Tattoos & Thangs

Whose afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

IMG_7609So a lot of people are asking about the meaning behind my tattoo……I get this question about all of my tattoos but this one seems to have driven the most interest. Keep in mind, all of my tattoos HAVE and reason and a meaning, some of the original meanings have changed over time but they all mean something to me. I believe tattoos are beautiful and can truly be pieces of art. The picture attached is after 3 sessions of work, we still have at least one left, so it is not complete….but again as the picture comes together everyone wants to know….WHAT DOES IT MEAN!?

First, I want to invite you to briefly read a version of the tale. A quick google search can bring up many versions of the story. MOST of these stories share the same tale. Little Red Riding Hoods grandmother was ill and her mother asked her to take a basket of [cake and wine] to her so she can feel better. Reds mother warned her not to dilly dally or be distracted from the trail. The wolf meets Red along the trail, he tricks her into picking flowers by telling her she is missing the beauty of the woods. While Red is picking flower after flower, the wolf heads to Grandmothers house and devours her. As Red arrives, she is shortly after devoured. A huntsmen walking in the woods hears loud snoring from the old woman’s cabin, he thinks to check on her. When the huntsman sees the wolf sleeping, he cuts his belly open and is able to pull out Red and Grandma. The wolf is still sleeping so they fill him with stones so he cannot run away when he wakes. The huntsmen skins the wolf and leaves Red and Grandma to enjoy their treats she bought. When Red has to go home, another wolf comes along and is threatening to eat them both. Since Red and Grandma have learned from the last wolf, they are prepared. They trick the wolf into falling off the roof and drowning in a bucket of water. Red goes home, now minding the original instruction from her mother.

All fables and tales are intended to teach, especially these types of cautionary tales read to children. Here are a few things I personally like to point out.

-Red wasn’t afraid when she met the wolf, but was easily tricked by him. His ability to trick her allowed him to devour her grandmother and her.

-The wolf used Red naive and childish view of the world to take advantage of the situation.

-Devoured alive, Red and Grandma were able to be saved by a brave and strong huntsmen.

-Red and Grandma learned from their mistakes and were able to defeat the next wolf that tried to attack them.

To me, Red represents the innocence and naive nature within all of us. The wolf represents that within us that can kill us: self esteem issues, addiction, insecurities etc. The wolf attacks the naive nature of Red, devours her frailty (Grandma) and then devours her alive. Arguably, Red could have lived in the belly of the beast had she not been saved. In sum, your own demons will kill you and take over living for you.

But what if the beast THOUGHT it had won, thought it had killed the girl, but instead Red becomes aware of what is happening…she knows she has no choice but to become strong and survive. She knows she has to kill the beast in order to live. What if the little girl becomes a beast in her own right….becoming a strong and powerful woman. That story, my story, is represented through my tattoo.


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