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Rip Tattoos

Rip tattoos, or tattoos that appear as if the skin were ripped, are truly timeless tattoo designs. Although the popularity of these tattoos reached their peak in the 1980’s, they have not lost much of their momentum. Skin rip tattoos have been evolving over time into what may be one of the most realistic tattoo styles there are today. At the height of their popularity, rip tattoos were mainly popular among men because of their more masculine qualities—usually featuring ferocious animals or demons ripping into or out of the skin. Since then, they have grown to include a much broader spectrum of designs, so it is no surprise that women tattoo enthusiasts have also taken to this unique tattoo style.

Many people seeking rip tattoos are looking for a way to portray their inner strength or beauty. Others are looking to show an interest or love for a specific person, animal or object, or they may be attracted to the gory elements of this style and may seek out designs that are meant to shock and awe. Whatever the reason one may have for getting a skin rip tattoo, these timeless designs are sure to delight the wearer and impress any onlookers.

Rip Tattoo Designs
The designs created for skin rip tattoos are virtually endless and are only limited by an individual’s imagination. They can range from intensly realistic and anatomical to creatively comical and abstract. Skin rip tattoos are designed to portray what the wearer “believes” lies beneath their own skin; hence, what it is that an individual is really made of or simply something the wearer finds amusing or attractive. For example, imagine a tear in a person’s abdominal skin. Instead of seeing flesh and bone inside, there are butterflies where their stomach should be. A rip tattoo on an individual’s arm may reveal wolf eyes peering out from the flesh or a chest rip tattoo may reveal a popular superhero’s emblem. One of the most popular designs for skin rip tattoos is an image of mechanical parts showing through the torn skin, giving the impression that the wearer is part machine. This type of tattoo is known as a “biomechanical tattoo.”

Rip Tattoos “Out of the Skin”
One type of skin rip tattoo is inked to create the illusion of an object tearing out from under the skin. The skin is often drawn to look as though it is splitting open and curling back around the wound, exposing whatever may be trying to claw its way out. Sometimes these tattoos can have bloody and gory appearances, especially when incorporating demons, monsters, dragons, tigers, sharks and panthers into the designs.

Rip Tattoos “Into the Skin”
Another style of skin rip tattoo features images that look as though they are ripping into a person’s flesh, either in an attempt to get in or as a means to hold on. Often times the images depicted are of big game cats, dragons, aliens or lizards. These animals appear to have their claws dug deep into the flesh leaving gouges, scratches and trails of blood. An alternate version of this tattoo style creates the illusion of bite marks left in human flesh. This design is most commonly used to portray either a shark’s bite or a vampire’s bite.

Ripped or Cracked Open Skin Tattoos
Rip tattoos can also be inked to resemble cracked eggshells with chunks that have broken and fallen off. In this style, the opening in the skin looks as though it has cracked or been ripped to reveal what lies underneath. Some popular designs for this style include very realistic images of human muscles, human organs and robotic parts. This style is also the most popular to showcase other images such as the American flag, musical instruments, skulls, cartoon characters or an important name or script showing through the “opening.” Another popular technique for this particular style uses stitches to make it appear that the wound has been sewn shut—or at least attempted to be.

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