Face tattoos are very different. They have many different meanings, symbolisms and designs. Some face tattoos are very small and can be mistaken for moles if one doesn’t look close enough. Other times they can cover a quarter, half or even one’s entire face. It seems silly to get such a ridiculous tattoo. It seems strange to get a tattoo on your face of any sort.
You have an entire body that you can cover and yet you decide to mark up the one spot that everyone happens to see. The same face that you use to go to job interviews, or food at restaurants and even, if you’re looking, try to get a date with.
Face Tattoos in Different Cultures
Some cultures make their own people get face tattoos. They have meanings behind them and different symbols show different parts of their culture. It could be as simple as a certain symbol means that you are a certain rank in that culture. Face tattoos date back as far as the Native American ancestors do.
The Maori, live in New Zealand, carve rather than puncture their skin, called Ta moko, which results in grooves. People of high social status would receive face tattoos and would be instantly recognizable. Having moko inked on your skin was a special occasion and would be accompanied by many other rituals. Men would usually get the moko tattooed on their faces, buttocks and thighs. Women would receive them on their chin and lips.
In Africa there is an abundance of tribes that have facial tattoos. For instance in some cultures when girls reach the age of puberty, the first tattoo is on the bottom part of their lip, representing a sign of beauty. After marriage they would receive a tattoo on the upper part of their lips. One theory, gathered as to why they do this, is to show a sign of belonging. It keeps girls from being sold as slaves, since most slave owners prefer girls who are “unblemished”.
The Mentawei people who live on the Mentawei Islands off Sumatra’s coast are one of Indonesia’s most noticeable tattooed cultures and still are to this day. For a majority of these people their entire bodies eventually become tattooed. For the men it becomes a book of successful hunts and important life events.
Buddhists get Mandala designs, one of which is called the Manadala Wheel, which are beautiful circular designs that represent eternity, completion and the universe. Japanese and Chinese tattoos often fall into the same categories and are closely related to each other.
In China, the Kanji design can be placed either on the face or the body depending on which symbol you get. These tattoos represent love, prosperity, blessings and beauty. Some people, in more modern times, look at it as a way towards body positivity.
Some spend years and if not almost a lifetime trying to feel good about themselves. For some people, reasons unknown, receiving tattoos even on the face is a representation towards them feeling strong about themselves.