Butterflies are a common motif in both fashion and beauty world. Back in the ‘90s and ‘00s, the colorful insect was usually seen as a print on skimpy tops, hair accessories, and even makeup collections. Now, the butterfly is back in a big way as Y2K fashion is the latest nostalgia trend influencers and celebrities love.
But more than just being an accessory or statement print, the butterfly has become a popular design to get as a tattoo as well. The winged creature's intricate and colorful patterns have inspired a lot of tattoo artists to create gorgeous artwork in ink—be it a tiny piece on your wrist or a statement tatt on your sleeve.
Though naturally aesthetically pleasing to look at (and to flaunt!), did you know there’s a deeper meaning behind these insects? If you’re eyeing to get some symbolic ink done, here’s why you should consider marking yourself with a butterfly.
What is the meaning of a butterfly tattoo?
Because of the insect’s life stages involving a metamorphosis—from a caterpillar to a butterfly—this process often connotes “transformation,” “rebirth,” or opening a new and better chapter of your life. There’s no denying the creature’s “glow up” also makes it a symbol of blossoming beauty and is one of the popular reasons why the butterfly is a well-loved design amongst women.
Since the butterfly survives independently after coming out of its cocoon, it also means personal growth. They say if you see a butterfly in your dream it could be a symbol that huge change will happen in your life that you will eventually learn a lot from.
According to World Birds, the butterfly represents happiness and joy in Chinese and Japanese culture. It also symbolizes a woman’s graceful transition into adulthood. While two butterflies flying or dancing alongside each other suggests a blissful romance.
6 Butterfly Tattoos You Should Consider Getting
Now that you know the many meanings of the butterfly, here are some chic tattoo designs you won’t regret getting—no matter what you’d like the insect to personally represent.
A simple butterfly silhouette
You can’t go wrong with silhouette tattoos. Butterflies look delicate and pretty when drawn in fine lines. You can even ask the artist to line the inner portions of the wings to make it look more intricate.
A statement butterfly design in full color
If you’d like to commit to a tatt that’s a sure conversation starter, opt for an artwork that’s big, bold, and intricate!
A butterfly + flowers
We love this interesting combination that looks beautiful in both plain black and in full color. This dreamy design is perfect if you want something unique, and if you’re a fan of both motifs!
Butterflies and sparkles
There’s just something quite otherworldly or celestial about this tattoo combination that makes it look quite magical. This is perfect if you’re looking for a fun design that’s also quite whimsical.
A watercolor render of a butterfly
If you're looking for something painterly, this design will definitely make you feel like you're wearing a piece of art on your skin. This is a sophisticated choice if you're a fan of color and would like a tatt that exudes femininity.
A group of butterflies
This is a great idea if you want something sprawling across your skin! Not to mention there’s something whimsical about a set of butterflies flying around!
5 Pretty Places to Put Your Butterfly Tattoo
So now that you’ve picked a design, it’s time to decide where you should get it done. Though your wrist or shoulder are pretty common, may we suggest some placements that are a little more unique and will flaunt your butterfly tatt beautifully.
Wrapped around your wrist
You’ll fall in love with this tattoo placement instantly. We love the tiny butterflies that wrap around your wrist, which you can add more to crawl up your arm or fingers! It’s a maximalist design you should consider if you love prints and patterns.
On your collarbone or shoulder
This works if your chosen design is dainty and sweet. It’s also a great area to put a single colored butterfly that looks like it’s resting on your clavicle or shoulder much like an optical illusion.
On the base of your nape
If you’d like to conceal your tatt for the most part, this is a great place to keep it hidden. But as soon as you whip our your favorite hubadera top or swimsuit, you’ll be able to flaunt your ink for all to see.
Your inner arm
Not one for subtlety? This area is a great place to show off your tatt without even trying—especially if you live in T-shirts and sleeveless tops.
Behind your ears
We’d recommend you get inked here if you’ve got pierced ears! This definitely adds even more detail to your blinged out auricle.
The side of your rib
If you're looking at a palm-sized design or planning to grow a collection of tattoos in a specific area, your is the best choice. With a lot of skin to cover you can definitely get creative with your butterfly tatt!