The umbrella has been in existence since the earliest civilizations, utilized by both men and women to protect against the elements and, at certain points in time, casually display one’s privilege.
From ancient China to modern day London, the umbrella is the oldest symbol of man’s most basic need, and has been dressed up, down, and over in all manner of cultural relevance.
(For true umbrella devotees, February 10 is National Umbrella Day.)
From the stylish Victorian umbrella of Edward Gorey’s world to John Steed’s alternative weapon in The Avengers, there’s no shortage of inspiration when selecting a tattoo rendering. Some may opt for a likeness of Batman villain The Penguin’s lethal mode of defense, while others select a simpler outline with multiple meanings.
Just as the umbrella can be played up for style or used solely for practical reasons, it also carries a surprising assortment of symbolic meanings. In her hit “Umbrella,” Rihanna alluded to one taking shelter with her from the proverbial storm, that there was plenty of room to protect one another; so it goes with all of us.
However trendy, an umbrella tattoo can’t help but recognize the need to be safely out of harm’s way and likewise find clever solutions in seemingly innocuous everyday objects. An umbrella has many uses–too many to list here–just as each and every one of us has invaluable talents. You may be known as “the man with the umbrella tattoo” soon enough, and count yourself lucky because of it.