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13 Awesome Tattoos With A Secret Behind Them

Ink that tells a story.

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us the tattoos they got to cover up scars.

Check out the awesome photos they shared below.

And if you want to see the tattoos people got to reclaim self-harm scars, check those out here.

1. This bluebird adorning a scar from multiple surgeries.

"My sophomore year of high school I fell during a trampoline routine at gymnastics practice and shattered my left arm. After eight months of surgeries... I was left with an arm that not only hurt constantly and didn’t work, but also didn’t look like my own.

Surgeries to remove dead muscle and scar tissue had distorted my forearm, and the scars scattered across my arm and hand felt unsightly and ugly. This tattoo, my first, was a present to myself when I turned 18 as a way to reclaim my body after it had been irreparably damaged, and to turn my scars into something beautiful. I didn’t want to cover up the surgical scars because they were, and are, such an important part of who I am now, but I wanted to transform them into something I was proud of. The bird is an eastern bluebird."


2. This abstract sleeve to cover burns.

"I lost a bet in high school and let someone burn me with the metal end of a Bic lighter on my arm. It left a really noticeable scar so I started a half sleeve to cover it up."


3. This feather to cover scars from an abusive ex while honoring a loved one.

"I got this tattoo to cover a scar from an abusive boyfriend. He broke my arm and I had a metal plate put in it. I still went back to him many times. That scar reminded me of how weak I was and I wanted something beautiful instead. My cousin whom I was really close to committed suicide a couple months ago and I wanted to honor him. He called me unicorn."


4. A single word to show off a scar from spinal reconstruction.

"Instead of hiding my scar, I decided to show it off. Last July I had scoliosis spinal reconstruction surgery, placing two titanium rods on either sides of my spine and fusing two-thirds of my spinal vertebrae into one large bone. This left me with a noticeable two-and-a-half-foot scar down the center of my back. I got the word 'strength' tattooed next to my scar. The 'S' is a tracing of my actual spine from an X-ray before my surgery. It took a lot of strength to recover from such a hard surgery and I want a constant reminder of that."


5. The symbol for ovarian cancer after having a mass removed.

Instagram: @kelsrod86 / Via

"On August 22, 2013, I had a mass removed from my right ovary. Three months later I got this tattoo not to cover my scar but to highlight it. I was lucky enough to have my results come back benign. My teal ribbon (a symbol for ovarian cancer) serves as a reminder for me to never forget how lucky I am. My experience made me a stronger person and shaped me into who I am today."


6. A fierce cupcake to cover scars from cancer treatment.

"I had Hodgkin's lymphoma when I was 21 and didn’t get diagnosed until I was at stage 4 with a slew of other complications that resulted in a three-week hospital stay.

"Well, I beat the cancer but had lots of scars, the one on my arm being the most visible for me. I started painting again about a week after being cleared of cancer and this was the first thing I painted. About two years later I was preparing to start my full arm sleeve and covering the scars from those months of anguish with something that brought me back to myself seemed like the perfect match.


7. This straight spine to celebrate recovery from a scoliosis surgery.

"So let me start by saying my real spine has never looked and will never look like this. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis — a 65-degree curve in my spine in the shape of an S. It was beyond correction with a brace and I was told that I would need surgery in order to live into adulthood.

"The surgery was incredibly invasive and involved straightening my spine and surgically planting two titanium rods on either side of my spine attached by 15 screws which were screwed directly into my vertebrae.

"The tattoo is from a medical textbook and spans 17” up my back, over my scar, which you can barely see. It is a symbol of my recovery and strength. My spine has never looked like that, nor will it ever look like that, it is simply the spine that I should’ve had."


8. This starry profile.

"It's covering a scar from a childhood dog bite."


9. This heart that's one of a set.

"When I was 10 I fell off a motorcycle and shattered my femur. They put in an external fixator to hold everything together while it healed. It left four scars on my leg. On most people they fade, but I scar badly and they still look fresh so I made them pretty. The scars themselves didn’t hold the color but I’m happy with how they came out. This picture shows the scars toward the top of my leg near my hip. The scars near my knee are more spread out and each have their own matching heart."


10. This medic's tattoo.

"I got this for my service as a medic and to cover up some nasty lighter burns."


11. This anchor covering a scar from a bone marrow transplant.

"I had a bone marrow transplant when I was 9 years old. The scar has faded a lot since I was a kid but it always bothered me. My grandfather passed away when I was 14 and I got an anchor to commemorate him and remind myself to stay down to earth and grounded."


12. This colorful anchor with a bright red flower.

"[This is an] anchor for my late grandfather who served in the Coast Guard, which covers a big ugly scar from an injury I got when I was 16."


13. This red ribbon after having a bone tumor removed.

"I had a bone tumor in my knee removed when I was 10. This is my ribbon that looks like it’s lacing me up."


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