The 1989 Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, had us all falling in love with a sweet princess mermaid named Ariel. We also fell in love with many aspects of the movie including the artwork, the propensity to make us feel like kids, and even the wonderful soundtrack. This is partly why the Ariel tattoo is such a popular one for fans of the movie and people that are into mermaids.
So, in addition to having an affinity with the Disney movie, mermaids hold a great deal of symbolism. So, when you add that to some of the reasons people might get an Ariel tattoo, you have a lot of room to talk about symbolism and reasons to be tattooed with a small Disney princess.
In this post, we will go talk about the movie in which Ariel spawned and we will also talk about mermaid symbolism in general. By the end of this post, we hope you have a better understanding of what it means to have an Ariel tattoo.
The Little Mermaid
The kingdom of Atlantica is home to a 16-year-old princess mermaid named Ariel. She is no longer satisfied with life underwater and her curiosity intensifies as she grows older. Ariel wants to know what it’s like to live above the water. Contact with humans is forbidden by her father King Triton but Ariel’s wonder of the land above water proves to be too strong for her.
On the night of Prince Eric’s birthday, Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder go to the surface to watch the festivities for the party. Upon seeing Prince Eric, Ariel falls in love. During this same time, a violent storm arrives, strikes the ship and throws Eric overboard. Ariel brings Eric to shore and sings to him until she awakens. However, she retreats to the sea before he matches a face to the voice that hears. Eric then vows to find the girl that saved his life and Ariel vows to find a way to join Eric on land.
King Triton is not happy with this development but nonetheless, Ariel tries to find a way to make this happen. In comes the evil Ursula who makes Ariel an offer. She offers to give Ariel’s legs but in return, Ariel has to give up her voice and she only has 3 days to get a kiss of true love from Eric or she becomes Ursula’s prisoner. Ariel takes the deal.
Eventually, things are going well but Ursula changes into a beautiful young woman and uses Ariel’s voice to trick Eric into marrying her. Ariel is able to stop the wedding but before they can kiss, time runs out and Ursula takes Ariel back. King Triton is enraged but alas, the deal has been made. Triton offers to give himself up, so Ariel can be free and give Ursula the trident that controls the sea.
Eric attacks Ursula with a harpoon before she can use the trident which infuriates Ursula and she transforms into a giant monster creating storms and waves to come crashing down. However, Eric is able to take one of the sunken boats that Ursula raised and impales her with the boat killing her and freeing all of her prisoners. King Trident realizes the love that Ariel and Eric have for each other and finally approves. He gives Ariel legs and the young couple lives happily ever after.
Now that we understand the story, we can dive into the Ariel tattoo. Other than the obvious fandom tattoo, mermaids symbolize beauty, an ode to the sea, sensuality, dual nature and danger to name a few. Mermaids are known to be beautiful sirens that can use their powers for good or evil. Combining a few of these representations, mermaids are often depicted as beautiful, young women that have the power of sensuality.
So, in part, the Ariel tattoo can be representative of the movie or some of the above representations of mermaids.
Variations of the Ariel Tattoo
There are many ways someone can get the Ariel tattoo and make it their own. Below we will share some examples of Ariel tattoos we have seen to give you a better idea of some designs you can incorporate into your next Ariel tattoo.
Ariel with Father Tattoo
One version of the Ariel tattoo we see is Ariel with her father, King Trident. This symbolizes the love of a father and daughter. Combining the love of the little mermaid and at the same time, paying homage to a father is what this tattoo represents.
Ariel and Prince Eric Tattoo
We also see a lot of tattoos with Ariel and Prince Eric. In this tattoo, we are looking at a representation of true love. The little mermaid is truly a great love story and goes to show what ends both Ariel and Eric went to for true love.
Watercolor Ariel Tattoo
The watercolor Ariel tattoo only seems fitting as she is a mermaid that lives under the sea. A watercolor tattoo just happens to fit perfectly as the waves and changes in the ocean can be well represented by a watercolor tattoo. In addition, when incorporated into the Ariel tattoo and flowing hair and sleek, mermaid body, it ends up being a really beautiful tattoo.
Ariel and Ursula Tattoo
Ariel and Ursula had a tumultuous relationship in the story with Ursula only making a deal with Ariel so she can try to be the ruler of the sea. This tattoo represents the fight of good and evil. In the end, the good usually triumphs and in this case, Ariel ended up getting to marry the love of her life and get the legs she always wanted.
There are many other variations of the Ariel tattoo that we’ve seen, and these are some of the more popular designs that we have seen. However, we hope you gather some ideas and come up with a unique idea for yourself. If you need help finding an artist to work with, let us know and we would be happy to help.