What is the meaning behind a Medusa tattoo as body art becomes popular on TikTok

What is the meaning behind a Medusa tattoo as body art becomes popular on TikTok

A growing trend in the tattoo world has been recognised on TikTok, with videos shared with the hashtag #medusatattoo gaining more than 115 million views.

While tattoo fashions come and go, few have the kind of meaning that Medusa tattoos do, and the symbol has gained popularity among women who have experienced sexual assault.

Medusa is a prominent figure in Greek mythology. In one story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Neptune sexually assaulted and impregnated Medusa in a shrine to Minerva. Then, the goddess punished Medusa by transforming her hair into snakes.

Over recent times, getting a Medusa tattoo has become an empowering trend among survivors of sexual assault.

Tattoo artist Ruby Rose told Well + Good: “The Medusa tattoo can mean many things, but it’s generally a symbol of survival, strength, and overcoming assault. Medusa has become a figure of protection to women who have experienced sexual assault or assault on some level, particularly by men.”

“I believe it almost acts as a higher being represented on your skin to give you the strength that you may need to channel.”


Reply to @demi.saves For anyone who has this tattoo for this reason u are loved. #lesbianastiktok #survivor #wlw #tattoo #medusa #wlwtiktok #lesbian

TikTok user @waytooshey also posted a video explaining the relevance of the symbol, saying: “That’s why a lot of people have this tattoo, because if they were, they are victims, it is like empowering yourself, taking back your power type of thing.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call or text 988, or visit 988lifeline.org to access online chat from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk. If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673).

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