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12 Sweet Mermaid Tattoos

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They’re not just for sailors, although they are at least a somewhat validated stereotype among them.

Mermaid tattoos are one of the most enduring tattoo subjects ever and, yes, it was customary for sailors of all description to have them at one time. They were a preferred alternative to pinup tattoos among servicemen who were disallowed lurid or nude images in their tattoos. Many of them had coverups done to make them acceptable and others opted for the more creative alternative of a mermaid. A mermaid tattoo allowed the sensuality of the female form to be retained while also complying with established rules applied to enlisted men within the ranks.

Versatility of mermaid tattoos

One of the biggest selling points of a mermaid tattoo is the versatility of design that makes them suitable for both men and women. Men prefer to accentuate the sexual image of the mermaid, making her look seductive and sultry while women typically prefer images that accentuate the overtly feminine aspects of the design. This is achieved through poses, expressions, and other design elements including color and shading.

Symbolism of mermaid tattoos

Mermaids evoke a number of images and, depending upon the design, can convey a variety of ideas. Mystery, beauty, love, sensuality, persuasion and allure are all very common concepts communicated through the mermaid. Mermaids are, by nature, elusive and mysterious which lends their image well to tattoos meant to convey these kinds of themes. Does your personality or self-image reflect any of these traits? If so, then a mermaid tattoo might just be a good fit for you.

But there is more to the story…

Mermaids also represent images of a tenacious and ferocious nature. On the surface, mermaids may seem demure but, underneath, they possess a primal and un-tetherable spirit making them a symbol of freedom, power, liberation and raw fury within the proper context.

Mermaids in Mythology

For those who like to blend spirituality with artistic expression, mermaids also make for a great tattoo subject. Mermaids are associated with various Pagan goddesses, particularly Venus and Aphrodite. They share specific correspondences with nautical deities such as Tethys, Rán, Calypso and Amphitrites. They share a close bond with the Undines, spirits that inhabit all of the oceans around the world.

The mermaid may be nothing more than a sexual icon to some, but to others she is much, much more. She beckons us to become untethered from things mundane and seek out the magic and mystery that lies within – our creativity, sexuality, independence and raw, untamed ferocity.


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