Elsa Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Elsa Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ was an instant classic, with a spin-off of a Grimm’s fairy tale that was brightened up for children and a soundtrack that people still download daily. With all of that attention, you can bet that Elsa tattoos have started cropping up all over the place, and that’s the subject of our article today.

Elsa tattoos have a bit more symbolism than you might think and we’ll tell you about meanings and a bit more as we discuss the subject. You might not know it, but not all of the interpretations are so Disney-friendly – read on and you’ll find out why!


What is the History of Elsa Tattoos?

An interesting bit of trivia, both ‘Frozen’ and the story that it’s based on, Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’ were both written in winter months. Andersen published his first, in December of 1884, while Disney came about much later, in November of 2013.

While they have winter-months and basic theme in common, the stories definitely have a parting of ways that impacts the symbolism of Elsa tattoos. In Disney, Elsa was a good person and misunderstood, fleeing her home and creating an ice-castle after she accidentally harms her sister with her winter powers. In Disney fashion, she’s a friendly Ice Queen, of course.

In Andersen’s tale, things are noticeably darker. In this version of the story, two friends named Gerda and Kai experience a sad parting, all as the result of a magic mirror which shows the faults and evils of whomever it reflects. The mirror had become broken, when the Devil and his demons were playing with it.

After reflecting humans, they’d decided to lift it to Heaven to show the Angels their reflections, but dropped the mirror –which shattered– and a piece of the glass embedded in one of Kai’s eyes. When he turned cruel, the Snow Queen came to take him to her world, though Gerda eventually saved him with a kiss and her love.


What Do Elsa Tattoos Symbolize?

Elsa tattoos can represent being misunderstood or viewed as ‘cold’, when one indeed has a full and warm heart, but there are more interpretations. As she was powerful and punished for it, Elsa tattoos can also symbolise feminism, as this is a very real problem that affects women every day.

In its darker shades, however, Elsa may also be depicted as the Snow Queen, cold and uncaring. In that version of the tale, she coveted the magic mirror, and wanted Kai initially so that she might take the shard embedded in his eye and fix it, though once she had him, she wanted to keep him forever.

One could symbolize these aspects of the Queen and her tale, or take it further by creating a design that focuses on how Gerda saved the day with a kiss – as her love saved the boy, Kai, and melted the ice the Queen had placed around his heart.

Between both versions of the tales, you’ve got a lot of choices, making Elsa tattoos quite the interesting option indeed.


What Do Elsa Tattoos Mean?

What your Elsa tattoo means is going to be up to you, so it’s best to spend a good amount of time with the design.

The most popular meaning is that of being misunderstood or believed to be cold, when quite the opposite is the case, although some like to combine the stories and wear an Elsa tattoo as a depiction of inner-innocence ‘before the cold came’. It doesn’t have to be all deep and convoluted, of course.

Some people wear Elsa tattoos simply because they love Disney and especially the songs. The songs ascribed to Elsa are quite powerful and tend to catch in the mind and some people love them enough to capture Elsa’s image and ‘freeze it’ forever on their own skin.

Quite the fitting homage, when you think about it!


Where Do Elsa Tattoos Usually Go?

Elsa tattoos can go many places, all depending on your tattoo’s message and how public or private you would like it to be. For instance, if you relate to her plight of being seen as ‘cold’, then an Elsa somewhere intimate, such as the hip, might be just about the perfect placement.

There are also ankle-Elsas and you’ll see her on the arm, sometimes, though if you really want an impactful and beautiful piece and are willing to put in the time, a back piece could truly be amazing.

The interplay of the light blue and white ice, perhaps placed on one side for added elegance, should surely freeze the gaze of anyone who sees its beauty. Think about your initial design and build on it from there, based on your artist’s portfolio and your personal vision. ThiWs tattoo really has the potential to be a knockout!


Characteristics and Styles of Elsa Tattoos

While you can depict Elsa in black and white and she’s distinctive enough to be recognized without the ice, most Elsa tattoos are going to take advantage of the option for color – with Watercolor tattoos being something you might definitely consider for some serious, in-your-face luscious colors.

She’s going to be in an animation style, so New School might be incorporated, though most are going to choose to replicate the original Disney art from head animator Wayne Unten. Luckily, with such a world-renowned image, you can do all kinds of things – even a Japanese style Elsa for an elegant mystique in the finished tattoo.

Find your design and we cannot stress this enough – play with it, spin it around, and turn it on it’s head. Simply put, don’t rush things and make it your own!


Some closing commentary on Elsa tattoos

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our little exploration in ‘all things Elsa’ and as you can see, Elsa tattoos are quite symbolic and diverse in their many meanings. She can be a lot of things and so the ultimate meaning is going to be up to you.

Whatever you choose, this is going to be one beautiful and meaningful tattoo, and we think that you’re going to love it!

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