We get it. We totally do. It’s the easiest thing in the world to Google “sexy tattoo girls” or “hot guys with tattoos” to add hawt erotic imagery into your virtual spank bank. The thing about tattoos is that they do tend to make a rather average person ultimately look cooler, hotter, and more interesting. It’s also literally impossible to separate physicality from this particular art form; tattoos are on the body...all over the body. So although Insta and Facebook would like to shut down or censor all those sexy photos of tattoo babes showing off their incredible collection, it’s basically a losing game. But there’s a flip side to that fap folder you keep in times of need...
When Suicide Girls came on the market in 2001, it completely changed the game for tattooed women. In my opinion, it was both negative and positive. Positive because it was one of the first platforms to allow women to take charge of their sexuality on a global scale. Most of the women working for them seem empowered and independent, owning their alternative style and sexuality in a way that hadn’t really existed before in a visible way. It pulled the underground to common ground.
The negative thing about Suicide Girls, however, was that it seemed to cement the idea that tattooed models are basically sexual playthings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m a Suicide Girl...as if my tattoos automatically mean I want to take my clothes off and pose for the penis-swinging public. When I moved to New York ten years ago, being heavily tattooed was definitely not as popular as it is now and the attention I received was often negative and seriously unwanted. From strangers grabbing my arms on the subway to see my tattoos more closely or following me through Penn Station in hopes of getting a date or phone number, it was clear that people felt tattooed women were, somehow, more approachable and probably easier to get into bed. This still happens to many tattoo babes...both women and men.
“Tat-calling” has been written about extensively, and it’s one of those things that heavily tattooed people, like myself, have to deal with on a relatively daily basis...but summer is the worst. The tattoos I got to feel more comfortable in my body sometimes make me feel like I wish I could leave my body behind...especially when the gaping idiot sitting across from me on the metro says, “Lemme lick those tats off your skin, girl.”
In an article by Avi Salem called “A Marked Misconception”, they explain that while we like to gain freedom through tattoo expression, it sometimes leads to the opposite. ““Skin rebellion” through the act of tattooing is actually skin conformity within the existing hierarchy—the attempt to subvert dominance simply entraps women further into gender stereotypes. The praise tattooed women receive from society is not empowering but is a direct representation of the dominant male-driven ideologies that sexualize and fetishize the female body for having tattoos.” You can’t blame Suicide Girls for this, but it certainly didn’t help the issue.
But how could something so artistic be mistaken for a primal mating call? Psychology Today has covered the topic more than a few times with articles like “What People Really Think About Women With Tattoos” and “Are Tattooed Women Really More Promiscuous?” Taken at face value, the latter article basically goes to prove that it’s such an overwhelming stereotype, that the conversation is worth an article. Actually, multiple articles...since many other media outlets have gone on to write about the phenomena as well.
Some of these platforms tell women to, basically, just deal with the attention because we either deserve it or can’t expect anything more, while others explicitly say that, “People with tattoos and body piercings have sex at younger ages, have sex more often, have more oral sex, and are far less likely to be religious.” which has actually been proven incorrect by science. Via Psychology Today, “Polish researchers explored the issue in a recent survey of 88 young adults, both men and women….Compared with participants without body art, those with tattoos had first intercourse a little younger, had a few more lifetime sex partners, were somewhat more sexually active, and were a bit more adventurous (i.e., they had more sex outside their bedrooms). However, none of these findings, not one, reached statistical significance. They didn't even come close.”
Probably meant to create clickbait, an article was aptly named “That Tattoo Makes You Look More Promiscuous”...but I’m sorry to tell you: it’s not my tattoos. It’s actually your age-old misconceptions and misogyny that make you think I’m more promiscuous. I’m not sure why men think that women with tattoos have lower standards...especially when, at least for me, tattoos give me higher self-esteem. We know our self-worth, we know what we want, and we definitely don’t want small-minded mainstreamers putting us in a box. We certainly don’t want to fuck them either.
My point? Yes, we’re hot. Sexy tattoo girls and hot guys with tattoos are absolute babes. Obviously. You can’t deny the eye candy that some tattoo models put out. But many of us got these tattoos to break with social norms, which means that your perceptions don’t apply to us. Your ideas of me, of other tattooed people, are not fact...they are your ideas. In fact, most tattooed babes break with every stereotype imaginable. We can be non-binary, black, polyamorous, trans...we can be sex-workers, office workers, coffee makers, or trendsetters...which means that in no way do our tattoos define us. We come from everywhere and are interested in many things. Often our commonality is simply a love for a seriously cool form of artistic expression.
But all that even further begs the questions: what makes a tattoo hottie, hot? What makes a tattooed babe, a babe? The beauty expectations of the Western world fundamentally means some pretty radical, or unachievable, standards for most people. We’re not all born with the chiseled looks of David Beckham or Angelina Jolie. And while Los Angeles sometimes seems to have cornered the market on botox, boob jobs, and butt lifts, places like Brazil and Korea are not far behind. This is only a reflection of the pressures beauty standards create and it very rarely really captures the essence of what is beautiful.
Many of our favorite tattoo models have actually been born with stellar looks, but there’s also a ton of models out there who break the barriers with their unique facial features or body types. Not only is fashion embracing the wonderful onslaught of diversity, but tattooing also helps lead the way. There’s a rise of plus size tattoo models in the industry of both tattooing and modeling. Black, brown, and other people of color are gaining more visibility, and the queer community is coming together, as well, to change societal stereotypes and structures that undermine the beauty and strength of what those groups have to offer.
However, the beauty of all these tattoo babes isn’t just their physical body, nor the tattoo collections they have acquired. Many of these people are actually artists, activists, spokespeople, eco-warriors, sex educators, political science powerhouses, and more. And that’s a huge part of what makes these people so beautiful, so dynamic. We’re so wrapped up in the physical world, that we tend to forget that just because someone has 100k followers, and knows how to take a visually stimulating selfie, doesn’t mean that they have anything to offer beyond their physical allure. Emptiness and self-absorption aren’t pretty. But supporting others, disputing the status quo, progressing the health and well-being of minority communities, organizing charities for people in need...these are all things that could make someone an undeniable beauty. And we've even given you the top 20 hottest tattoo models below, so you can see exactly what we think really makes a babe, a babe.
In the end, what it comes down to is fuck beauty standards, fuck societal expectations, and fuck old perceptions about what it means to be tattooed. The tattoo community is constantly evolving into a more empowered, safe, and equal space for all...and it’s up to the tattooed babes all across the globe to keep it that way. And I can assure you that we will never stop challenging the perceptions people have until we’ve evolved enough to know that the only thing that really defines someone isn’t their skin, their gender, or their background. As cliched as it sounds: it’s what’s inside that counts. Your heartfelt actions, your positive intentions, your thoughtful compassion...those are the qualities of a truly beautiful person. Tattooed babe, or not.
Top 20 Favorite, Most Hottest Tattoo Models
Here you have it: a list, in no particular order, of the top hottest tattoo babes out there who we think really shine.
A beacon of self-acceptance and love, Tess Holliday has graced the covers of Cosmo, Self, and Nylon, recently walked the runway at New York Fashion Week for Chromat, and published her memoir in 2017 called "The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl". But it's not just all the incredible things she's been able to do as a plus-size model...it's also her mantra of positivity and compassion that leaves people feeling visible and empowered.
2. Sophia Roe
A chef who focuses on wellness to empower mind, body and soul, Sophia Roe is also an activist and welfare advocate whose intense background of foster care makes her trauma-informed talks extremely potent. Not only does she create an output of highly empowering and compassionate programs, images, stories, recipes, and more, we’re also looking forward to her book which will include true short stories and “ritual remedies”.
3. Yves Mathieu
Not just a tattoo model and musician, Yves Matheiu aka Yves Dropper, is an outspoken proponent of LGBTQIA+ rights and spends a lot of time working with brands that support that conversation. Not only does Yves volunteer at queer runaway centers, homeless shelters, and senior citizen homes, he also regularly rescues pit bulls and fosters them until they’re ready for a loving forever home.
Managed by Crumb Agency based in London, Laurence Sessou is an artist, model, and therapist who helps others with a transformative holistic approach. An advocate for women’s rights and sexual empowerment, Laurence Sessou also recently started The Temple of Her skin with Jessica Horn. It’s a project that will focus on African women’s tattoo and scarification stories.
5. Anh Wisle
A native of Vietnam based in Paris, France, Anh Wisle is not only a beautiful tattoo model and tattoo collector who you can find perusing the booths at the London Tattoo Convention. She's also a photographer and world traveler who has a knack for capturing the poetic lives of everyone including artists, Thai monks, and children exploring the rice paddies of Indonesia.
A tattoo artist based out of Brooklyn’s Saved Tattoo, Tamara Santibanez is not a tattoo model, per se, but her socio-politically charged art and initiatives, as well as her inner and outer beauty, have garnered plenty attention from the fine art and fashion industries. She recently completed a residency at the Museum of Arts and Design, has been involved in many gallery shows, and also runs Discipline Press, a small publishing company that focuses on “the intersection of the personal and political, subculture and sexuality.”
7. Tann Parker
Known for her work producing many events that support the efforts of black, brown, and people of color within the fashion, tattoo, and arts community, Tann Parker also founded Ink the Diaspora which is a platform that specifically gives visibility to the artists who need it most. Using her voice and incredible skills to empower others, Tann Parker has raised funds and awareness for important issues surrounding the diversity of the tattoo industry.
Merging the fluorescent colors of 80’s aesthetics with the illustrative black and grey icons of the Chicano tattoo style, Natasha Lillipore makes a point of representing a diverse set of women within her artworks. She recently had a solo show called Pleasure Control, but her prolific artistic output doesn’t stop there. She’s also produced work for Rihanna, Puma, Coach, and Nike. And although her IG feed may look like a perfectly curated set of images, Lillipore always makes sure that she’s her authentic self. Did I mention she's also one of the most kind-hearted people on the planet?
9. Amina Cadelli aka Flèche Love
Spirituality and intersectional feminist ideology make up a great deal of Flèche Love’s electro-pop tunes, but music isn’t the only thing Amina Cadelli is interested in. She actually went to school for ethnology religious studies with a particular concentration in gender studies and postcolonial thought. The intellectualism and culturalism that fuels Amina’s work is seen in her multi-media experimental musical creations as well as other projects, like the TED talk conference she gave in December 2018.
10. Monami Frost
Recently Monami Frost has stepped back a bit from the tattoo modeling career she’s built up to give birth to a baby and focus on her family, but she’s not only a tattooed babe. She’s also the founder of Frost Streetwear and Frost Burgers, which is a 100% plant-based street food restaurant in Liverpool. She also has a YouTube channel where she talks about everything from her make-up routine, to vegan recipes, and even talking to her kids about collecting tattoos in a mindful and empowering way.
11. Jes Paige
A mainstay of the tattoo community who has been involved with many famous studios and tattoo artists over the years, Jes Paige is also a leader of Tattoodo’s social media presence and grew the Instagram from an itty bitty baby to the 3.2 million followers it has now. Her devotion to preserving the high quality of the tattoo community is absolutely important, but she’s also an inspiring and beautiful human who empowers artists with her unique dedication to being the most authentic higher self; she's full of love and compassion. On top of that? She absolutely shreds on the guitar. Look out for this soon-to-be rock and roll icon.
Currently building an eco-community and learning center in Nepal that will support low income children and families, Hannah Pixie Snow also has an eco-friendly fashion line as well. She travels the globe treasure hunting and selling incredible vintage, second hand and up-cycled items with part of the proceeds going to her range of projects that empower others.
13. Marilyn Rondon
Artist, author, tattoo model and tattoo collector, Marilyn Rondon “supports survivors of domestic abuse, sex workers, the queer crowd, those suffering from mental health issues, immigrants, and anyone else unfairly living in the fringed minority. She’s involved in the tattoo industry, fashion, photography, production, fine art, and direct action, while her creative collaborations include Obey, Natasha Tonic, and VidaKush. She’s also modeled for the likes of Katy Perry, Reebok, Discount Universe, and Good American. Her authenticity is what makes her the ultimate muse and creator, but it’s her devotion to truth that makes her a role model.”
14. Miki Kim
A Korean tattoo artist who merges Asian aesthetics with 80’s glam pop and creepy, kinky surrealism, Miki Kim is not only a prodigious creative talent but much more. She’s a DJ, world traveler, and inspiring tattoo collector who is trying to evolve how tattoos are seen in Seoul, Korea by representing the tattooed community in a fun and positive way.
15. Hobbes Ginsberg
Photographer and art director Hobbes Ginsberg represents the growing queer community that is fighting for equal visibility, representation, and rights. Their photographs are vivid splashes of color that capture the personal evolution of Ginsberg and friends. But don’t be fooled that their work is only about queer identity...Hobbes also wants to empower others to create any work that they are drawn to making. Which, perhaps, is why their photographs sometimes seem to be reflecting a dream world full of possibilities that are not connected to gender, sex, or the body at all.
16. Coral Johnson-McDaniel aka Sadistitt
One of the things we mentioned way above in our “truth about tattooed babes” rant was that beauty is now being broken down to embrace all types. And while this may have to do with the growing public appetite for the weird and strange of all underground communities, tattoo models and muses like Coral are taking advantage of this in a way that can create a place for others who don’t fit the “norm”. Coral’s striking looks, authenticity, and active voice for empowerment inspire others to simply be themselves...whoever or whatever that may be or look like.
17. Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blanco is a rap-star, experimental musician, LGBTQIA+ activist, and speaker who has been covered by many media outlets for their initiatives and progressive socio-politics. Mykki’s approach to fashion, lifestyle, music, culture, gender and sex are all ground-breaking. Uninterested in mainstream stereotypes, they are forging a path that fuels others to find their true selves and be absolutely unapologetic about it. Mykki is also HIV positive and outspoken about it, refusing to bend to stigma’s and supporting others to do the same.
What makes Jaylind an absolute tattooed babe is not only their beautiful tattoo collection, or their portfolio of vivid tattoos that merge Japanese, Neo-Traditional and Trad aesthetics. It’s also their dedication to breaking down the unhealthy parts of the tattoo industry with love, compassion, and positivity. Their advice for other artists who don’t see themselves being represented is to reach out, be patient, and create the change they wish to see. Jaylind hopes that they can teach others to progress and go beyond expectations.
19. Fariha Róisín
Currently based in Brooklyn, NYC, Fariha is an editor and writer who released a book in September 2019 called “How to Cure a Ghost”. This tattooed babe is an absolute juggernaut of intellectual and cultural empowerment. Her most recent written endeavor is another deep look into the power of poetry and written prose, but she’s also an outspoken supporter of minority communities. A queer muslim woman, many of Fariha’s essays explore the intersection of pop culture, identity, and race, as well as the experience of being a queer person of color traversing a white world.
20. Justine Morrow
Well, it’s my list isn’t it? And if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love anyone else? I am unabashedly my own hero and, like so many others on this list, have overcome intense adversity to embrace and love myself in order to be a better human for this word. I hope that the 19 other people on here show that being a tattooed babe isn’t all about physicality...it’s also about your voice and what you choose to use it for. I also hoped to show that tattoo models, tattoo artists, tattoo collectors...they could be anyone. But the ones that are the most beautiful are the ones that really stand for something.