This one was hard to judge. Most Meaningful Tattoo had lots of entries, which didn't surprise me! Many people give meaning to their tattoos, whether as part of a healing process, a memorial or as recognition of an experience.
I have tattoos that celebrate events (graduating, visiting Vegas, starting my own business etc). I have tattoos that celebrate people's lives in their memory (three for my Dad). I have one to remind me of a difficult experience (Hurricane Katrina) and ones to remind me of my outlook on life. Tattoos can really be a map of our experiences that shape us.
For those entries that submitted reasons behind the tattoos, I have decided to let them speak in their own words. Winner announced at end of post.
''This is my tattoo and I think it should win the competition not because it is pretty pretty but because it symbolises for me how I (literally) survived one of the worst periods of my life last year. It reflects my inherently geeky nature and my tenacity as a person. Rather than typing out the whole story behind the tattoo you can read about it in my blog: http://abbathadee.blogspot.com/ - entries one and two. While it's possibly not easy reading it is from the heart :)''
'' Full sleeve, full of vintage and sewing related bits and bobs. This is my fav section, pin up girl sewing. Its for my mum, who is a seamstress too and taught me to sew. I love sewing :)''
''i think my tattoo deserves to win the Most Meaningful Tattoo because everyone loves to sing- it's fun, personal and an awesome way to express yourself. from humming a little ditty whilst doing your daily routine to screaming out your favourite song at a gig- it all means something.''
''my boyfriends watermark on my wrist, as he is a photgrapher and I am a model and that's how we met it's quite special to me.''
''A bouquet of flowers from my husband that will never wilt or die!''
''This is a love letter written to my first boyfriend explaining why I was leaving him after he'd suffered with a brain tumor and was left mentally and physically disabled. He couldn't understand the letter as the time but now he's passed I'm sure he can read it. ''
''The bird is representative of my close auntie who passed on 22nd dec, she bought me a gold heart locket for christmas which I daren't wear incase I lose it, this is her keeping it safe for me and I'm always wearing it now.''
''My pin up is named Ivy after my great aunt who was a red haired landgirl in the second world war. It always reminds me how strong women can be when they really have to be!''
''I was rescued from having someone else's name tattooed there by a matter of weeks, and instead decided that the only name I will ever wear on my skin is my own! It reminds me who I am and what I can do whenever I see it :)''
''The tattoo is for my Grandpa and Grandma who met and fell in love in the navy. My Grandpa recently passed away from Parkinsons disease and was the most amazing man I have ever met in my life. I was thankfully able to travel to Italy in time and to london to have it completed before he passed away. Sad story, but I love this tattoo and my Grandpa ♥''
''this represents me, growing wings and breaking free of control to be myself and live my own life.''
''It translates to "Live like failure is impossible" After being attacked at the age of eight it has become my mantra to help me overcome any fears that come my way. Swallows traditionally represent sailors coming home, as they knew that when a swallow landed on their boat they were never that far from land. They flank my mantra to remind my that no matter how deep the water gets, dry land is never far away. This tattoo helps me stay a strong confident woman and pushes me to go above and beyond. I won't let my past determine my future.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?''
''My tattoo is a couple tattoo, the pig on one foot and the rooster on the other were believed to give a sailor the ability to walk on water if they had to abandon ship. We walk together XXX''
''Had this designed and done after my Mother-in-law passed away. Now I have my Mom and Mother-in-law with me always as my guardian angels''
''I'm a fashion student and sewing is a huge part of my life and who I am.''
''I think my tattoo deserves to win Most Meaningful Tattoo in the Rockalily Lipstick Tattoo competition because it represents my family. The initials are for my husband, our daughter, and myself. I carried ivy in my bouquet when my husband and I were married; ivy means fidelity. The vine encourages me to continue to 'climb' to become the best person I can be. My daughter loves that she is in my tattoo and will often point it out to her friends.''
''This tiny tattoo, I guess means the most. My engagement Diamond :)''
''It is a black and grey portrait of one of my parents' wedding photos with 3 roses underneath 2 blue, 1 red as i am the middle of 3 children with 2 brothers. It's a real important one for me as, if i'm honest i wasn't the ideal daughter growing up... but i've turned a corner. I'm now at university doing well and also am a lot more safe and secure in myself and i don't think i could've done it without my family so this i guess is a massive token of my appreciation but also a massive promise to carry on doing better.
Also i guess it's a reminder also to myself that true love exists. 28 years going strong ♥''
''I think my tattoo deserves to win the Most Meaningful Tattoo competition ♥ this was recently done (a few months ago) on my forearm for my partner, it is the start of my "love" sleeve and a thought it was a cute way to signify my love for him. He is an amazing man and wonderful daddy to our little girl ♥''
The Winner: As you can see, the reasons given for these make judging them very difficult...but a winner must be declared!
What stood out about this tattoo's meaning (it is an envelope with yellow roses) was that it represented two emotions for me. It is clearly a memorial tattoo (for an ex boyfriend who suffered from a tragic brain tumour and later passed away) but for me, is also a tattoo that allows its owner to move on. I cannot begin to imagine the guilt, pain, loss and confusion when a boyfriend is left mentally and physically disabled and you leave him. A very powerful tattoo.