What Medusa Tattoo Meaning?
If you’ve scrolled on your FYP in the last few months, you might have seen ambiguous TikToks that reference the meaning of the Medusa tattoo. “A lot of people didn’t realize the meaning of a Medusa tattoo. If you do, I am so sorry you went through this too.
You are so strong,” said TikTok user @r. bree. xo, showing her inking of the Gorgon. Videos of people showing their Medusa tattoos on the app are racking up hundreds of thousands of views, as many hint towards a deeper meaning.
Most will know Medusa for her head of snakes instead of hair and the power to turn anyone who looks at her into stone. Many will also be familiar with her most famous tale from mythology—being beheaded by Perseus. After severing her head using a bronze shield to protect his eyes, Perseus used Medusa’s head to defeat his enemies in battle.
Medusa became a sign of monstrous evil, but her backstory is far different. According to the main variation of her tale, Medusa was once a beautiful young woman. It was that beauty that caught the attention of sea god Poseidon, who is said to have raped her in Athena’s sacred temple.
Athena in response turned Medusa into the figure we recognize, with her snake curls and deathly stare. In the widely believed variation, the power put onto Medusa was a curse from Athena, who was furious at the tainting of her sacred temple. Other iterations of the myth however recognize it as a blessing, a way for Medusa to protect herself after being assaulted by Poseidon.
- According to The Met Museum, Medusa is portrayed in most Greek art as an “apotropaic symbol used to protect and ward off the negative,” representing a “dangerous threat meant to deter other dangerous threats, an image of evil to repel evil;
” In modern tales of Gorgon though, she is a symbol of female rage. She was even used in feminist theorist Hélène Cixous’s 1975 manifesto The Laugh of the Medusa. Similarly, the TikTok tattoos reference Medusa as a victim rather than a villain. She is seen as a symbol of power after sexual assault and combatting the culture of victim-blaming as a woman made into a monster for her own rape. Stock image of a Medusa head. Videos of people showing their Medusa tattoos on TikTok are racking up hundreds of thousands of views. Getty Images UPDATE 01/18/22 6:54 a. ET: This article was updated to include new videos and picture and to modify the headline..
Is the Medusa Tattoo offensive?
Is the Medusa tattoo offensive? – The Medusa tattoo is not regarded as offensive as it has now been adopted as an emblem of power for sexual assault survivors. Medusa is recognized as a victim rather than a villain, which gives the inkings of her a poignant meaning.
It has become a symbol for combatting the culture of victim-blaming, as Medusa was a woman made into a monster for her own rape. One TikTok user explained: “That’s why a lot of people have this tattoo, because if they were, they are victims, it is like empowering yourself, taking back your power type of thing.
” Medusa is also considered as a mythological figure who has the ability to deter evil forces. Tattoo artist helps people hide stretch marks and burns with unique no ink method – and goes viral on TikTok.
What does Medusa mean in Greek?
Aside from this, Medusa’s name is believed to be derived from the feminine present participle of the Greek word ‘medein. ‘ The word means ‘protect, rule over’ with Medusa meaning ‘guardian’ or ‘protectress. ‘ Some will get tattoos of Medusa’s severed head, or Perseus holding it, as a representation of perseverance.
What do Medusa’s eyes symbolize?
What does a Medusa tattoo symbolize?
Medusa Tattoo Ideas – If you’re looking for more inspiration about original or unique Medusa tattoo ideas, look no further than our compendium of the best and most creative Medusa tattoo options available today!
- Versace Medusa Tattoos
Modeled after the famous shield artwork created by the renowned artist Gianni Versace , Versace Medusa tattoos depict the elaborate winding snake hair of the scorned former priestess and colossus as well as traditional Greek architectural elements and patterns to solidify this homage to the traditional art style.
- Medusa Tattoo Sleeve
Elaborate sleeve Medusa tattoos are often a sign of intricate commitment and bravery. Sleeves are expensive to invest in and can be very armful to have done depending on the part of your body you choose, so to include Medusa, a complicated portrait, in your sleeve symbolizes your bravery, desire for protection, and loyalty to the art form.
- Small Medusa Tattoos
Delicate Medusa tattoos are often selected as a small and personal homage to the warden against failure. Many cultures believed that having small images of your guardian or protector with you at all times would ward off anything that came towards you, and with Medusa, a traditional symbol of protection, tattooed delicately on you you’re ensuring even more protection for yourself.
- Simple Medusa Tattoos
These pared-down Medusa tattoos represent a simple and sophisticated approach to tattooing that often depicts or honors Medusa in a raw and simple tattoo style. This could represent a fundamental belief in the simple significance of Medusa’s story or also a desire for the protection and safety that Medusa’s image brings to people. Minimalist tattoos are a simple, serious, and refined tattoo style favored by those who find great significance in the little things. A minimalist Medusa tattoo can show a desire for the simpler times of old or a desire to be protected that’s reflected in honest and straightforward art.
- Bracelet Medusa Tattoos
Medusa’s eyes are a symbol that many people respect and avoid. Having a bracelet-style tattoo of Medusa featuring her signature steely gaze and some of the infamous snakes from her hair in the background conveys power, protection, and strength, many of the qualities that Medusa gave off in her legends.
- Purple Medusa Tattoos
Purple is a symbol of royalty, power, and wildness. Though Medusa wasn’t royalty, she did tangle with deities and heroes on more than one occasion and was considered by many to be a queen of beasts. Purple tattoos are homages to the royal and imposing nature of Medusa and feature great color schemes that help your tattoo stand out.
- Sensual Medusa Tattoos
For people who view Medusa as a protector and guardian, sensual Medusa tattoos can be a great combination of her femininity, her power, and her legacy. Said to be a maiden of great beauty, even with her snake hair Medusa is an imposing and sensual figure that will create incredible power and summon the image of a worthy protector for anyone.
What does a single needle Medusa Tattoo mean?
Medusa Tattoo Styles – Can’t decide on a tattoo design? Get ready to start some interesting conversations with your Medusa tattoo. Check out our gallery- but don’t look directly in her eyes!
- Black & Grey Medusa Tattoos
These variations on the classic Medusa tattoo conjure up images of seriousness, darkness, and power. The incredible shading and detailing you can obtain through black and grey tattoo inking often mean that you can enjoy some beautiful extra touches on your Medusa tattoo, and the symbolism of the black and grey ink conveys power to the viewer.
- Realistic Medusa Tattoos
Something many people have trouble remembering is that Medusa was once a young woman, according to legend: a real, living, breathing person just like us. Realistic Medusa Tattoos are a reminder of the humanity that can be found even in things we are led to mistrust and to help us remember that great beauty can also be incredibly monstrous.
- Black-work Medusa Tattoos
Blackwork tattoos are themselves very ritualistic and spiritual, originally used by certain tribes or communities to denote culturally significant stories, symbols, and legends. A blackwork Medusa tattoo often signifies that the wearer finds great ritual significance and meaning in the legend of Medusa, making it even more important to honor and retell the story of the snake-haired woman.
- Graphic Medusa Tattoos
Graphic tattoos are often favored by the artistically inclined or those who prefer legend, art, and illustration to realism. A graphic medusa tattoo can be drawn from the myths, art, and depictions of Medusa that remain from Ancient Greek, making this tattoo style a great one to memorialize the Grecian legend.
- Illustrative Medusa Tattoos
For illustration lovers, the story of Medusa may feel almost out of a comic book. Illustrative tattoos are a great way to put a contemporary spin on the classic lore and literature we know and love, especially Greek folklore. Illustrative Medusa tattoos might represent a desire for the protection of things we love from childhood still, such as cartoons or drawings.
- Neo-traditional Medusa Tattoos
Originating from the Art Nouveau era in the 1910s, Neo-traditional tattooing is an evolution of tattooing style that improves on traditional artwork and coloring styles. Bold lines and colorful tattoo portraits merge with flower tattoo designs and lace details, something we can see clearly in these Neo-traditional Medusa tattoo designs. With Japanese-inspired influences and Art Noveau coloring, these tattoos are a beautiful blend of tattooing and cultural work.
- Sketchy Medusa Tattoos
These graphic tattoos look as though they’ve just been ripped from pages of a sketchbook. Sketchy tattoo style could represent an artist’s perspective on the protector Medusa, or simply the ethereal and created nature of her legend, which is crafted like an art form with every new retelling.
- New School Medusa Tattoos
Originating in the 1970s, New School tattooing is a popular style of tattoo art that innovates on old-school tattooing by adding heavy outlines, vivid colors, and overblown or exaggerated caricatures of the subject. These New School Medusa tattoos look almost as though they could be in a cartoon, featuring bright imagery and fantastical designs.
- Fine Line Medusa Tattoos
This delicate Medusa tattoo is done with great care and attention to detail, as many other fine line tattoos are. This very feminine style of tattooing could represent a desire to honor Medusa as a protector and ward against uncertainty, just as the legend says Athena depicted Medusa as.
- Dot-work Medusa Tattoos
Dot-work tattoos have traditionally been used exclusively for culturally significant artwork. Medusa is both a symbolic and cultural figure for many, as she was cursed by Greek deities and later became a protectress and warden for them as a former worshipper of Athena. Dot-work Medusa tattoos might symbolize the connection to the religious part of Athena’s story.
- American Traditional Medusa Tattoos
Blending the Medusa with the history of traditional tattoos, some people portray her as a circus act in an old-school tattoo design. American traditional tattoos date back to the early 1930s and were originally a symbol of men’s fantastical travels across the sea and elsewhere. As more people began to get them, they became a symbol of expression against artistic norms and were recognized for their heavy black outlines, minimal coloring, and deeper shades. American traditional Medusa tattoos symbolize a woman who stands up against a demigod, and though she was brought to book for it, she soon became a powerful colossus who took her revenge as she needed.
- Single Needle Medusa Tattoos
Single needle tattooing is a fine and delicate process reserved for artistic or classical tattoo designs. A single needle Medusa tattoo likely represents the classical elegance and respect people hold towards Medusa and her legend as well as art that’s made about her.