20 Pretty & Proud Self-Love Tattoos to Express Self-Acceptance

Joe Osborne | Jan 24, 2020 Beauty & Style
20 Pretty & Proud Self-Love Tattoos to Express Self-Acceptance
Image: natashia.lefay/Instagram

natashia.lefay/Instagram
natashia.lefay/Instagram

Oddly enough, loving ourselves -- and we mean truly and unconditionally accepting ourselves -- is one of the toughest things to do in life. There are so many factors and bad actors out there doing too good of a job eating at our capacity for self-love. From the vicious and shallow feedback loop of social media to the rise in hate speech across the globe, there are reasons everywhere to get down on ourselves or, even worse, develop some form of anxiety or depression. This helps explain the sharp rise in concepts such as self-love and acceptance, as it's up to us to battle the effects of these influences on our psyche. Ultimately, we're on the hook for loving ourselves, and it's something that demands a constant reminder.

So, what better reminder than a gorgeous piece of art permanently on the skin? Naturally, there is a sea of self-love-inspired and inspiring tattoos online to draw inspiration from. Interestingly enough, we found line and dot work tattoos to dominate the styles on the internet. There must be something about the minimalism of line art that speaks to folks looking to express their own self-love or have a reminder to love themselves the first place. At any rate, we've uncovered everything from the abstract to the traditional when it comes to tattoos that promote self-love ... maybe weighed a little more heavily on the abstract side. Hey, these are matters of the mind, after all. Here are 20 self-love tattoos to inspire that next (or first) piece of ink to express acceptance.

  • Join the Club

    1

    This lovely piece displays some incredible line and color work, and also inspires the beginning of a journey toward true peace with ourselves. Thanks to Saint Tattoo Parlour in Southampton, England, for this colorful number.

  • Minimalist Yet Abundant 

    2

    We love this piece by AmericanDebbie of Los Angeles for its subtlety and symbolism. It's easy to immediately get what is being expressed here, and bonus points for the heart that's formed by the blue and black lines comprising the arms. Simply excellent line work is on display here.

  • Selfie-Squeeze

    3

    This piece by First Mind Tattoo in Jacksonville, Florida, is also on the theme of self-love. This one uses a more intricate pattern to convey the theme. It's a rather serene tattoo with some expert shading and line work, truly accomplishing emotion -- a rare feat in tattoos, in our opinion.

  • It's Like Watering a Plant 

    4

    Carolina Llaje in Barcelona brings us this incredible example of line work with a quaint, illustrative style seen on so many indie rock album covers. We see a dual meaning in this piece, with not only mental health a concern, but also reading being a necessary tool for coping for some.

  • A Strong Line Tattoo

    5

    Here's yet another excellent example of line work by an artist in Dublin, Ireland, that's full of symbolism and meaning. From the heart that's formed by the arm flexing its bicep to demonstrate strength through self-love, this is a brilliant and inspiring design inked beautifully.

  • I Like Myself the Way I Am

    6

    This film, Penelope, has spoken volumes to people suffering from issues regarding mental health and self-acceptance since its release back in 2006. The move is what's behind the significance of this masterfully inked tattoo by an artist known as LouLou in Dublin, Ireland.

  • Helpful Reminder

    7

    An artist known as Little Rach in Darlington, England, created this tattoo with some of the most elegant cursive we've ever seen inked. Accentuated by gorgeous blue flowers, dots, and sparkles, it communicates a statement that's both tenacious and peaceful.

  • A Wreath of Self-Love

    8

    We love this piece of ink not only for its excellent line and shading work, but also its simply stated message promoting self-love, using the wreath of hearts to stand in for the word "love." This is gorgeous work by an artist known as Tania-Leah in Sandiacre, England.

  • Self-Care Is Essential Like Water

    9

    Here's yet another line work marvel to take on the self-care theme, this time thanks to Sarah Hall in Port Orange, Florida. This one takes the metaphor of self-love to a new level, conveying to us a message suggesting that mental health is like water in that it's essential to life.

  • Celebrate the Self 

    10

    Self-love can be such a sobering and sincere way in which we treat ourselves, and that's OK and ultimately necessary. But we can also love ourselves with pride, an essential building block toward self-love. Thanks to Nuremburg-based artist Bloody Larry for this inspiring line and dot work.

  • Walking in Self-Love 

    11

    These two pieces of ink are a matching pair, promoting two essential tenets of self-love for all to follow. Another brilliant example of cursive as well as line and shading work, we are in love with this tattoo by Natashia Le Fay in Germany.

  • No Regrets

    12

    This classic American-style tattoo is an amazing subversion of the style often associated with hyper-masculine themes and looks -- or tattoos with "Mom" on them, because that was acceptable (of course). Thanks to Renato Favarin in Brazil for this inspiring and subversive piece.

  • Sweet Treat

    13

    Another American classic tattoo, this piece turns self-love into something that's a treat to ourselves -- a mental health snack, perhaps. Inked with beautiful color, shading, and lines by Mel Romaη in San Jose, Costa Rica, we have them to thank for this traditionalist inspiration.

  • Self-Love in Bloom

    14

    Here's another winner by AmericanDebbie demonstrating some incredible line work yet again, a huge theme for this type of tattoo. The piece simply says "blooming," leading us to interpret this as a statement on how the human mind is always in bloom, always developing and in need of care.

  • Magic Potion

    15

    If only there were a potion to achieve perfect mental health and self-love ... or is self-love itself the potion? Would that make effort and acceptance the main ingredients? That's what this tattoo is making us ponder, thanks to Eddy Lou of New South Wales, Australia.

  • To Think the Word of Ourselves 

    16

    While pride is often a dangerous thing, it's also necessary in certain ways and at certain levels to achieve self-love. This piece by Lauren Hepple in Southsea, England, illustrates this beautifully with impeccable line work and shading, reminding us that there's always more of ourselves to explore.

  • Self-Love Includes Our Bodies

    17

    We're unsure of some of the symbolism featured in this tattoo by a French artist known as Happy Lama on Instagram, but ultimately understand that this lovely line work is all about body acceptance or positivity. And, what gorgeous line, dot, and shading work that's on display here.

  • Strongly Stated Self-Acceptance

    18

    This tattoo done at Art 2 Ink Studio in Harlem, New York City, beautifully issues a strong statement of self-acceptance. It's one that we should all seriously and consciously consider, even though it may seem obvious to "belong" to ourselves.

  • Loving Our Own Image

    19

    Here's another expression of roughly that same idea, this time illustrated by expert line art and shading as well as an excellent initial sketch by Lucky 13 Tattoos in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It's important for us to love who we see in the mirror, which this tattoo expresses stunningly.

  • Giving Ourselves the Gift of Love

    20

    This incredible example of coloring, line work, and shading by Eli Roe in Lafayette, Indiana, reminds us that, hey, we should consider the love we give ourselves even on holidays like Valentine's Day. We certainly wouldn't mind sending ourselves candy this year.

self esteem tattoos mental health

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