Meaning of W.A.Y.S tattoo explained as ink takes over TikTok

Amber Peake September 7, 2022
Meaning of W.A.Y.S tattoo explained as ink takes over TikTok


While scrolling on your TikTok for you page, you may have seen videos about W.A.Y.S tattoos, but what is the meaning behind the acronym?

As of late, more and more users seem to be sharing videos of the acronym tatted on their arms, with some since wondering about the meaning behind the ink.

We take a look at the meaning behind the tattoo and the more profound significance of the W.A.Y.S acronym.

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The meaning behind W.A.Y.S tattoos explained

As Jhené Aiko fans may have already linked, the W.A.Y.S acronym is a song title from the singer’s 2014 album Souled Out.

The track’s title stands for the phrase Why Aren’t You Smiling, which is also repeated twice in the hook of the song. As explained by Song Facts, the track is said to explore themes of overcoming the trials and tribulations of life and not letting negativity in.

The phrase also has a sentimental meaning to Aiko as Why Aren’t You Smiling references the singer’s late brother Miyagi, who died in 2012 after battling cancer, final post on Twitter.

Aiko fans get W.A.Y.S ink in honor of track

Almost a decade on, Aiko’s 2014 track W.A.Y.S has found success on TikTok, as the song currently has more than 12,000 posts to it on the video-sharing platform.

Users appear to have first started sharing videos of themselves getting the song title inked last year as the track played as a sound in the posts.

The song’s popularity on the app seems to have continued, with the track having once again become a trending sound this week as more users share their W.A.Y.S tattoos:


TW‼️- needles Meaning – w.a.y.s is a song by jhene aiko – ‘why aren’t u smiling’ aka expressing everything ur grateful for, looking at how far u have come and what ur lucky to have, i put a semi colon at the end because it means u could’ve ended ur story but decided to carry on just like a semi colon is used in a sentence to either finish it or continue the story 🤍

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Jhené Aiko has her own version of the phrase tattooed

The W.A.Y.S artist also has the phrase tattooed but not in the form of an acronym.

Aiko has “Why Aren’t You Smiling?” inked on her right wrist after the passing of her brother Miyagi in 2012 in memory of his final post on Twitter.

Miyagi died aged 26, following a two-year battle with cancer after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010.

In 2017, the singer also used the acronym phrase as the title of a foundation on her family’s behalf following the passing of her brother. The foundation honors Miyagi and aims to support individuals diagnosed with cancer and their families.

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Amber is an entertainment journalist with a love for anything showbiz, celeb or reality TV. After graduating with a degree in Journalism at Brunel University she became a Showbiz Reporter at Having written for both HITC and The Focus, Amber is now a staff writer for The Focus covering the latest celeb and entertainment trends.