Meaning‐making in women's tattooed bodies

Charlotte Jade Dann, Jane Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Tattooed women's practices of resistance and conformity are constituted within social, cultural, and historical contexts that produce normative values around “good” and “bad” tattoos. Tattoos enable the performance of multiple femininities, constructing the female body in a way that is personal and meaningful to that individual and opening an agentic space in which they can do so. The vast majority of research that is available on tattoos concerns mostly men or, at least, does not fully understand the implications of specific gendered discourses that regulate the (feminine) body. In this paper, we argue that meaning-making for women's tattoos serves to function as legitimating, producing tattooed feminine bodies as more acceptable. We argue for a closer examination of the regulatory discourses that feed into the choices that women make in relation to their tattooed bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12438
Number of pages8
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number3
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019


  • tattoos
  • bodies
  • women
  • meaning
  • regulation
  • Social Psychology


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