What To Know About The '90s Butterfly Tattoo Trend

As '90s and several Y2K trends continue to rise, they are now making their way into the kinds of tattoos people are choosing. These tattoos complete the aesthetic with other parts of the trend such as bold colors, bedazzled everything, low-rise jeans, and more. Accompanying the likes of barbed wire tattoos, tramp stamps, and "tribal" tattoos, is perhaps one of the most popular tattoo choices of the '90s: the butterfly tattoo. "I think that butterfly tattoos will come back with a vengeance this year due to their timeless design and symbolism," tattoo artist for Fleur Noire, Genesis, tells Bustle.

In fact, the butterfly alone is a signature element for anything '90s and Y2K. It could be found in hair clips, bedazzled t-shirts, dresses, tops, and just about anything. Now, the butterfly design is back in full force through a more permanent form of self-expression for its beauty, aesthetic, and symbolism (via The Trend Scout).

The trend comes to life

The butterfly tattoo is a great option for anyone who prefers a more minimalist style of tattoos, which has itself become a popular style. While many iterations of the butterfly tattoo have been done, such as beautiful bold colors or intricate detailed design, the butterfly tattoo of today tends to focus on cleaner lines and overall silhouettes. But because tattoos are a form of self-expression, many people aren't afraid to get creative with their butterfly tattoos. In fact, there are endless ways to find one that fits your style, per Tattoo Trends.

The modern take on the butterfly tattoo joins the popular iconography of the '90s and Y2K aesthetics that are now being fully embraced again. Butterflies were everywhere and on everything for fashionable and trendy expression. Many tattoo artists are certainly seeing the trend come to life with the kinds of requests they have also been receiving regarding other aspects of '90s-inspired ink or the butterflies themselves. "People should decorate their bodies exactly how they want to," tattoo artist at Rodeo Tattoo, Anna Williams tells POPSUGAR. "A rib tattoo of your mothers handwriting? Go for it. A skull tat of a crying eagle? Pop off. Tattoos come in trends and waves, and we are having, unsurprisingly, a Y2K resurgence."

The symbolism in the tattoo

While many people choose to get a butterfly tattoo because of the cute '90s and Y2K aesthetics it offers, many also embrace the symbolism it represents. Depending on one's culture, butterflies alone represent many different things with a variety of meanings. According to Sorry Mom, butterflies represent marriage and joy in Chinese and Japanese cultures. Aztec cultures view butterflies as a representation of remembrance for infants or warriors who have passed away. In Mexico, they signify the spirits of passed loved ones. In Celtic cultures, they represent the afterlife, specifically souls in Irish folklore.

Because of the nature of the butterfly, it most commonly symbolizes spiritual change, transformation, or rebirth. In the process of metamorphosis, butterflies are first caterpillars before becoming a butterfly, representing a transformation into freedom. Butterfly tattoos are often viewed as feminine because of their delicate and beautiful design (via California Psychics). Because of its symbolic possibilities and various design options, this tattoo design offers a versatility to fit not only anyone's style, but what they want it to represent from their personal life experiences.