Feminism Tattoos

Jesy Nelson


Jesy Nelson got this “girl power” tattoo on her collarbone from artist Gabby Colledge in January 2018.  As a girl group, Little Mix’s music is all about women taking charge and standing up for themselves.  They want female listeners young and old to feel empowered and confident. “If a girl is being bullied, or heartbroken, or just feeling like utter shite, if our music can make them feel better… then we’re doing our jobs right,” Jesy says.

The term “girl power” has been deeply entwined with female pop groups ever since the Spice Girls made it their slogan in the 1990s.  Girl power is all about women supporting each other and building each other up rather than competing and tearing each other down.

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Maria Brink


Maria Brink has the triple goddess symbol tattooed on her left upper arm🌛🌑.
The triple moon is a Goddess symbol that represents the Maiden, Mother, and Crone as the waxing, full, and waning moon. It is also associated with feminine energy, mystery and psychic abilities.

In pagan mythology usage the three female figures symbolizes both a separate stage in the female life cycle and a phase of the Moon, and often rules one of the realms of earth, underworld, and the heavens.

The “Maiden” represents new beginnings, the “Mother” represents power and fertility and the “Crone” symbolize wisdom and death.

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    Tove Lo


    Tove Lo celebrated the release of her sophomore album Lady Wood by getting this tattoo on her arm on November 27, 2016, a month after the album’s October 28th release date.  Tattoo artist Mark Lonsdale created a simple minimalist outline from Tove Lo’s new vagina logo, which was designed for this album cycle.  The illustrated image shows the full vulva with labia surrounding the vaginal opening. The circle at the top and cross at the bottom together represent the female symbol ♀ while the circle on its own is a clitoris.  This logo appears on the Lady Wood cover art in place of the letter “O”s in her name.  She and her whole tour crew have matching vagina jackets.

    Tove Lo wrote an essay for Teen Vogue where she explains that the female anatomy is nothing to be ashamed of:

    To some people “showing off” the vagina in any way is seen as something shocking and scandalous. I don’t know if it’s their religious or cultural beliefs that make them think it’s something to be ashamed of, but I know for sure I don’t feel that way: You should be proud of your vagina — it’s a cool and positive part of you! Being open and free about the body and self-love (the way I am) can be provocative — but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad or dangerous.

    My vagina tattoo reminds me not to make myself smaller, which is often what’s expected of women. To be loud is to be seen as being a troublemaker. As girls, we’re often not encouraged to speak up. I’m allowed to claim my space. The symbol, which is also on the cover of my album Lady Wood, is a reminder to go for the things that scare you but also give you a rush. People tell me all the time that I’m a chick with balls. It’s supposed to be a compliment, but really it’s insulting. Women don’t need balls to be brave. Our vaginas will do just fine.

    The album title Lady Wood itself shows how female sexuality and female power in general is often viewed through a male perspective.

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      Keke Palmer


      Keke Palmer showed off a new tattoo on the back of her neck in an instagram post in June 2016.  The tattoo of Nubian pyramids and the words “Queen of Kush” represents her African ancestry as well as female empowerment. Keke explained the history of Kush on her instagram:

      The Kingdom of Kush or Kush was an ancient African Nubian kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara. (1050/1070 B.C. – 350 A.D.) but at the height of its power in about 700 B.C. the Kingdom of Kush controlled the entirety of Egypt itself with Kushite Pharaohs ruling. What I love most is it’s history’s of female rulers!! In school, we very rarely ever learn about female rules and never about African rulers. Amanirenas was one of the most famous Queens of Kush. She reigned from about 40 B.C.E. to 10 B.C.E. She is one of the most famous kandakes(means queen really but that was the title back then), because of her role leading Kushite armies against the Romans from in a war that lasted five years 😱 (27 BCE – 22 BCE). She was able to communicate a peace treaty that favoured the Kushites, granting them land and an exemption from future taxation. She has been described as brave, with one eye #MyAncestors P. S. “Egypt” is a Greek word meaning black, hence the rename when they invaded. 😳🤔😍✨👑 (shoutout to @threekingstattoo in Brooklyn ✍

      She has been learning about the ancient history of Africa and wanted to pay tribute to the better chapters of her people’s history, since so much of African-American history is tragic. She told Hot 97:

      [I’m] just trying to learn more about myself and learn about the history outside of America, my American history. I want to learn more about my ancestors over in Africa. I don’t want to always think about slavery as the only thing that happened to black folks. We actually have another history that we don’t really hear that much about where we were kings and queens. I want to hear more about that.

      The tattoo is often misinterpreted since “kush” is also slang for marijuana. Keke knew this would happen and doesn’t mind because it gives her the opportunity to set people straight and teach them about the history of her people.  She says she wants it to be “a conversation piece” and hopes that people who see her on the street will ask about it.

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        Bethany Cosentino


        Bethany Cosentino has a tattoo on her left ring finger of the Triple Goddess symbol, which is the three phases of the moon. In pagan mythology the waxing moon is the “Maiden” who represents new beginnings, the full moon is the “Mother” representing power and fertility, and the waning moon is the “Crone” symbolizing wisdom and death.

        Janeane Garofalo


        Janeane Garofalo’s right arm tattoo is inspired by the World War II poster character Rosie the Riveter. “Instead of the government slogan ‘We Can Do It’ underneath, I put ‘Valor,’ from the phrase ‘A woman of valor, who can find? For her price is far above rubies,'” she told Inked. “Meaning it’s very difficult to find a courageous person-man, woman, or otherwise. It’s very valuable to be courageous, so I put it on my arm to remind me. I also didn’t want a government slogan from the World War II era on my arm.”

        Emeli Sande

        Emeli Sande has a self-portrait of artist Frida Kahlo tattooed on her left forearm. She explained her admiration of Kahlo to the Hackney Gazette: “It was the first time I had seen a woman being completely open and raw in her art, especially because they were self-portraits. She wasn’t glossing over the blemishes and you see what she went through as a woman and how strong she had to be. She gave me strength as a woman; and how she made ugly parts of herself really beautiful and very strong, that’s what inspired me.”

        Just below it are the words “First, Lucy”