Traditionally, skull tattoos symbolize death – but not in a grim or negative way. No one can escape death. It is an inevitable aspect of life that everyone must face down the road. A skull tattoo represents acceptance of this fact. Someone with a skull tattoo means that he has accepted his own mortality and temporary status in this world.
Believe or not, skull tattoos also symbolize life. Or more specifically, the celebration of life. In Mexico, skulls and skeletons are staples during the Day of the Dead, a holiday where people honor and remember those who have passed away. People make skull-shaped candies called sugar skulls during the holiday, which serve as the obvious inspiration for sugar skull tattoos.
Unlike typical skull tattoos that symbolize death, sugar skull tattoos are very colorful tattoo designs. The design is decorated with lots of colorful symbols such as flowers, diamonds, and hearts. Sugar skulls are a bit cartoony compared to typical skull tattoos and lack the realistic touch. If you want to honor a deceased loved one, a sugar skull tattoo is an excellent alternative to cross tattoos. You have total freedom when it comes to the decorations, so feel free to experiment.
Skull tattoos can also represent duality. But they must be partnered with another design that represents life such as angel wings and flowers. A lot of men choose rose tattoos to go with skull tattoos. A skull-and-rose tattoo represents life and death – or beauty and decay. This kind of tattoo is another way of accepting both the good and the bad in life. A great way to make this contrast more prominent is to have the skull in solid black-and-gray and the roses in full colored form. The contrast between the two designs will look absolutely gorgeous.
Skull tattoos can also symbolize rebellion. During their heyday, pirates used the skull and crossbones symbol on pirate flags. Be careful when getting this design, though, as it is also associated with toxicity and danger. The skull and crossbones symbol is typically seen on things and places that pose immediate danger or hazard such as chemical containers and electric fences.
Except for sugar skulls, skull tattoos typically come in solid black-and-gray. But you can also opt for colored eye sockets to make the design more badass and intimidating. A lot of also people combine a skull tattoo with a clock tattoo, which further shows that one has accepted that the clock is ticking for all life.
Unlike other tattoo designs, skull tattoos aren’t limited to specific body parts. You can have them basically anywhere. It depends on the size of the design. You can have larger ones on the leg or bicep. You can have smaller ones on the wrist or neck. You can even have tiny skulls on the fingers if you want. Skull tattoos are open to a lot of customization, one of the reasons why men love them.
Here are some of the best skull tattoos for men.