Heart tattoos have always been popular, and we usually associate them with the old school, Sailor Jerry type of tattooing. A couple, wanting to express undying love for one another, get matching heart tattoos with each other’s names written on a sort of banner.
The combination of heart tattoos and names started in the beginning of the 20th century when sailors wore red hearts with the word Mom in the center. In Ancient Egypt myths, the heart was weighed against the feather of Ma'at (the ancient Egyptian goddess of truth). Hearts and flowers are an obvious combination, both being a symbol of love (especially the rose).
Pete Doherty: has a heart with the letter K on the inside (for Kate Moss) on his left shoulder.
Goldie Hawn: actress with a small blue heart tattoo on her ankle, done in Tahiti for her 60th birthday.
Ville Valo: has a heartagram (combination of a heart and a pentagram) on his neck and belly and a heart tattoo on his right wrist.
The heart tattoos depicted in this site vary greatly in their style and can go well with almost any look.
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Tattoos are an important part of the goth look – representing that special kind of subculture that developed simultaneously in Europe and the United States in the 1980s as a reaction against the colorful disco era.
To conclude: gothic tattoos are extremely varied because they reflect the various interests of people who see themselves as part of the goth culture and lifestyle. Christians believe it is the seat of emotions (more particularly love) and Islam sees the heart as the spiritual centre. It doesn't really look like the real thing, more like a cow's heart (historically, people saw a lot more cow hearts than human hearts). This Christian symbol stands for the heart of Jesus Christ and the divine love for humanity.
Contrary to what some people think, goths are not morbidly fascinated with death or the occult – but they do tend to be highly creative, artistic people with a strong intellectual bent. Though many different designs could be considered goth, gothic tattoos form a category all their own. People who are part of goth culture have very eclectic and imaginative tastes and interests, a fact that is fully reflected in their tattoos. They are ancient religions that were practiced before Christianity, and then they had to go underground. Key tattoos can be sported alone or they can be combined with various other elements and symbols.


A certain style of body modification complements this style: tattoos are one part, but other body art such as piercings are just as characteristic. Some of the more frequently observed heart tattoos are hearts with arrows, pierced hearts, the Sacred Heart and heart with wings. Hence key tattoos are used to convey a broad range of symbolic meanings such as mystery, freedom, a sense of purpose, imagination, possibility, opportunity, imprisonment, responsibility, capability, fantasy, secretiveness, security, ownership and the unknown. Although each heart variation is characterized by the presence of specific symbols, colors and elements, these are not rigid, and can be combined in any way one wants. Heart tattoos can also come with many other symbols, like birds, butterflies, flowers, barbed wires, stars and flames.
While one may choose to wear only a single key as a tattoo, a lock and key design is also equally popular. Other symbols such as stars, ribbons, hearts and chains can also be incorporated in a key tattoo design. A very popular design is one where the key is drawn as a part of a bracelet, anklet or a necklace.



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