This Celebrity-Approved Tattoo Trend Is Perfect For Summer

In a year that’s so far been dominated by dainty, delicate tattoos, it’s unlikely that the latest trend would be the furthest thing from dainty or delicate — but it is. Chalk it up to Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born -inspired rose tattoo or Halle Berry’s leafy reveal, but suddenly, everyone is talking about back tattoos.

We’re not talking about lower-back tattoosthose have yet to fully re-enter the zeitgeist. For now, we’re talking about the kind of tattoos that run down your spine, often featuring intricate detail, and are the antithesis to the minimal tiny-tattoo trend that seems to command the attention of Instagram users everywhere.

That said, spine tattoos aren’t for the faint of heart. While pain is always subjective, the spine is a sensitive spot for anyone with a low pain threshold because it’s riddled with nerves and bones, which might lead you to split up your appointment into several sessions (depending on the size of the tattoo).

But don’t let that scare you off — there are a ton of inspiring designs to consider before you let fear get the best of you. Check out our favorites, ahead.

In February, Gaga celebrated a record year with two new tattoos: one on her forearm (possibly, maybe dedicated to Bradley Cooper) and this “La Vie en Rose ” spine tattoo. Created by Daniel Winter (@winterstone on Instagram), this is easily the singer’s biggest tattoo yet — and considering her collection, that’s saying a lot.

Getting a back tattoo like Berry’s now means that you’ll be able to show it off all summer.

Like we said, back tattoos are anything but subtle. A huge design like this could take hours — and several appointments scattered over the course of a few months — but it’s totally worth it.

No one said there are rules to back tattooing. If you’re looking for something that’s big, but not so big it might stick out underneath the collar of your shirt, consider a mid-back floral piece like this one by tattoo artist Lara Maju.

Or consider keeping the design closer to the top of your spine, starting at the nape of your neck (and requiring a very high pain tolerance).

Most people won’t get a glimpse of your tattoo on the day-to-day, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be packed with meaning. This dotted design, or “magic symbol,” is a signature of Berlin-based artist Nina Ferrari.

This is the perfect chance to get a tattoo inspired by your favorite artist, like Katsushika Hokusai.

Detailed flowers are set to be one of this year’s biggest tattoo trends, so why not get your first (or second, or third) on your back?

This is also a prime spot to add some color with different ink.

If you couldn’t tell, dot-work is a popular design for anyone interested in back tattoos.

The most important part about a spine tattoo is that it has to move with your body — and not look awkward depending on the position you’re standing in. Toronto-based tattoo artist Brittany Randell added these West African Adinkra symbols on her client’s neck, ensuring they look good no matter their posture.

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