I’ll be the first to admit that I never really “got” tattoos of hands until I started working for this fine establishment. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to proclaim my love for weird, dismembered limbs. Witchy, severed finger? Yes, sign me up. Totally classic floating lady head? Absolutely, but it took me quite some time before I really understood what exactly the appeal of hands were. But really, what’s more classic than a traditionally built pair of hands? It’s one of the most iconic subjects amongst the tattoo community, transcending both style and age, so it only makes sense that they’re more than deserving of a “best of” article. In fact, we would argue that next to eyes, which are the undisputed windows to the soul, hands are the second most telling part of the body. The lines, wrinkles and cuts all coming together to tell the story of a life well lived.
Throughout history, hands have always been a way to peer into a person’s life without ever having to ask too much. They’ve denoted everything from class to occupation, age to marital status, and in some instances even mental health. Think about it — a person who’s riddled with anxiety is more likely to pick at their cuticles, the ring finger’s adornment or lack thereof has always been a way to signify marital status, and hands that are weathered with age and sun have likely seen hard labor in their days.
Tattoos of hands are a testament to both the inherent strength and fragility found within them. Hands holding a delicate bouquet of wildflowers could be intended for a lover, just as a criss crossed index and middle finger could signify a secret. There’s something incredibly telling about your distinguished digits, and whether it be through palmistry, scars, or a handful of flowers for a friend or lover, they definitely have a story to tell.
So if you’re looking for a little tattoo inspiration, look no further. Hand tattoos are just about as classic as you can get, and the options are virtually endless.