Black Widow Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Black Widow Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Spiders are scary enough but some have quite the reputation behind them. You have giants like tarantulas, crafty trap door spiders, and then there’s the Black Widow… one spider that has definitely inspired our imaginations.

Today we’re going to explore black widow tattoos to tell you about their symbolism, their meanings, and more, to give you a better idea of just how much impact these little spiders have really had. We’ll give you a hint – it’s a reputation which they’ve definitely earned, at least in the bedroom!


What is the History of Black Widow Tattoos?

Spiders have a history that’s even older than ours, with the oldest found specimen going way back to the Carboniferous period – roughly 300 million years ago. As they are found pretty much everywhere on the planet (there’s even 100 species in the Artic) then you really don’t have a shortage of myths behind them.

For the black widow itself, the most common one that everyone seems to know is that the females are deadly and prone to eat their mates after they’ve had a little intimate fun with them. This even led to women who have killed their husbands or male lovers being called ‘Black Widows’ themselves.

It’s a chilling story, though to be fair it’s largely inaccurate. Only one species, the Latrodectus mactans, actually does this and there’s no guarantee that it will always happen, leading us to think that perhaps she kills only the Black Widow males that were rather jerks to begin with.

Despite this, the black widow still has this reputation and she is indeed deadly, with venom 1000 times more potent than a rattlesnakes. The good news is that she only releases small doses to kill her tiny insect prey, but her reputation as a deadly cannibal with a distinctive red hourglass is known around the world!


What Do Black Widow Tattoos Symbolize?

Black Widows can symbolize that the owner is graceful, beautiful, and quite deadly. Most commonly, it is warn by strong women who want to give the world a warning about just who they are actually dealing with.

Considering that the actual cannibalism myth is indeed mostly untrue, it can also symbolize that the danger is there, but the wearer of the tattoo reserves the judgement to decide who will actually be in danger and whom they will allow to get close.

It’s quite the powerful statement, and like anything, what you depict with the black widow will make a difference, and sometimes they are worn simply as an iconic horror movie symbol or because the owner just happens to like these beautiful arachnids.

Symbolism evolves and it’s really quite fluid if you tweak it, so you can say quite a lot of things with this seemingly simple – but definitely deadly – little spider.


What Do Black Widow Tattoos Mean?

Most often they are a bit of a warning about the personality of the wearer and the fact that they are not to be played with or even trifled with – a beautifully-inked statement that one should beware.

When it’s not about the mating myth, it could be about the potent poison, or a remind that like the spider, the tattoo owner is compact but still very much someone that you should fear.

Some owners will wear them just to show that they love spiders and view them as misunderstood, so that’s also a common meaning when you see one of these tattoos and the more comically-minded owners might symbolize themselves with a male black widow running from a bunch of angry Black Widow females. It’s all about clever planning, really.


Where Do Black Widow Tattoos Usually Go?

Black Widow tattoos are pretty versatile. When you really get down to it, it’s a tiny spider, after all. As such, you can place them just about anywhere on the body and that signature red hourglass will be recognized, even if it’s just inked in black and white.

That kind of recognition is pretty amazing, when you think about it, and due to the reputation that the female Black Widows bring to the table, then the hip is sometimes a fun choice, while others may choose one crawling up their arm or even on their ankle.

Black Widows make webs, so they can also be depicted in a truly amazing backpiece, though you don’t have to use a large space like this if you don’t want to, and we’ve even seen some black widows drawn on mini-webs on top of displayed cleavage – a bold statement indeed!

Think about your design, whether you webs along with it, color or no color, and then talk with your artist and tell them some places you are considering. The nice thing about artists, aside from their amazing talent, is their knowledge of human anatomy – so your design can fit your personality AND your body shape to a ‘T’.


Characteristics and Styles of Black Widow Tattoos

Style is completely up to you, but it’s definitely fun to do a little exploring when it comes to your options.

For instance, while the only black widows in Japan were numbered to be about 60 20 years ago at the U.S. Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the style definitely has a focus on grace and sharp depictions – it fits the form and subject matter, so you could make a pretty amazing tattoo with this style.

Watercolor tattooing could give that notorious hourglass quite the stunning look and for those who are deadly, but also have a good sense of humor, then New School style definitely has it’s perks.

While black and white is sometimes done, it only takes a little bit of color to really make these mostly-black spiders really pop out, so this is definitely something worth considering. After all, you’ll be enjoying your black widow tattoo for the rest of your life – so why not spend a little time to make it truly epic?


Some final words on Black Widow tattoos

Well, there you have it! Black widow tattoos definitely tell you important information about their wearer and definitely pack a punch when it comes to worldwide recognition and even common fears of the populace in general.

These deadly spiders, cannibals or now, have got the grace and the poison to back up the threat. If Black Widows and the stories we’re told about them have a personal appeal for you, then this might just be the perfect first (or next) tattoo for you!

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