Originally the near-exclusive domain of men, tattoos have seen a rise in popularity among woman concomitant with the mainstreaming of feminism and the expansion of traditional gender roles. Although many tattoos can be applied to both genders, there are a number of tattoos that feature traditionally feminine designs. Additionally, there are several locations for the tattoo that are generally more favoured by women than men.
The heart is one of the classic female tattoos and can come in various styles. While some women favour a single, others prefer multiple hearts, often linked by a vine, while still others go for the classic heart and lettered school pattern.
There are two main style of angel wings -- large and small. Whiles some women favour a small, discrete pair, others choose to have much of the canvas on their back taken up with a more life-size set of wings.
Many women, including singer Britney Spears, enjoy a small fairy design. These tattoos are feminine, but also girlish, suggesting an enduring, childlike belief in magic.
Many mothers like tattoos related to their children, such as their children's names, birthdays or even faces. Often these tattoos will be placed somewhere distinctly maternal, such as the breast or hip.
There are a number of animals that make popular fodder for women's tattoos, including horses, dragonflies, dolphins and butterflies. These tattoos are generally small and colourful, particularly the butterflies.
Flowers are also popular with women. While some go with the traditional rose, others find more creative possibilities, such as the Georgia O'Keefe-style locus, which playfully suggests feminine genitalia.
Lower Back Tattoos
Both loved and hated, the lower back tattoo -- often derided as a "tramp stamp" -- is an enduring favourite among women. A simple tribal design appears most popular, but the space is wide and flat enough to encompass many different pictures.
The breast can incorporate any number of graphics, many of which are designed specifically for this most feminine of body parts. The singer Eve, for example, has both of her breasts tattooed with a track of paws leading down to her nipple.
Many women choose to have their tattoo placed on their hip. Hip tattoos are discrete, but also sexy and allow for easy "flashing."
Pubic Area Tattoo
Some women choose to place tattoos in their pubic area, particularly in the "v" of tissue above the genitalia. Designs vary, but flowers and roses are common.
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