With golden manes that look both regal and intimidating, lions are royalties in the animal kingdom, hence the “king of the jungle” nickname. This makes lion tattoos a popular choice among men who want to project an aura of masculinity.
Lion tattoos hold different meanings. Lions are known to be proud and courageous creatures. So if you feel that you carry those same qualities in you, a lion tattoo would be an excellent match. Similar to the best wolf tattoos for men, lion tattoos also symbolize kinship. Unlike other members of the cat family, lions typically stick together in groups called a “pride.” Lions are often used in family crests by noble houses, with the lions usually depicted wearing crowns.
The lion represents Leo in the zodiac, which is composed of 11 other signs, each representing an image (mostly based on animals). People born between July 23 and August 22 fall under the Leo sign. People born under this zodiac sign are often characterized as strong and determined individuals, capable of meeting challenges head-on.
Lions also have roots in Christianity. In fact, in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Jesus Christ is represented by Aslan, a talking lion, who serves as an inspiration to other characters and provides wisdom to those who seek it. In both the books and the movie adaptations, Aslan is depicted as a powerful yet gentle character.
Lion tattoos work best in large pieces due to the amount of detail. This makes them excellent choices to be tattooed on the back, chest, or bicep. Most men simply go with the head of a lion when it comes to the design. Others prefer the full-body look, usually with the lion standing over something and displaying a fierce roar.
Though they are commonly seen in black-and-gray style, lion tattoos also look great with colors. If you want a very colorful and lively design, you can go for a watercolor lion tattoo, which is defined by bold lines and random splashes of color. It doesn’t exactly scream masculinity like realistic black-and-gray lion tattoos. But if you prefer colored tattoos, feel free to roll with it.
If you really want a different lion tattoo design, you can go for a Narasimba tattoo. Narasimba is one of the avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. It is depicted as a creature with the head and claws of a lion and the body of a man. A Narasimba tattoo looks totally eye-catching with bright colors. Be prepared to regularly explain the tattoo to curious onlookers, though. Not everyone is familiar with Hindu deities and mythologies.
If you want a custom design that combines a lion and another design, don’t hesitate to ask the tattoo artist for ideas. If you want a minimalist tattoo, you can simply go for a lion paw design, which comes with a cheaper price tag. But we really recommend that you go big when it comes to lion tattoos.
Here’s a collection of some of the best lion tattoos around.