Tiger tattoos are both beautiful and powerful body art selections. As the largest members of the cat family, both tigers and tiger tattoos have come to symbolize strength, power, energy, passion and beauty. These robust cats kill their prey by a deadly bite in the throat; therefore, tiger tattoos may also represent destruction and violence. Due to their large size and intricate detailing, tiger tattoos are usually placed on backs, legs and upper arm areas.
White Tiger Tattoos
White tiger tattoos are the perfect option for those seeking the symbolic qualities of tigers with added elements of exoticness. Genetically, white tigers lack specific pigmentation that results in white fur, vertical black stripes, blue eyes, pink paws and pink noses. The purest of these white tigers are snow white with no black stripes and are often called albinos or snow tigers.
In the wild, white tigers are unable to blend with their natural environments, making survival practically impossible. Their white coats hinder their ability to sneak up on prey causing many to die of starvation. In turn, this also makes these tigers more visible to those hunting them. Many people who can identify with this “life-long struggle” seek white tiger tattoos while others may choose them to represent their own personal uniqueness. Of course, some tattoo seekers choose white tiger tattoos simply for their beauty.
White tiger tattoos may also feature other artistic elements to increase the tattoo’s beauty or symbolic meaning. One such item is the tiger lily. This particular flower has been incorporated into many white tiger tattoos, as it is also known for its exotic appearance. Cherry blossoms (particularly in tiger tattoos with an oriental style) and waterfalls are other elements that add beauty, color and tranquil properties to many of today’s tiger tattoos. Creative tribal designs compliment white tiger tattoos by accentuating the beauty of the white tiger while adding to the tattoo’s overall power and presence.
Chinese Zodiac Tiger Tattoos
When seeking tiger tattoos relative to ancient Chinese philosophy, there are specific calendar years that are referred to as the “Year of the Tiger.” If you were born during one of these years, then your Chinese zodiac sign would be a tiger. However, the years are further broken down into specific dates, and the tiger sign is then accompanied by one of the five elements (water, fire, earth metal and wood) for each of these periods. Below are a list of “tiger” dates and their proper Chinese zodiac tiger tattoos:
February 8, 1902 - January 23, 1903 - Water Tiger Tattoos
January 26, 1914 - February 13, 1915 - Wood Tiger Tattoos
February 13, 1926 - February 1, 1927 - Fire Tiger Tattoos
January 31, 1938 - February 18, 1939 - Earth Tiger Tattoos
February 17 1950 - February 5, 1951 - Metal Tiger Tattoos
February 5, 1962 - January 24, 1963 - Water Tiger Tattoos
January 23, 1974 - February 10, 1975 - Wood Tiger Tattoos
February 9, 1986 - January 28, 1987 - Fire Tiger Tattoos
January 28, 1998 - February 15, 1999 - Earth Tiger Tattoos
February 15, 2010 - February 3, 2011 - Metal Tiger Tattoos
Native American Tiger Tattoos
Indigenous people believe that each person has an animal spirit to which he or she identifies and ultimately wants to portray. Some of these animals are pre-determined symbols of their tribes, however, many are able to choose the animal they want to emulate. Those people choosing tiger tattoos believe they will inherit all of the qualities of the tiger, but they must next pick between the orange and white tigers. Using orange ink in tiger tattoos represents boundless energy where as white tiger tattoos represent unique, exotic and rare individuals.
Celebrities with Tiger Tattoos
As celebrities continue to pave the way in the world of fashion, they also have a profound effect on the tattoo industry. Here is a short list of star personalities who have helped to give tiger tattoos a place among the famous:
STEPHEN BALDWIN / Actor: Tiger tattoo on upper back
ANGELINA JOLIE / Actress: Tiger tattoo on lower back
CYNDI LAUPER / Musician: Tiger tattoo on left ankle
LUCY LIU / Actress: Tiger tattoo on lower back
KEVIN NASH / “Big Sexy” Wrestler: Dragon wrestling tiger tattoo on right shoulder
Extreme Tiger Tattoos
It is no secret that many tattoo enthusiasts are also fans of body piercing and other forms of body modification. Some have even undergone extensive surgery to make their visions come to life. Such is the case with “Cat Man” and his obsession with tigers and tiger tattoos. Dennis Smith, aka “Cat Man,” has spent in excess of $150,000 for surgeries and tattoos in an attempt to transform himself into a tiger. First tattooing his eyes to resemble that of a cat, Cat Man has since covered his entire body with black and orange tiger stripes (face included). He has also received latex whisker implants, filed down his teeth and modified his upper lip. Cat Man is now seeking a way to have tiger fur grafted onto his skin. Taking tiger tattoos to such extremes seems to come with consequences – Cat Man has difficulty finding jobs.
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