well as a meaningful aspect that pertains to their personal life, experiences and values.
- Family – if you’re feeling protective over your family, lioness, elephant, wolf or mama bear tattoo might be a great fit for you; alternatively if you want something more decorative, we recommend birth flowers dedicated to family members, or their favorite animal.
- Mental health – it’s not easily translating what you’re going through with body art, but depending on your journey you can honor who you were, or who you want to become.
- Love – depending on what kind of life we want to portray, or which aspect of it, we can use some beautiful flowers like roses, cherry blossoms, daisies, sunflowers, or birth flowers, but also portray the passing of it through skulls or clock tattoos, or through honoring our loved ones through their heritage like a Celtic tattoo.
- Empowerment – for those who have been through a lot and have come out stronger, we recommend either a strong animal tattoo like an eagle, a mythical creature like a beautiful dragon tattoo, delicate phoenix tattoo or a koi fish tattoo, that mean resilience and going against challenges to come out stronger. Medusa tattoos are common symbol for sexual assault survivors.
- Ornamental – sometimes we just want an aesthetic piece, and the meaning can be very subtle (like hitting a milestone in life, or overcoming something deeply personal to us), and a decorative mandala tattoo, or an ornamental tattoo can be a great option. Smaller elements like the sun or the moon can be added in there for additional meanings.
- Memorial – remembering our loved ones is important. Besides using their names, or symbols such as angels, angel wings, or birth flowers, we can also use symbols of who they were to us – like a compass tattoo,
Small Tattoo Ideas For Women
Small tattoos for women are a great way to ease your way into tattoos, or just do a small body art piece for yourself.
But which tattoo symbols work well in small size?
Here’s our list of recommendations, along with their meanings in details through our tattoo guides.
Which Tattoo Style Is Best For Tattoos for Women?
There is no strictly female tattoo style. Any tattoo style can be used for a tattoo for women.
Researching we will find that fineline tattoos are common for women’s tattoos, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
Tattoos come in all sizes, shapes and styles, and here are your starting guides if you’d like to understand more:
- Traditional (old school) American tattoos
- Geometric tattoos
- Watercolor tattoos
- Tribal tattoos
- Realistic tattoos
- Illustrative tattoos
Best Women’s Tattoo Placements
When looking into tattoo ideas for women, you will find many different tattoo placements.
These different placements sometimes dictate the shape of the tattoo, and what makes sense to include or exclude.
Depending if you want your tattoo to be visible to the public or not, and then depending on how you usually dress (work or personal life), you’ll want to consider different placement.
For example, tattoo for women on shoulder can be easily hidden for women who wear long sleeve tops in any setting, but may be difficult to hide to others in contrasting scenarios.
Back tattoos, thigh tattoos, spine tattoos are similarly easily (or hardly) hidden, relating to your personal style.
Then there are placements that would be hard to hide, like a tattoo on neck for women, and wrist tattoos for women.
Among the hardest to hide are facial tattoos (would require special make up to hide), and hand tattoos.
Take a look at our galleries below to find our top picks in these categories to get inspired!
Tattoo Ideas For Women
To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best women’s tattoo ideas.
Take a look below to check them out all:
Tattoo For Women On Shoulder
From small to big, from black and grey to colorful, these beautiful and meaningful shoulder tattoos for women will inspire your next ink.
Shoulder tattoos can be classy and feminine or a symbol of power and strength, making them a much-loved choice for women.
One of the most popular flower shoulder tattoos for women is the simple rose.
We have done a survey on the net, flower tattoos are dominant among shoulder tattoos for women while tribal tattoos are for men
The most popular shoulder tattoos for women are flower, butterfly, dragon, snake, cross, mandala, angel and lioness designs
Tattoo On Neck For Women
Neck tattoos for many fall into the more hardcore category.
We don’t necessarily think so, as neck tattoos for women can also be dainty, minimalist and gentle expressions.
What is definitely true is that the neck tattoos are known to be among the most painful tattoos because the neck is very sensitive area.
What is often talked about in the context of hand tattoos for women is their effect on your job prospects.
Much depends on the specific job you have an how your employer feels about visible tattoos or even how the whole industry sees it.
All that being said, below are some of our favorite neck tattoos for women online!
Back Tattoo Women
Back tattoos for women, whether small or big, are a great way to get a tattoo that you can easily hide but also show with specific wardrobe for that extra pop.
When it comes to how much back tattoos hurt, upper and lower back tattoos are low-moderate to moderate on the pain scale for most people.
The reason for this is that the skin on the back is thick with less nerve endings that flair up when getting tattooed.
The further away you tattoo from the bones and nerve endings in your spine and hips, the less pain you’ll feel.
Angel wings have always been popular when it comes to beautiful tattoos for women on the back.
Which tattoo symbol you’ll pick for your back tattoo also depends on different factors, and below we have some great options.
Tattoo For Girls
When thinking about what usually a tattoo for girls entails, the first thing that comes to our mind are feminine, cute and joyful designs.
Girlish tattoo designs are very popular, and can encompass any theme, symbol, element, giving it a coloroful spin.
If you’re looking to get a fun girl’s tattoo, and need some inspiration, check out our gallery below:
Female Classy Half Sleeve Tattoo
You’re feeling an inckling for a bigger tattoo piece?
Gone are the days when women could only get only small, non-visible tattoos (check the history section of this article again).
Half sleeve tattoo designs are becoming an popular tattoo size and placement for women. Gone are the days of girls sticking to dainty tattoos.
So, let’s see what are some female classy half sleeve tattoo ideas.
One popular tattoo theme for a half sleeve on women is a fineline natural scene that includes elements like flowers, leaves, butterflies and birds.
If you’re not ready to commit to a full-sleeve tattoo you can always consider half-sleeve designs.
They are more easily hidden and in majority can be upgraded to a full sleeve in the future.
Sleeve Tattoos For Women
You’re ready for to go big with a tattoo sleeve?
Well, we’re here to help!
We’ve gathered ideas for women’s full sleeves tattoos from all angles.
There are some feminine full sleeve tattoos are the perfect inspiration for your floral, delicate women’s tattoo sleeves, as well as a badass sleeve in a darker, bolder style.
One of these tattoo sleeve designs might help you get started.
Tattoos On Hands For Women
Now, we’re entering into the area where there’s very little hiding options for your tattoos, and there are some strong opinions about that, too.
Some tattoo artists feel strongly about face and hand tattoos because they can seriously impede an individual in the professional world. This is a common argument, for which we would say that the world is changing, too.
If you feel you’re working in a conservative industry, or planning to, you might want to postpone this for a time in your life where your livelihood doesn’t depend on it.
But, for this reason, there are many tattoo artists who will refuse to tattoo a client on the hand.
For other artists, on the other hand, it might be a matter of quality. Hand tattoos are prone to fading, which is why we do recommend bolder style like American traditional tattoos for it.
Another thing to note is that being tattooed anywhere on your hands and feet can cause severe pain.
The skin here very thin, and it contains numerous nerve endings that can trigger pain when hit by a tattoo needle.
Still sticking around and want to move forward?
From small to big, simple to intricate, these hand tattoos for women are so stunning that you will not regret them.
Thigh Tattoos For Women
From simple, upper thigh cheeky tattoos, to fantastic and fierce, a thigh tattoo is very popular leg tattoo option among women, and rightly so.
When it comes to pain levels, thigh tattoos are a great option to get a large tattoo but still not suffer a lot for it.
The reason for it is that this part of the body is well padded with fat and has less nerve endings, even than other parts of the leg.
The upper outer thigh is one of the least painful places to get a tattoo, with pain low to low-moderate in most people.
Just like with shoulder and the back, thigh tattoos for women are great hidden but still visible if you want to in shorts or skirts.
As for the theme, colorful flower thigh tattoos are by far the most popular, and this is especially true of rose tattoo designs.
Another common theme that you should consider is a large mandala tattoo, as well as a fierce Medusa thigh tattoo.
Spine Tattoos For Women
Spine tattoos are amazing vertical body art pieces, where you can explore stacking elements or making an elongated distribution of writing or small elements.
Tattoos on spine can feature intricate designs with thin, delicate lines that in the case of spine tattoos for women display female power.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that they will hurt – and a lot.
Spine tattoos are one of the most painful on the scale for most people.
Overall they are sexy, elegant, and classy. Some yoga enthusiasts also get spine tattoos to symbolize strength through some yogic symbols like the lotus mandala, or sun and the moon.
One of the most gorgeous backbone tattoos for women is the mix of flowers and a quote spine tattoo designs.
Check out our best picks below!
Wrist Tattoos For Women
Wrist tattoos are great as for many people they serve as a reminder or a motto.
As such, wrist tattoos are very special. Although small they hold very deep meaning for the wearer.
Given their small size (or better said, width), it’s better if wrist tattoos are minimalist, with a small shape or a phrase.
Wrist tattoos have always been a popular choice for women, thanks in part to their highly noticeable placement, yet delicate sizing.
Many people like their visibility that can still be covered (at least partially) with a bracelet, watch or long sleeves.
These beautiful wrist tattoos for women below carry deep meanings and will stand the test of time.
Are you looking for a custom tattoo design for women? We got you.
Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤
About the author
Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.
You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!