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The Story Behind the Semicolon Tattoo


While a tattoo can be as serious or as light-hearted as you want it to be, having a significant piece of ink is a wonderful way to honour something or someone special to you.

Plus, a meaningful design adds another degree of uniqueness to your tattoo, making it really one-of-a-kind, regardless of how popular the symbol is.

And, because a tattoo will be with you for the rest of your life (or until you remove it), obtaining a meaningful one will make you happy rather than frustrated to be reminded of what it represents every time you look at it.

The semicolon is a famous tattoo design with a lot of symbolism that you'll typically find inked on the wrist (Selena Gomez has a semicolon tattoo on her left wrist). The punctuation mark isn't just a fad; it was born out of a desire to raise mental health awareness.

selena gomez semicolon tattoo

What Is the Meaning of a Semicolon Tattoo?

A semicolon is a punctuation mark that connects two complete sentences.

A semicolon is used instead of a full stop when two phrases are so closely related that a full stop would cause too much of a separation. In other words, a semicolon means that the thought is not quite over even though the sentence is—there’s still more to come.

Project Semicolon is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting awareness of mental illness, self-harm, suicide, and addiction.

The organisation's slogan, which is frequently featured on their Instagram profile, reads "A semicolon represents a sentence the author could've ended but chose not to, the author is you and the sentence is your life."

Amy Bleuel founded Project Semicolon in 2013 as a method to encourage anyone suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, or self-harm to share their stories and realise they are not alone.

The project began as a social media movement, encouraging individuals to draw a semicolon on their wrist and share the image with others to raise awareness.

Sadly, Bleuel took her own life in 2017. Her legacy, however, lives on through Project Semicolon, which has progressed from photographs of marker drawings on arms to fully fledged tattoos.

Rather than being a fleeting symbol of unity, the semicolon tattoo serves as a constant reminder that life has more to offer, no matter what you're going through.

Why Should You Get a Semicolon Tattoo?


Many people get tattoos to honour someone — whether a friend, a relative, or themselves — or to raise awareness about mental illness, suicide, addiction, or self-harm.

A semicolon tattoo is more than just a visual representation; they’re often a conversation-starter, meaning you can bring awareness to the cause while rocking your cool tat.

While the punctuation mark was first placed on the wrist by Project Semicolon, a semicolon tattoo may now be found almost anywhere, as the symbol has come to represent mental illness issues and the project.

The semicolon's versatility as a design has made it a popular tattoo choice, resulting in a variety of beautifully designed tattoos.



Blog inspiration: Byrdie

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  • Caitlin Moore