So, we all know that couples tattoos are a thing. Of course, most people (a large percentage of artists included) tend to stress against getting tattooed as a couple because…Well, let’s face it, you never really know if it’s going to last, do you? And, as someone who has been guilty of a couple’s tattoo—of which I later covered—I get it, I do. But there are other forms of ‘matching tattoos’ that seem to be making the rounds a bit more these days. There’s a laundry list of people getting identical or corresponding tattoos for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons hold deep meaning, while others are simply spur of the moment decisions that will last a lifetime.
One of the first categories of matching or corresponding tattoos is the obvious mother/daughter tattoo. Of course, this can go the other way, too—father/son—but more often than not, you’ll see a mother and daughter duo in the waiting room of a tattoo parlor. While everyone has seen at least one generic heart with the letters M-O-M splashed across it, as of late there has been a new trend where the mother joins in on the tattoo process—commemorating her child on her skin in unison. Although mother/daughter and/or father/son relationships can sometimes be strained, it’s generally a safe bet to say that your love will endure and you’re unlikely to regret this type of matching ink, as long as you can both agree on a design.
Another trend is the sibling tattoo. Siblings share a special bond that goes beyond simple family relationships; however, this is one that could come with a potential oopsie. While some siblings have an exceptionally strong connection, others find that they have multiple and severe falling outs, leading to a potential regret down the line. If you’re considering getting tattoos with your siblings, just make sure that you’re generally on good terms. Obviously, you’re going to have your disagreements—as families do—but don’t head out to the tattoo parlor just yet if your arguments tend to last a while. There’s nothing worse than regretting your ink or having a constant reminder plastered on you of someone you’re no longer on good terms with!
Best friend tattoos are another iffy zone on the matching tattoos front. Sure, you’ve been inseparable since the fourth grade, but what happens when you get married and have kids or when your careers take you down opposite paths? If you’re considering a best friend tattoo, by all means, go for it—just think of it like a couple’s tattoo. Have you stood the test of time? Has this friendship already survived many obstacles? If your friendship has an on-again, off-again quality to it, it’s probably best to skip the permanent ink and go with a henna design or temp tattoo for the time being! However, if you’ve been through thick and thin with each other over several decades and you’re still ride or die, it’s probably safe to get that ink done.
Group tattoos are another option making the list here. Now, this type of matching tattoo spans across a wide variety of formats. You have your impulse group tattoos and your thought-out group tattoos. Impulse tattoos include things such as bachelorette parties, graduations, and work parties. I myself am privy to a spur of the moment bachelorette party tattoo. There are approximately 5 or 6 of us with these cute little stars above our hip bones that we picked up while we were partying on Clearwater Beach for my former co-worker’s bachelorette party. While I was close with these ladies at the time, I rarely speak to them these days, as we no longer work together. But, I’m very lucky in the fact that I love my stars. They remind me of a weekend where I had no work, no kids, no responsibilities. I met some amazing people and partied my ass off. So, while I don’t talk to the gals anymore—and not because of any negative reasons, we just grew apart—I still am really happy with my impulsive group tattoo. However, not everyone is so lucky, so it’s smart to really be cautious when considering these types of tattoos.
Another group tattoo that has been growing in popularity is the memorial family tattoo. I hadn’t realized quite how popular these were until a few months ago. My mother, a former Hospice nurse, actually pointed it out to me. As a Hospice nurse, she was generally present in the last few moments of a person’s life. She saw the families gathering around and spending time together. According to her, it was actually quite common to hear the gathered family discussing a memorial tattoo that the entire family would go get together after the passing of their loved one. They would all have an input, discussing these designs at great length. She mentioned that even some of the older family members or members of the family that had never been tattooed were involved in the process, especially if the passing loved one was a matriarch or other high ranking, beloved family member. These are group tattoos that you’re not likely to regret, so they’re a pretty safe bet. Other instances of group tattoos include start-up companies that take off, band tattoos, and sports teams.
All I can say in regards to matching tattoos is to really think before you ink. It is your body, so you have the right to do as you please with it, though. If that means getting an impulse tattoo with six other girls while drinking on the beach—go for it. If that means holding your mother’s hand while you both ink the words “I love you more” across your wrist, by all means, do it. Tattoos are a method of self-expression and no one has the right to tell you not to do something with your ink (they can suggest, but ultimately, the choice is up to you). Just make sure you’re ready to handle the finality of a tattoo.