For some people, getting a new tattoo is no big deal; for others, it requires months of planning. Oftentimes there is a larger meaning behind a tattoo and what it symbolizes, and a lot of thought goes into making a decision on the image that will be inked onto your body forever, which is why so many people choose to get tattoos that have significant meaning.
There are many different inspirational and uplifting tattoo ideas to choose from, but one symbol with a powerful message behind it is the semicolon. A semicolon is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause between two sentences and represents that although the sentence could have been ended, the author chose to continue after a brief respite.
According to Jennifer Covarrubias, clinical director of outpatient services at Mental Health Center of San Diego, the semicolon tattoo shares a similar meaning behind it. “The semicolon tattoo became a trend in 2013 when Project Semicolon started,” Covarrubias tells POPSUGAR. “It’s more than just a hashtag trend on Instagram — the semicolon tattoo is a powerful statement in support of those struggling with mental health conditions, substance use, and suicide.”
Project Semicolon was founded by Amy Bluel, who said, “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” After Bluel lost her father to suicide, she formed the nonprofit organization to raise awareness about mental health. Project Semicolon encourages people to post images of their semicolon tattoos online, and the hashtag #semicolontattoo has over 90,000 posts on Instagram alone, where many people have shared their personal experiences and struggles with mental health.
Covarrubias adds, “The semicolon tattoo signifies a person’s resiliency to keep going after a life challenge, suicidal ideation, or addiction. It’s a mark of victory, hope, courage, and strength.”
If a semicolon tattoo sounds like something you’d be interested in getting, keep scrolling. Ahead, we rounded up images of some of the best semicolon-tattoo ideas to inspire your next trip to the tattoo parlor.