What Are Back Tattoos for Girls — Taboo or Cool?

Is It a Taboo for Girls to Have Back Tattoos?

Once used to brand criminals and other undesirables, these days tattoos are seen as works of art — something that is reflected in the fact that tattoo artistry is a $1.5 billion dollar industry only in the United States. Although popular with men for centuries, the female tattoo trend is relatively new. Popular female tattoo placements include shoulders, feet and, of course, the back. Back tattoos for girls are thought to be extremely popular due to the fact that it is the largest expanse of skin on the body, and, therefore, it offers a canvas for larger, more intricate body art. Women from Eastern European countries feel empowered and free to express themselves in any way that brings them joy. Women in Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine get stunning tattoos on their backs and demonstrate them proudly when they wear two-piece swimsuits on hot summer days.

Many female celebrities are proud to show off their back tattoos including Amy Schumer, Cheryl Cole, and a famous singer, Lady GaGa.


Back tattoos can be found on females anywhere in the world: when dating Russian women or Finnish ladies men can discover that they have been inked — it’s incredible how ink body art works well for any woman ready to get it painted on her skin.


First, the facts — for girls back tattoos can be extremely painful as the skin on the back is thin and close to the bone. Many people think that, because they already have a tattoo on their arm, they know what to expect but, in reality, the pain factor is very different — for this reason, it’s not advised to go for the back for your first tattoo.


When having their first ever back tattoo, many people experience dizziness and nausea due to the pain — sometimes to an extent where the session needs to be cut short to be finished on a later date. Don’t be embarrassed if this happens — you’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last. A sympathetic tattoo artist should reassure you and set a date for the body art to be resumed.


If you’ve chosen a large or intricate design, this may take several visits to complete. With this in mind, make sure that you have set aside enough time for the project.


In many cases, you may be advised not to bathe for some time after having your tattoo and may experience some discomfort when leaning back or lying down — something to think about if you have to work directly after having your tattoo. As with any kind of inking, it’s really important to follow the after-care advice of your tattoo artist to avoid infection and complications.


Something to be aware of is that, in general, black ink is formed from incinerated animal bones and the resin of beetles so if you are vegan or have other moral objections to this, ask your tattoo artist about alternatives.


If this hasn’t put you off, it’s time to think about the design and budget. Before you get too carried away, remember that tattoos can be expensive: A popular artist may charge up to $150 USD per hour for his or her work and, a fullback, colored tattoo can cost up to $5000 USD. Although your artist will warn that they can’t give you the exact price until the job is complete, they should be able to give you a fair estimate so you know roughly what to expect. Some studios will allow you to pay in installments which can help to make the cost more manageable.


Popular back tattoos for girls include trees which twine down the back, wings, dragons, and tribal patterns. They can look stunning when a lady wears an elegant backless gown. For lower back, many women favor words, names or symbols which have a particular meaning for them. Some popular designs for women include:


Always popular with ladies, there are many different kinds of floral patterns and images. These include:


  • A simple line of roses running along the spine in a vibrant color.
  • A garland of sweet, colorful flowers at the base of the spine
  • Twin roses placed at either side
  • One tiny daisy placed in the center
  • A shaded black lily placed at the top
  • A flower containing the name of a loved one between shoulder blades
  • A slender vine of flowers weaving from the nape of the neck to the base of the spine
  • A fresh floral design in muted colors down the spine

Native American

Symbolic and decorative, a lot of women choose to have an intricate Native American design on their back. These can include:

  • A dreamcatcher design in simple black on the shoulders
  • Feathers and vines forming a web around a dreamcatcher in the middle
  • A Native American headdress outline with a dash of color
  • A Native American face in silhouette


  • A simple line of geometric black symbols down the spine
  • Yin and yang symbols placed either side of the spine
  • A birth sign placed just inside one shoulder blade
  • Moon and stars weaving down one side


  • The line of a favorite song or poem in simple black down the spine
  • A design incorporating the names of children or loved ones
  • A personal motto or mantra in a curve at the base of the spine
  • A quote from a favorite book placed neatly down one side of the back
  • A powerful word in small type at the top of the spine


Increasingly popular for women, a set of wings can be endearing, pretty and extremely feminine.

  • Faintly drawn angel wings either side of the top of the shoulders in a subtle color
  • Large, intricately drawn wings which span the whole of each side
  • Two small wings placed in the center of the top of the spine
  • Two folded wings placed at the base of the spine — these can often incorporate the name of a loved one


The back is the ideal canvas for a storyboard style tattoo such as a landscape or building. Ideas include:

  • A large, vibrantly colored butterfly covering the whole back is daring and eye-catching
  • A large, curved feather, curled around the back from one side
  • A single tree in simple black spanning the whole spine
  • A large and intricate spiritual design spanning from the top of the neck to the bottom of shoulder blades
  • A gothic representation of a dreamscape
  • A colorful representation of a scene from a favorite novel

Special Effects

The more daring inked ladies go for a special effect such as an ‘unzipped’ tattoo, which depicts the skin being opened to reveal another image. Examples include:

  • The page of a book being turned to reveal a powerful phrase
  • The skin being unzipped to reveal a dreamscape
  • A face being unzipped to reveal the skull beneath

Art Deco

Simple and pretty, art deco designs are very popular and can include:

  • A colorful design of a couple of mockingbirds on a vine surrounded by flowers
  • A necklace design in feminine colors
  • A number of pastel colored blocks tumbling down the spine from the base of the neck


  • A trailing vine or flower down one side is elegant and simple.
  • A line from a favorite novel written neatly down the side
  • A line of Chinese symbols spelling a special word
  • The name & birth and death dates of a loved one

Curious Details

A single object can be cute and feminine without being too girly.

  • A pastel-colored hot air balloon
  • A key placed at the bottom of the spine
  • The stages of the moon running along the base of the spine
  • A teardrop incorporating the name of a loved one


The ever-popular dragon is eye-catching and powerful when used as a back tattoo for girls.


  • A small, cute dragon placed to the side of the base of the spine
  • A simple black dragon in the center of the spine
  • A large, dramatic, fire-breathing dragon covering the entire expanse in vivid colors (only for the brave


When it comes to tattooing, feel free to use your imagination or choose an imaginative tattooist. Clever and unusual back tattoos for girls include:

  • A character blowing kisses which turn into floating hearts
  • An ornate zip down the spine
  • A corset design
  • A pretty Victorian dress inspired design with tiny pearly buttons down the spine

Brides with Ink

Although female tattoos on the lower back were once given the unflattering name of ‘tramp stamp’, they are in general extremely popular with women — possibly because of the fact that they can be covered up if necessary. Many women, however, choose instead to display these pieces of art — even on their wedding day!

Although ladies of past generations may have gasped in horror at the idea, many brides these days choose to proudly show off their ink images on their wedding day — sometimes even designing the gown around the body picture. Needless to say, opinion is very much divided on this issue

Team Tattoos

Many people choose to get inked for very personal reasons. Some choose an image to honor a lost loved one, others to celebrate a beloved child. A lot of women choose an image, which symbolizes an achievement in life or a struggle that has been overcome. An actress Rachel Evan Wood has a line from the Pink Floyd Song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ on the top of her shoulder blades. The line reads “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” The actress says that the song is very significant for her and will, one day, be played at her funeral. Another actress, Megan Fox, has a Shakespeare’s quote on the right side, reflecting her love of theatrical arts.

The personal aspect of getting inked is the reason that many people believe that they should be proudly displayed – even on a lady’s wedding day. This is because they believe that it is part of an individual’s image and personality, much like her voice or the color of her eyes. For those choosing to flash the flesh and showcase their tattoos on their wedding day, here are a few tips:


If you have a cute picture on the back, which you wish to show on your big day, try adding a heart-shaped keyhole in your gown. This will, in effect, ‘frame’ your body art without the need to completely restyle the dress.

Dramatic Full Back Tattoos

If, like many ladies, your inking spans most of your back, a draped, backless gown can show this off to great effect. Choose a gown which drapes gently from the shoulders to just above the buttocks to make the most of your treasured body art.

Tattoos with Words

Tattoos which contain wording on the shoulders can be a little tricky to pull off in a wedding gown. Make sure the neckline of the dress mirrors the flow of the text, for example, if the script is curved, then choose a curved neckline to avoid clashing.

Hidden from View

In the modern world, there are still many people who believe that a back tattoo should be covered up on the wedding day. This can be for a number of reasons including conservative family members, an extremely religious wedding ceremony or, simply the bride’s own personal choice. However, tattoos do not need to be hidden or covered. Now it’s an accessory, a way to display one’s unique personality and style. This is a beautiful detail for any occasion: be it a fancy dinner or a wedding. More and more often people can see brides with back tattoos (you can find a gallery of them via link) — they wear stylish backless dresses and do not cover their body art worrying that it might offend people seeing it in any way.

A few tips for those wishing to cover up on the big day:


If you have a distinctive or colorful picture on your body, avoid gowns with lace or translucent backs as parts of the tattoo will show through, giving a ‘dirty’ or confusing effect.

Back Neck Tattoos for Girls

If your picture is on the top of your shoulders toward the neck, choose an elegant, Victorian-style gown with a high neck which will not only look stunning but will safely hide your body art.

Cover up

If you’ve already said yes to the dress but find that part of your body art is peeking over the top, practice using a heavy duty theatrical foundation to cover it up on the big day.

Day to Night

It’s easier to hide their back tattoos for some girls during the formal daytime ceremony, they’re happy to show it off during the more informal evening do. In this case, a simple bolero or elegant shawl can be used for the daytime and can then be removed later on.

Whether you choose to cover up or display with pride, your big day is special and your groom is choosing to marry you — all of you, including your body art.

Fun fact: In 1999, Mattell introduced the first Barbie doll with tattoos, but this was quickly discontinued after complaints from parents.