Among the younger female generations of tattoo enthusiasts one of the most commonly requested designs, especially for those starting out with their first inking, is the cherry tattoo. As a fruit this is sweet, juicy and incredibly good for you as it is filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health however they are also very tempting and somewhat decadent which may be part of their appeal as a body art design.
Overall, the cherry tattoo is a symbol of a kindhearted and sweet individual that is associated with young women in particular. However it also has connotations relating to virgins, which include temptation, sexuality and lust which is partly due to the fruit’s blood red colour. A young woman who has recently lost her virginity may choose to express this with a tattoo using this image as it is also associated with loss of innocence as well as fertility. As a result of these connotations with sexual awakening, these are often inked on intimate parts of the body such as the pelvis, hip, inner thigh, and lower back or even on the bottom. While cherries as a whole symbolize love, chastity and sexuality the overall design can be altered to differentiate this meaning slightly. These may appear on a cup-cake body art design for a more playful take on this image symbolizing sweet temptation however if depicted still on a tree this signifies purity, morality, chasteness and innocence. If it is depicted as having been plucked from a tree or even with a bite out of the cherry this symbolizes the exact opposite and refers to the loss of virginity.
It is rare to see these particular images tattooed in dark monochrome ink shades and it is predominantly depicted in colours of vibrant red or bright pink and green that are close to its natural colouring. These are most often depicted as two cherries still on their stems with a double leaf at the top and in this format they tend to symbolize freshness and youth, as a mature cherry will quickly ripen and fall from the stem. There is also another rarer depiction that still has a certain popularity to it also and this is a design depicting burning cherries. Again these fruit are still illustrated on the stem but are surrounded by flames perhaps in a ring or simply emanating from the fruit or stems themselves. The symbolism here represents a youthful desire of a consuming passion and men who opt for a cherry tattoo may do so to express old flames and past lovers. Historically however, the cherry is much less sexual in meaning and was a significant symbol inJapanwhere the cheery tree with its fruit and blossom was synonymous with the fragility of life and the fleetingness of the moment while its wood from its branches was believed to ward off evil spirits. Samurai warriors also adopted this symbol and adorned themselves with cherry blossom before battle as a sign of their readiness to fight to the death so like many popular body art images the cherry is very much open to individual interpretation.