We’ve all heard that lions are the king of the forest. The lion in The Wizard of Oz whines about this as his fate, lily-livered coward that he is, and The Lion King cemented lions as the true Shakespearian rulers throughout the serengeti. Like dragonflies and dolphins, lions are pretty visually iconic too — a few simple lines, and your brain automatically completes the lion picture. So, what better way to simply proclaim your overall badassery than by having a thick-maned lion roaring on your body? Lion tattoos are seriously here to stay.
Lions are symbols of strength, authority, and power. That’s part of the charm of the Cowardly Lion after all, he’s supposed to be an ironic representation of a lion. Lion tattoos are a clear expression of valor, as well as love for the four-legged beast. The thing is, the male lions we see everywhere are known to be quite… lazy. Yeah, it’s true: the king of the jungle doesn’t do much more than sleep about in the sun (for approximately 20 hours a day!) and eat food brought to him. It’s actually the lady lions, the lionesses, that do all the hunting. While lions protect and patrol the edges of their pride territory, to ensure no outsiders or scavengers sneak in, the lionesses do the down and dirty hunting. So the wild and intense lion scenes you see in cartoons isn’t accurate — switch on over to the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet to see some real lionesses in action.
Scientists say that the darker the mane, the healthier the lion. That makes sense, given luscious locks, fur, and strong nails are ways to tell if the lion’s tinier cousin, the house cat, is healthy. Lionesses will choose the males that have the richest, darkest manes, proving time and time again that a healthy head of hair is a total lady killer.
While your lion tattoo roaring on your shoulder may not be the most scientifically accurate representation of the true king (or shall we say, queen) of the jungle, it’s still pretty cool. Lion tattoos are still their own badges of honor and pride, and continue to pounce their way onto people’s skin.