Heart tattoos often mean love — love for another person, love for yourself, and if you mix this symbol with other items, love for a particular thing. This is understandable as the heart is a romantic symbol which is said to be at the root of all human emotions. It is also said to be the bearer of the soul and the mind.
What makes heart tattoos such a great choice is the variety of ways you can use this, not to mention the variety of symbolization that can go along with it. For instance, those with a strong Catholic faith might wear sacred heart tattoos. These are typically well shaped and realistic hearts, surrounded by thorns and a bright light. Some depictions may also show the hand of Jesus presenting it to the onlooker. Another example would be the ‘lock and key’ heart. This is used most frequently by married couples, but can also be used to signify a deep friendship, or the bond between parent and child.
Given that this design is meant to be the symbol of lasting love, many people choose to wear a design that is large, red, round and sporting the name of one’s paramour. This trend was actually started with sailors who often placed the word ‘Mom’ in their heart tattoos. Unfortunately, many people regret making this decision. It is not unheard of, though, for the name heart to be redone in the style of the broken heart. This piece will show a jagged strike down the middle of the heart, and can be used not only to symbolize the loss of a lover, but as an indicator of your personal feelings towards the emotion of love in general.
Many people also like to use the literal style when choosing a heart tattoo. Like the sacred heart, these appear more realistic and have significance to those in the medical field, or those who have struggled with illness.
Fortunately, this style can also be less weighed down with meaning and more whimsical. Cartoon hearts, or a stylized version with loops and bold, bright color can also be done.
So whether you choose a style with a deep personal meaning, or something purely for the aesthetic appeal, be sure to choose wisely and have fun your design.