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Instagram's Most Popular Tattoos

Pause on polling Pinterest or flipping through Facebook, because we’ve scoured Instagram to uncover the most common types and placements of tattoos using the hashtag #tattoos, so your next piece of body art can be a sign of the times. Keep reading to see if those arrows are still on point, and which animals are leaving permanent tracks on backs.

As Beautiful as a Rose


Of the thousands of Instagram posts showing off various types and styles of tattoos, it’s obvious a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell as sweet. In fact, a rose was, by far, the most common tattoo on Instagram, with 8 percent of #tattoos posts featuring this timeless flower.

The rose can signify more than just beauty, depending on its color. For instance, yellow can speak to friendship, while blue can stand for the impossible. The adaptability of this tattoo means both women and men can sport it. Sailors frequently used the rose to symbolize tranquility often not found at sea and as a reminder of the women – a lover, wife, mother, or sister – back home.

Some of the least popular tattoos were black tribal tattoos (they only appeared in 2 percent of the Instagram posts using the hashtag #tattoos). These were popular in the 1990s, and the most iconic one may be on Mike Tyson’s face.

Fur-ocious Tattoos


Animal tattoos have proven to be extremely popular across Instagram. From domesticated beasts like cats and dogs to the untamed such as deer and tigers, there’s no shortage of animal-based designs transitioned from an artist’s concept into reality.

Animals frequently receive the top billing too, getting the highly sought-after forearm. The forearm was the most likely spot to see an animal tattoo on Instagram. The bicep was a great runner-up, outside of two instances. Those who opted for a deer placed it on their quad, while those with a lion tattoo looked to their chest instead.

Themeful Permanent Ink


Over 16 percent of tattoos on Instagram featured everything from ferocious felines to beautiful birds. Next up were tattoos that featured writing (almost 14 percent), which could be a foreign language or a quote of significant meaning. Flower tattoos rounded out the top three, appearing in more than 12 percent of Instagram posts examined.

Other popular styles were tattoos of famous artwork (8 percent), flash tattoos (6 percent) and original art tattoos (6 percent). Perhaps those looking for something a little different should consider these tattoos; don’t be surprised to see a friend with a tattoo of a four-, six-, or eight-legged friend!

Familial Ties in Ink


When it came to tattoos of family members on Instagram, children stole the spotlight. Over a quarter of tattoo posts featured the profile of a child. While some of these include faces of babies, make sure to consider the location of the tattoo first. One proud father opted for a face-on-face tattoo. Yes, his son’s face is on his face, much to the befuddlement of many.

Mothers also commanded ink affection, appearing in 12 percent of Instagram posts. This could be “Mom” or “Mother” etched over hearts. Daughters, sisters, and brothers were also the focal points of tattoo pictures examined. Which family member wasn’t invited to the permanent ink posterity party? Dads.

Prime Real Estate


Forearm tattoos were the most popular on Instagram, but why? Perhaps it’s due to seeing the art daily and – depending on the size – being able to cover it with a smart set of sleeves. Those same sleeves could conceal the next two most common spots for a bit of ink: more than 13 percent of tattoos on Instagram appeared on a bicep, and nearly 9 percent appeared on a shoulder. However, just over 5 percent of the tattoos we examined were located somewhere on a hand.

Inked in a Flash


Flash tattoos – such as an anchor, bird, or flower – are stock designs that artists can knock out quickly; perfect for that in-the-moment ink! Beautiful and cute flash tattoos tended to be the most popular on Instagram and may be the outlines you see decorating the walls of a shop.

When it came to these styles, the forearm was the most common location. Over 9 percent of beautiful flashes and 7 percent of cute flashes were found between the elbow and wrist. Flash tattoos featuring an eye or food were less popular, though.

The State of #Ink and Works of #Art


In the vein of K.I.S.S. – “keep it simple, stupid” – the hashtag most often mentioned with #tattoo and #tattoos was #ink (co-tagged with 1.7% of the 20,000 posts). There were, however, hundreds of other tags that used other terms - making for an easy way to find additional inspiration when talking to your tattoo artist.

Many viewed their tattoos not just as a form of personal expression, but also as a work of #art. Over 18,000 posts were tagged this way, showing off the pride many people have for their tattoos and their willingness to share them with the world. It could be the way of recognizing the artist, sharing inspiration with others, or just humbly bragging about how much cooler your tattoo is than a friend’s.

#Nofilter Likes


So you’ve endured the pain, and now it’s time to share the final product with the world. To give your tattoo (and the artist) the credit they deserve, avoid using an Instagram filter. In fact, almost 80 percent of tattoo Instagram posts used no filter to showcase each piece as it was meant to be seen. When it comes to your ink on Instagram, less is more.


If you get that floral forearm tattoo, don’t be surprised if you see another individual pop up in your timeline or feed with a similar piece of body art. We found the forearm to be the tattoo location that garnered the most likes, and floral tattoos were the most common on Instagram.

Choose what speaks to you, and don’t forget to order your Zensa products before going to the shop. From our all-natural Numbing Cream to our Healing Cream, we have a line of products meticulously crafted from the best ingredients to help reduce pain and improve healing before and after the pistons start firing.


For this project, we obtained 20,000 of the most recent #tattoo posts on Instagram, made a comprehensive categorization, and surveyed people as to what the tattoos depicted and where they were located on the body.

Fair Use Statement

If you wish to share the material found here in part or in whole, we welcome you to do so for noncommercial purposes. We do, however, ask that if you do, please link back here so those involved in its creation can be acknowledged for their work.

Posted Aug 14, 2017
Approximately 5.3 min. read
By Zensa
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