Long ago and right now, one of the images most frequently tattooed on people’s bodies is skulls. Whether they be grinning, smiling, threatening, wrapped in ribbons or words or flowers or flames, skulls seem to be nearly universal in appeal.

As one website dedicated entirely to skulls in art, fashion, body decoration, and other fanciful forms suggested, skull tattoos are beautiful in part because of their meaning, and their meaning changes with whomever wears – or sees – it. A person might wear a skull tattoo because…

It means a trendy kind of rebelliousness. Because its meaning can be fluid and multiple. Because it means spirituality without a lot of conventional organized religion being involved. Because it’s just plainly an interesting shape and texture.

Because nothing is more interesting to human beings than human beings, and a skull is representative of us without focusing on a specific person; it is the least specific representation of a human, a human with all its superficial “humanity” stripped off.

A skull with wings means mortality with freedom attached. A skull is often chosen to represent secret societies because they generate the camaraderie of facing a scary thing together. A person wears a skull tattoo because it’s a permanent sign that he’s missing someone who’s gone, but in a happier way than the puritanical Christian grieving thing.

Skulls, realistic or decorative, are procured for a reason and not just by whim; there’s meaning in the choices! A skull tattoo can be lighthearted and fun or complex and arty or mean and threatening or have any one of hundreds of different meanings or many meanings rolled into one.

People love skulls because they are mysterious and we all love a mystery.

Some information for this essay was found at Skullspiration.com (Anna) “What Does a Skull Symbolize When Used tor Tattoos: Everything to Know” 9/25/2019