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Tattoos and Personality: What Does Your Body Art Say About You?


I finally got a new tattoo last week.

I say “finally” because I’ve been planning this thing (or, at least, planning to get this thing) for a couple of years.

However, I shouldn’t say “got a new tattoo” because it’s actually a cover up.

What’s it covering?

The same thing: a set of sunflowers.

I got my first tattoo when I was 20. That was — dun! dun! dun! — 12 years ago.

While I was happy with the tattoo at the time and for several years after, over time it began to fade and my tastes began to change. So, I decided a change was in order.

Um…but you got the same thing?

Sure did.

That’s interesting, isn’t it? That I’d cover one tattoo with nearly the same tattoo?

However, this tattoo is a little bigger and brighter, with some new colors and, well, more representative of who I am now than who I was at 20.

Even though I know why I got my tattoo (and why it’s nearly the same), this made me start thinking about how others’ body art choices reflect their personalities. Sure, some people get tattoos because they think it’s cool, they were dared to, or — let’s face it — they were drunk on spring break, but others get tattoos for more meaningful reasons.

Below are just a few reasons I’ve always been fascinated with and respected sunflowers:

  • One sunflower hosts hundreds of little “florets” — or, more simply, hundreds of little additional flowers. Sunflowers aren’t one dimensional, and neither are we. They’re literally packed with ways to spread and grow, and so are we.
  • Sunflowers are named for their visual appearance (i.e. they resemble the sun), but they’re also named for their ability to track the sun. This is called heliotropism. I love that sunflowers track the sun, but I also love that — once their blooming process is over — the stem tends to stay focused on the east (where the sun rises). They follow the bright, happy light, just as we can choose to do.
  • Sunflowers offer nutrition. People can eat their seeds raw or roasted; add them to recipes; and even turn them into butter. Just as sunflowers can sustain us, we can help provide nutrition to others, and in just as many different ways: lend an ear, give a hug, offer some words of wisdom or just some feedback.

If you have a tattoo, what’s its significance? If you don’t have one, but have ever considered it (seriously or not), what would you get and why?

Tattoos and Personality: What Does Your Body Art Say About You?

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2014). Tattoos and Personality: What Does Your Body Art Say About You?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2019, from


Last updated: 14 Apr 2014
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