Sternum Tattoos Are The Raddest "Under-The-Radar" Ink Trend

 
PHOTO: COURTESY JOE SCARNICI/GETTY

PHOTO: COURTESY JOE SCARNICI/GETTY

 

Sometimes, I want to be bold and do something different. I like to rebel, you know? Not to the point where it’s frowned upon, but more in the manner of a trendsetter! Am I actually going to get a full sleeve of tattoos because I saw Cara Delevingne with one? Probably not because of her, but I would like one at some point. Am I going to tattoo a dragon on my entire back because I saw Nikita Dragun with one? Definitely not. Rebellion feels good, but sometimes we have to be cautious with just how far we go.

Tattoos are the perfect example of this beautiful boldness. Although it’s 2019, tattoos can still be frowned upon. We may be denied our dream job because of our ink, even though it’s our own stories we decorate our skin with. Society may say no also, just because it can. My favorite form of rebellion is a tattoo because I don’t have to share it with everyone. It can be a little secret edginess that no one else knows about. I get a thrill out of that.     

Hiding a tattoo is hard though. When I got my first tattoo, there were only two parts of my body I could easily conceal and the sternum was one of my options.

I haven’t gotten a sternum tattoo yet, but I hope to soon. Sternum tattoos have actually been popping up everywhere in the last few years and we totally understand why they are so popular! Easy to conceal tattoo options that are everything from pretty, daring, tasteful and everything in-between? Yes, please!

Sternum Tattoo Basics

I have seen these tattoos across my social media accounts, and especially on my Pinterest feed. Sternum tattoos are located on the sternum, per the name.

Sternum tattoos themselves are usually centered directly on the spot below one’s cleavage; the area is shaped like a triangle. The location of this particular type of ink is very aesthetically pleasing, if the tattoo is done well. Sometimes, instead of just tattooing the sternum, women will ink the entire underside of their breasts. The technique creates what is commonly known as an “underboob” tattoo.

Do Sternum Tattoos Hurt?

The rib cage is a notoriously sensitive area for tattooing, so how does their neighbor, the sternum measure up to pain standards? The closer you are to a bone, the more painful the tattoo will be, so take from that what you will. Although the sternum is technically cartilage, it is directly on top of bone, so it is very painful. Keep in mind that pain tolerance absolutely will vary from person to person, but from everything I know of the sternum says it is one of the most painful places to be inked.  

How Do I Prevent Irritation?

It is easy to keep a sternum tattoo from getting irritated or infected in today’s world. Not only do we have ointments and creams for barrier protection from germs and outside influences, but we also have looser undergarments which can contribute to the healing process.

Bralettes have become much more popular in recent years and are better than underwire brassieres with aiding the healing of sternum tattoos. If I only had access to underwire and wanted to get a sternum tattoo, I honestly would not dream of it; underwire is uncomfortable in general, so can you imagine the increase in discomfort? I’ll pass on that.

Women’s access to softer undergarments like bralettes makes it much easier to maintain care of a sternum or so-called underboob tattoo as the breast area would not be quite so constricted and smooshed. Bralettes allow for a bit more freedom in the chest area, and this definitely helps with re-cooperation from this type of ink.


Sternum Tattoo Design Inspo

There are an incredible number of different design ideas available for sternum tattoos. Certain ones, like roses for example, are way more common than others solely because of their aesthetic. Roses are edgy and beautiful, so they are a perfect option!

Here are some of my favorite designs that caught my eye, courtesy of Pinterest. There are so many different categories: minimalistic, artistic, geometric, spiritual, mythological, edgy, and pretty are just a few. Don’t forget there are more than just these! Make sure you explore all of your options if you want a sternum tattoo!

This minimalist option is one of my favorites. However, while it is pretty and subtle, I feel that for the pain that goes into a sternum piece dots require too little exertion for something you most definitely need to hype yourself up for. If you want to do it though, go crazy!  

Dripping mandalas are gorgeous options for sternum pieces. This one in particular features a flower which resembles an orchid made of glass that was hung with jewels. It is definitely a more artistic option, and I love it.

Triangles are some of the most popular forms of geometric tattoos around right now. This one, centered on the sternum, depicts a lush night sky scattered with tiny stars on a layered background of blues and greens. It is gorgeous and whimsical, to say the least.

Spiritual tattoos are common in general but for the image of the Egyptian goddess, Isis, the sternum is the ideal location. As the goddess of fertility and motherhood, placement below the breasts makes an intriguing statement.

Medusa is another common sternum tattoo influencer. For those who don’t know the myth of Medusa, she was once a beautiful young woman who was deflowered by the greek god of the sea, Poseidon. This angered the goddess of war, Athena, and Medusa was cursed to have her luxurious mane of hair turned into snakes; she could never look at a man again without turning him into stone. A sad story, yes, but Medusa makes for an incredible image for tattoos on the sternum.

Edgier options like the skeleton hands on this sternum piece make for a statement. You don’t really know what it means, but heck if it isn’t scary. The detail of it is incredible.

Roses are abundant in the design scene for sternum tattoos. While pretty basic designs, they definitely work their magic. Other flower style designs are often used and will frequently extend from the underside of the breast, to the rib and sternum as a whole. I’m sure the pain of it was plentiful, but it was totally worth it!


Celebrities With Sternum Tattoos

Rihanna’s sternum tattoo depicts the Egyptian goddess, Isis. Her sternum was the perfect canvas for the piece, and I love how much of what she wears displays it.  Rihanna is amazing in general, but she is honestly one of the most trendy celebrities in the world right now.

Ruby Rose’s sternum tattoo is a crown, in tribute to graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. She faced a lot of controversy following its reveal, but more power to her for sticking to what she loves. Basquiat was killed in 1988, leaving behind a substantial repertoire of work that touched on life as it was.

Nikita Dragun is a transgender social media influencer and well-known make-up artist. Her dragon sternum tattoo is an ode to her identity struggles with aligning how she felt internally with her outward appearance. Not only does she have the dragon on her sternum, but she also wears a giant tattoo of a dragon on her back. Her dragon is her power, and we love it!

Melanie Martinez made her mark on the world in 2014, during season 3 of The Voice. She is an eccentric woman, but her tattoos are the important thing right now! She is covered with varied forms of cartoon characters and vintage-looking items. Her sternum tattoo in the shape of a gumball machine is definitely one of the more creative options I have seen. It’s adorable!

Joan Jett has not been in the spotlight very much in recent years, but this hard rock-and-roll babe definitely deserves some recognition for her sternum tattoo! She’s got the letter “V” smack-dab in the middle of her chest.

Sternum tattoos have definitely started getting more popular, and we hope to see their popularity grow! We understand that some people dislike the amount of pain it can require to sport one, but I for one encourage it if you can handle it! We can’t wait to see how sternum tattoos evolve in the future.