Do you feel the stare of the Gorgon beckon you?A Medusa tattoo movement is sweeping the internet — we’re here to give you the scoop on this trend involving the most prolific, mythical ‘sculptor’ in history.
If an artist hasn’t personally tattooed Medusa, they’ve definitely seen someone with one walk through their doors. These tattoos have been around for ages, but not until recently have we seen a sudden spike in the stone-cold feminine stare of the Gorgon.
While the designs can be absolutely stunning, the root of this art movement digs much deeper than the aesthetic. People of all genders have dawned the stare of Medusa, but recently women began a movement to regain their power and strength after surviving sexual assault — with Medusa’s story as their symbolism. What’s the connection between Medusa and sexual trauma? It all leads back to Greek Mythology and the origins of the Gorgon.
Medusa was once a human and priestess of Athena’s temple — vowing celibacy in her worship of the goddess. Poseidon fell for Medusa’s beauty and raped her in Athena’s temple. Medusa begged for comfort from her goddess. Instead, Athena only recognized the desecration of her temple and Medusa’s breach in celibacy. Athena cursed Medusa for breaking her vow — labeling her the guilty party instead of the victim of a heinous act. Medusa dawned the new transformation into the Gorgon we more commonly known — with snakes for hair and a look that turns men to stone.
A story from ancient times used as a warning against women is now being reclaimed by generations of victims who have faced a tragedy similar to the Gorgon. Women are now taking back their power and voice after these violent attacks — using Medusa’s story to combat victim-blaming. Tattoo artists worldwide are recognizing the pattern and adding their art to the movement. Now a community of women and survivors of all genders are finding refuge with one another — the sigil of Medusa binding them together.