Coat Hanger Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Coat Hanger Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

The meaning of the coat hanger tattoo is the struggle to be liberated from the necessity of putting one’s own life and health in jeopardy in order to have the freedom to choose whether, when, and in what manner to start a family. 

Stemming from the fight for women’s rights during the 1960s and 1970s, the coat hanger has become an unofficial national symbol of the struggle for abortion care in the United States, and beyond. Continue reading further to learn more about the history and symbolism of the coat hanger, what coat hanger tattoos usually mean, and the different styles and characteristics of this powerful symbol. 


What is the History of Coat Hanger Tattoos? 

The struggle for the legalization of abortion and increased access to the procedure was a contentious issue in the United States throughout the 1960s. Women were demonstrating for many of the rights that they did not have at the time, which coincided with the ongoing conflict in Vietnam.  

As a result of the abortion restriction, women were opting to have the procedure done in back alleys by medical practitioners who had the appropriate training. Women have been known to take matters into their own hands and cause abortions on themselves by employing the usage of coat hangers.  

Since that time, the federal government’s position on abortion rights has been more established. This is due to the fact that the Roe v. Wade decision established the right to medical privacy, in addition to many other contemporary civil rights. Nevertheless, the coat hanger has remained a symbol of the fight that a great number of women endured back then and are, without irony, beginning to face again in the year 2022. 


What Do Coat Hanger Tattoos Symbolize? 

Coat hanger tattoos symbolize the fight for women’s reproductive rights, including the ability to choose when and how to start a family, or not. This is the original intention of the coat hanger as a symbol. However, not everyone chooses to get a coat hanger tattoo for beliefs or stances.  

In recent years, many who consider themselves to be fashionistas have turned to obtaining coat hanger tattoos for an entirely different meaning than the original one that was associated with the symbol. For someone who is extremely into fashion, the coat hanger is a symbol of their passion and admiration for all things that are related to clothing. 

Altering the top of the wire coat hanger is typically done by the many people who decide to purchase a coat hanger for this purpose as opposed to getting one for pro-choice reasons. One common approach for individuals who have a passion for fashion to differentiate their coat hanger tattoo is by forming the region above the hook into the shape of a heart. 


What Do Coat Hanger Tattoos Mean? 

Depending on the culture, a coat hanger tattoo might symbolize either of two things.

The first reason is that the bearer of the coat hanger tattoo views themselves to be an advocate for the right to choose. If you are pro-choice, you believe that people should have the right to decide for themselves what happens to their bodies and that the government should not be able to make those decisions for people.  

The second, more contemporary interpretation of a coat hanger tattoo refers to a person who possesses a strong passion for fashion as well as an appreciation for it. The early modern cultures cultivated a profound appreciation for clothes, which is something that has unquestionably persisted through the ages. 


Where Do Coat Hanger Tattoos Usually Go? 

People who opt to have a coat hanger tattoo as a symbol of their pro-choice convictions typically get it in one of two locations: either on their upper back or on their upper arm. Either the place of the tattoo is quite evident, or it is not visible at all. 

A lot of people prefer to keep their beliefs to themselves, so they put their coat hanger tattoo in a spot where it won’t be seen by other people. Others, on the other hand, are louder and want to choose a site where everyone can see and possibly even ask questions about later on.

Characteristics and Styles of Coat Hanger Tattoos 

The design of a coat hanger tattoo can take on a wide variety of forms and styles. However, there are some that are more well-known than others. Let’s go right in and have a look at some of the most well-known variations of the coat hanger tattoo design. 


Fine Line Coat Hanger Tattoo 

When it comes to tattoo styles, fine line coat hanger tattoos have an extremely delicate appearance. In addition, the fine line tattoo style has recently experienced a boom in popularity among those who are interested in getting tattoos that are easier to conceal. Despite this, some people choose to acquire tattoos with fine lines because they are simply appealing to the eye. 

Geometric Tattoo Styles 

Due to the fact that geometric tattoos only concentrate on lines and shapes, they are an excellent choice for use in the design of a coat hanger. This style of tattoo transforms everything, from simple shapes to intricate photographs, into a geometric arrangement. 

Continuous Line Tattoo 

In the kind of tattooing known as a continuous line, the artist tattoos not just the exterior edges of a form but also any significant alterations that occur within the form. To put it another way, a continuous line coat hanger tattoo appears to be nothing more than an “outline drawing.” There is no shading involved, and it gives the impression that the tattoo machine was never lifted from the skin. When working with a coat hanger tattoo design, this is one of the simpler tattoo patterns to deal with. 

Watercolor Coat Hanger Tattoo 

Tattoos done in watercolor are known for their delicacy and aesthetic appeal. The watercolor tattoo style, in which there is little to no outline and the colors flow over the skin, has seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years, particularly among women. As a result, it’s become one of the most common variations on the coat hanger tattoo that’s commonly used to represent the pro-choice cause. 

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