The slithery, snake-haired figure from Greek mythology that can turn people into stone has become a popular tattoo choice for women. Some people get Medusa tattoos because they think she looks cool or are interested in Greek mythology, but the Gorgon has recently gained greater significance as a symbol of survival from sexual assault and abuse. As a result, her popularity has grown along with other empowering symbols, like semicolon tattoos that represent a person’s life story and refusal to give up on their dreams.
According to the Roman poet Ovid’s version of the myth, Medusa was a beautiful woman that the god Poseidon desired. Infuriated by her rejection, he raped her in the temple of the goddess Minerva, who perversely punished her instead of the perpetrator. She was then transformed into the monstrous Gorgon that could turn anyone who looked at her into stone before she was beheaded by the hero Perseus. Her story has since come to symbolize the pervasive culture of victim blaming in society.
A Medusa tattoo can be any size or style, but often features the head of the monster with its piercing eyes and its snake hair. The snakes can be intricately designed and intertwined or coiled, while the level of detail varies. The tattoo can also be complemented with other design elements like Greek patterns or ancient temples, depending on the individual’s preference. People who get Medusa tattoos often say they want the symbol to remind them of their own inner strength and resilience. medusa tattoo meaning