What does having a Medusa tattoo mean?
‘I’m a Tattoo Artist, and Here’s What You Need To Know About the Trending Medusa Tattoo’ I f you follow (as 1.5 billion people do), you may have come across various, particularly on women. While anyone can sport the design, the Medusa tattoo is commonly seen as a symbol of survival from sexual assault or abuse.
In today’s society, Medusa is frequently referred to as the snake-haired monster with green skin whose eyes could turn you into stone;however, she wasn’t always like this and her story is one of the first examples of victim blaming. According to Greek mythology, Medusa was a young and beautiful woman who served as a virgin priestess of the goddess of war and wisdom, Athena.
One day her beauty caught the attention of Poseidon, the god of the sea. While retellings vary, the most common one reads that she was brutally raped by him in Athena’s temple. The goddess of war and wisdom was so furious at Medusa for desecrating her sacred spacer that she transformed her in to a gorgon, a winged female monster with snakes for hair that could turn anyone to stone with just one look.
, UK-based tattoo artist
“The Medusa tattoo can mean many things, but it’s generally a symbol of survival, strength, and overcoming assault,” says tattoo artist, “Medusa has become a figure of protection to women who have experienced sexual assault or assault on some level, particularly by men.” While it’s generally a symbol of survival, Rose notes that many, including herself, have the tattoo, purely from an artistic and historical standpoint.
What does the Medusa logo mean?
– When Gianni Versace founded his fashion label in 1978, he simply used his name in large-print as the brand logo. Versace’s penchant for antiquity grew stronger over the years, and so in 1993 he chose a Medusa head as its trademark. But why did Versace choose the Medusa? Wasn’t she a monster? Quite simply, Versace chose the Gorgon from Greek mythology as his logo because she was a woman of such beguiling beauty that she captivated everyone around her,
Once anyone looked at her, they could not turn away. Exactly like Versace’s fashion. The fact that Medusa had snake hair and her gaze turned people to stone may not have made her likeable, but it made her all the more powerful and desirable. The perfect representative of a fashion company whose aim is to create desire.
Fortunately, no one needs to be afraid of getting turned to stone any more these days! Of course, the Medusa, usually in luxurious gold, is the ultimate clue that we’re dealing with a pair of or an It bag from the Milanese fashion empire. But Versace’s symbolism goes much deeper.
- Gianni Versace loved the opulence, the exuberance and the design elements of the Baroque, which he encountered every day on the facades of houses and squares in his home city of Milan.
- For his fashion, he translated them into striking patterns, combined animal with geometric symbols, interwove leopards and lions with scrolls and classical Greek banderoles, mixed chains, keys and flowers into new combinations.
In terms of colour, the designer opted for gold and colours such as strong red or blue. This combination of history, art and architecture in fashion was and still is unique. The Versace logo and patterns launched a new era in the 80s, which were characterised by strict pinstripes and dots.
Soon there was not only high fashion with the colourful Versace prints, but also wallpaper, plates, bags and T-shirts with the iconic logo. There were also perfumes, jewellery and even sportswear. Trousers with the famous “The Greek” pattern by Versace have become a favourite among rappers. For fellow fashion designers such as, or, who tended to focus on classic elegance or posh equestrian styles, Versace’s pompous designs were a vulgar horror, but the fashion-savvy masses loved the style of the ” master of neo-baroque “.
They stormed the Versace boutiques from Milan to New York, bought everything that was not nailed down from shirts to suits and made Gianni Versace the master of an empire that today covers almost every price segment with various sub-brands such as Versace Jeans Couture or Atelier Versace.
After Gianni Versace was shot dead in the street in 1997 for reasons that remain unexplained to this day, his sister Donatella took over the creative direction of the company. She continued Gianni’s decadent, flamboyant style in her collections, but had to endure a prolonged dry spell before she could bring the label back to its former glory.
For a few years now, the legendary Versace pattern in black, white and gold has once again become the favourite among influencers – and Donatella Versace has long since become an international style icon herself. and glasses may not feature animal patterns or large-scale prints, but Versace wouldn’t be Versace if the temples weren’t adorned with decorative elements such as the golden Versace logo of Medusa or the legendary “The Greek” pattern.
What does Johnny Depp’s tattoo mean?
The heart on his left arm bears the name of his mom ‘Betty Sue’ underneath it, along with some tribal tattoo lines. A drawing of a guitarist also attests to his love of music. The drawing of three interlaced hearts symbolizes his two children, Lily-Rose and Jack, and their mother, Vanessa Paradis.
What does a dragonfly tattoo mean on a woman?
Minimalist Dragonfly Tattoos | Minimal Tattoo Ideas | Minimalist tattoo, Small dragonfly tattoo, Dragonfly tattoo Dragonflies are one of the world’s fastest flying insects and they represent positive energy, grace, peace, prosperity, maturity, purity, harmony, freedom, changes, adaptation, and patience.
What does Athena tattoo mean?
About Athena Tattoos – Images of Greek deities, like an Athena tattoo, are a way to express admiration for that deity or the message behind their mythological story. Throughout mythology, Athena was a symbol of endurance and wisdom, so an Athena tattoo is also a way to not only honor her but to honor your own inner warrior as well.
Why Medusa is trending now?
Why are people getting Medusa tattoos? The Medusa tattoo has become popular among women who have experienced sexual assault. By reclaiming the Medusa identity, they are dispelling the belief that being victimized means they ought to be cursed or punished.
Is Medusa seductive?
Feminism – In the 20th century, feminists reassessed Medusa’s appearances in literature and in modern culture, including the use of Medusa as a logo by fashion company Versace, The name “Medusa” itself is often used in ways not directly connected to the mythological figure but to suggest the gorgon’s abilities or to connote malevolence; despite her origins as a beauty, the name in common usage “came to mean monster.” The book Female Rage: Unlocking Its Secrets, Claiming Its Power by Mary Valentis and Anne Devane notes that “When we asked women what female rage looks like to them, it was always Medusa, the snaky-haired monster of myth, who came to mind,
- In one interview after another we were told that Medusa is ‘the most horrific woman in the world’,
- None of the women we interviewed could remember the details of the myth.” Medusa’s visage has since been adopted by many women as a symbol of female rage; one of the first publications to express this idea was a feminist journal called Women: A Journal of Liberation in their issue one, volume six for 1978.
The cover featured the image of the Gorgon Medusa by Froggi Lupton, which the editors on the inside cover explained “can be a map to guide us through our terrors, through the depths of our anger into the sources of our power as women.” In issue three, Fall 1986 for the magazine Woman of Power an article called Gorgons: A Face for Contemporary Women’s Rage, appeared, written by Emily Erwin Culpepper, who wrote that “The Amazon Gorgon face is female fury personified.
The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage.” Griselda Pollock analyses the passage from horrorism to compassion in the figure of the Medusa through Adriana Cavarero ‘s philosophy and Bracha Ettinger ‘s art and Matrixial theory.
Elana Dykewomon ‘s 1976 collection of lesbian stories and poems, They Will Know Me by My Teeth, features a drawing of a Gorgon on its cover. Its purpose was to act as a guardian for female power, keeping the book solely in the hands of women. Stephen Wilk, author of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon, questioned Medusa’s enduring status among the feminist movement.
- He believes that one reason for her longevity may be her role as a protector, fearsome and enraged.
- Only the Gorgon has the savage, threatening appearance to serve as an immediately recognized symbol of rage and a protector of women’s secrets,” wrote Wilk.
- Even in contemporary pop culture, Medusa has become largely synonymous with feminine rage.
Through many of her iterations, Medusa pushes back against a story that seeks to place the male, Perseus, at its center, blameless and heroic. Author Sibylle Baumbach described Medusa as a “multimodal image of intoxication, petrifaction, and luring attractiveness,” citing her seductive contemporary representation, as well as her dimensionality, as the reason for her longevity.
Elizabeth Johnston’s November 2016 Atlantic essay called Medusa the original ‘Nasty Woman.’ Johnston goes on to say that as Medusa has been repeatedly compared to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, she proves her merit as an icon, finding relevance even in modern politics. “Medusa has since haunted Western imagination, materializing whenever male authority feels threatened by female agency,” writes Johnston.
Beyond that, Medusa’s story is, Johnston argues, a rape narrative. A story of victim blaming, one that she says sounds all too familiar in a current American context. Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone.
- Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures.
- In so doing, we unravel a familiar narrative thread: In Western culture, strong women have historically been imagined as threats requiring male conquest and control, and Medusa herself has long been the go-to figure for those seeking to demonize female authority.
— Elizabeth Johnston #Me(dusa)tooTwo by Judy Takács, 2018 The Medusa story has also been interpreted in contemporary art as a classic case of rape-victim blaming, by the goddess Athena. Inspired by the #metoo movement, contemporary figurative artist Judy Takács returns Medusa’s beauty along with a hashtag stigmata in her portrait, #Me(dusa)too.
- Feminist theorist Hélène Cixous famously tackled the myth in her essay “The Laugh of the Medusa.” She argues that men’s retelling of the narrative turned Medusa into a monster because they feared female desire.
- The Laugh of the Medusa” is largely a call to arms, urging women to reclaim their identity through writing as she rejects the patriarchal society of Western culture.
Cixous calls writing “an act which will not only ‘realize’ the decensored relation of woman to her sexuality, to her womanly being, giving her access to her native strength; it will give her back her goods, her pleasures, her organs, her immense bodily territories which have been kept under seal.” She claims “we must kill the false woman who is preventing the live one from breathing.
How is Medusa represented today?
Medusa, like many other classic Greek myths, has become a cultural icon. She was one of the three Gorgons, meaning creatures who resembled human females save for their heads, from which snakes sprouted instead of hair. The eyes of Gorgons could also turn humans to stone.
Medusa’s story ended when she was decapitated by the hero Perseus, who then used her severed head as a weapon before he gave it to the goddess Athena. Even if one does not know the whole story, it is difficult to see a woman with snakes for hair and not associate the motif with Medusa. Because this legend has been around since the first century BC, there have been many interpretations of Medusa throughout media and art history: Here are just a few of them, listed from oldest to newest.
Second Century B.C. Terracotta Medusa was used as a symbol to ward off evil around this time, so she is often present on decorative pieces meant to furnish either the inside or outside of a home. Here she looks remarkably human, her hair consists of thick curls rather than venomous snakes, but she can nonetheless be identified by the little wings that adorn her forehead.
Caravaggio (1597) This painting offers a much more intense interpretation of the Gorgon who, in this instance, has been recently decapitated. The red of the blood that jets out of Medusa’s throat stands out brilliantly against the muted green background. Rubens (1617) It is common for artists and sculptors to create pieces depicting Medusa post-decapitation, but this one is particularly gruesome.
While Caravaggio’s Medusa had only snakes for hair, Rubens’ interpretation of Medusa includes real human hair alongside the writhing serpents. This addition humanizes her yet adds no compassion, which makes gore spilling out of her neck all the more shocking.
Rubens emphasizes the association between Medusa and lowly vermin by adding animals such as scorpions, newts, and spiders along with the snakes. Maes (1680) Similar to Caravaggio’s Medusa, Maes’s Medusa scrunches her face as a wretched scream warps her features. Without prior knowledge of who Medusa is, it may be difficult to discern that the person here is even female.
The faces of the snakes look more like rats than anything else, almost Seussian with whiskers and buck teeth. This is a very unsympathetic portrait of Medusa. Bocklin (1878) In contrast to the previous paintings, Böcklin’s Medusa is dark and washed out.
Medusa actually looks dead. Her eyes are dull gray and her lips almost look blue as she stares vacantly ahead. Ironically, the colors almost make her look as if she’s been turned to stone. Her face is not monstrous, but it is not exceptionally beautiful. Interestingly, Sigmund Freud interpreted this piece to represent a boy’s fear of castration, but this argument feels like a bit of a stretch.
Freud fails to understand Medusa as an isolated entity and that she does not exist solely to be a point of fear for boys and men. Garbati (2008) Medusa con la cabeza de Perseo – Medusa holding Perseus’ head. Escultura de Luciano Garbati, 2.25 mts. Sculpture by Luciano Garbati, 92 inches.
Pic.twitter.com/MNj87vBUFH — Luciano Garbati (@GarbatiLuciano) July 9, 2018 This sculpture by Luciano Garbati turns the tables on the classic myth. The change is simple: Medusa has decapitated and now carries the head of Perseus rather than vice versa. The sculpture, simply titled Medusa, began to be viewed as a piece of feminist art around the late 2010s when the #MeToo movement gained traction.
In 2020, the statue was relocated to Lower Manhattan, directly across from the Centre Street criminal courthouse. This is also one of very few interpretations of Medusa that includes her body, which further feeds into the feminist message that so many see in Garbati’s piece.
- Medusa Today In 2021, Amazon released an advertisement staring Medusa,
- This may be the most forgiving depiction of the Gorgon.
- Makeup accentuates her decidedly non-monstrous face and the tone of the piece is noticeably lighthearted.
- The ad plays on Medusa’s famous stone-turning abilities.
- Fed up with the impact this power has on her social life (she’s always accidentally turning them into stone) she finds a solution using Amazon Prime.
The conflict is resolved, of course, with Prime’s Same-Day Delivery service; she orders sunglasses and goes to a party. Unlike so many past portrayals, this ad plays with the idea that Medusa is not evil but rather misunderstood. Today, the mythical female figure presented as a grotesque monster is now seen more as a silenced victim.