4 Facts About Nipple Tattoos That Will Make You Cringe

What started being an empowering type of tattoo has also given us... interesting results.

One of the best things about tattoos is that there are options for any taste and purpose. Perhaps you want to show an important part of your life’s story through a symbolic image, or you just want a design for esthetic purposes, and that’s okay. But there are special cases that cross the thin line between empowering and awkward, and that’s the case of nipple tattoos, also known as “tittoos.”

Originally, these tattoos were meant to be a tool of empowerment for breast cancer survivors by either rebuilding the shape of their nipples and areola or by creating beautiful designs to remind them of their strength. There are renowned tattoo artists such as Vinny Myers helping survivors recover the autonomy of their bodies by reconstructing the shape of their nipples or creating beautiful designs through which they can embrace self-acceptance and remember the battle they won. Nonetheless, as these tattoos started gaining recognition, other people who didn’t necessarily suffer from breast cancer have decided to go for tittoos as an esthetic choice that can sometimes have beautiful or downright cringy results.

Whether you’re considering one for your next tattoo or you’re simply curious about them, here are some important facts you need to know about them that will change how you see them.

They have been used as an esthetic procedure

According to an article from The Telegraph, this trend took Liverpool by storm in 2013. While breast cancer survivors use these tattoos to reshape their areola or basically reconstruct their nipples, when tittooing became a trend it was mostly used to darken the nipples with semi-permanent ink. Sadly, a lot of people say others were doing it to have the “perfect boobs” we see on the media–if such a thing as "perfect boobs" exists– or because of peer pressure, as many of the people who wanted them were teenagers or young women who wanted their breasts to look good for their partners.


People have used them to be... creative

As I said before, these tattoos can be used to create beautiful and empowering designs. Nonetheless, others have used their creativity to create quirky visual puns with their favorite cartoon characters, designs that adapt to the shape of the body, or awkward tattoos that just make me wonder how are there people okay with having permanent designs like that on their skin. But in the end, getting a tattoo is about doing with your body whatever you want because it's yours. So, I guess that as long as you’re happy with your ink, that’s okay. However, there are more beautiful ways to get a nipple tattoo that are just as creative as those cringy designs, which takes us to our next point.

Photo by Jaroslav Gorbunov

Photo by Alex M Krofchak

The most popular shapes: diamonds, hearts, flowers, and suns

Nipples come in many shapes and sizes. However, the tittooing trend has introduced new possibilities. For people who want to go for more natural colors and designs, the diamond and heart shapes have become a trendy way to revamp their breasts’ look. However, those who do want their tattoo to look like that go for darker inks and flowers or suns inspired by tribal patterns and mandalas, which can be a gorgeous way to do this type of tattoos and adapt it to the natural shape of this part of the body.

A great option for those who want a tattoo that’s only seen by a few 

Last but not least, let’s not forget that tattoos aren’t necessarily meant to be openly displayed or seen by others. If you’re all about sensual and secret tattoos, a nipple tattoo can be a great option. However, you must be careful about the design you choose and the way you adapt it for your body. It can be an opportunity to add a sexy and elegant touch to your body or, on the contrary, an awkward discovery for when things get a little intimate. 

Whether you love them or hate them, nipple tattoos have the potential to become sexy and empowering designs or epic failures. However, if you think about it, that’s basically the case of any tattoo. The final result depends on the purpose behind that tattoo and the meaning you give it. If you’re interested in other designs, don’t miss these:

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Cover image by @space_bat_killer