What’s the meaning of the Rapunzel tattoo according to TikTok?

Eve Edwards October 3, 2022
What’s the meaning of the Rapunzel tattoo according to TikTok?
Disney Channel via Getty Images

Rapunzel is a well-loved fairytale character but her story has taken on a deeper significance as TikTok users have unveiled a darker meaning behind getting the character tattooed.

When scrolling the TikTok app, you may have discovered some users are getting an illustration of Rapunzel inked on their bodies. Whether they opt for the Disney version seen in Tangled (2010) or a more classic illustration, we are seeing iterations of the fairytale character appear as tattoos.

While the videos don’t directly explain the intention to get a Rapunzel tattoo, having one can have a secret meaning in communicating a difficult upbringing.

As the tattoo gains traction as a trend, you might be wondering about the significance of a Rapunzel tattoo. So, let’s take a look at its implied meaning.

Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

What happens to Rapunzel in the original fairytale?

Before we delve into the new meaning of a Rapunzel tattoo, it is worth revisiting the fairytale for a refresher on the story. Let’s just say, it’s far different from the version we see in Disney’s Tangled.

The Brothers Grimm popularised the fairytale Rapunzel in the publication of their Children’s and Household Tales (1812). While it is likely derived from French fairy tale writer Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force’s Persinette (1698), Rapunzel is the best-known version of the tale.

In this version – far from Disney’s – Rapunzel is the only daughter of a couple who lives next door to a witch. After stealing the witch’s lettuce, the couple agrees to give her their baby daughter, Rapunzel, when she was born in exchange for mercy. The witch steals Rapunzel away to a tall tower where she spends the rest of her childhood and early teens.

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What then follows is similar to Tangled: the witch keeps Rapunzel locked in a tower, falsely leading her to believe that the world is a dangerous place and that keeping her locked away is for her own safety. Rapunzel discovers the world is far from what the witch made out after interacting with a prince. When the witch finds out Rapunzel and the prince have fallen in love, she banishes Rapunzel to a desert and blinds the prince, pushing him from the tower.

Unlike some of the other fairytales which have tragic endings (such as Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid), Rapunzel ends on a happier note with our leading lady reuniting with her prince. The prince also regains his eyesight after Rapunzel’s tears cure him.

If you’re wondering how these ideas feed into a tattoo design, then here’s what we’ve uncovered.

TikTok reveals a dark meaning behind Rapunzel tattoos

This fall has seen a number of TikTok users share that they are getting Rapunzel tattoos to reflect a difficult home life. One user shared that it means you grew up with abusive parents.

In the viral trend, TikTok users tell Rapunzel (Disney’s version) that they are getting her tattooed. In response, Rapunzel says: “I’m so sorry.”

This meaning echoes Rapunzel’s relationship with the witch in the original fairytale and the Disney version.

Disney fans share their Rapunzel-inspired tattoo designs

While TikTiok has given a new meaning to having a Rapunzel tattoo, there are some opting for the ink because they are a fan of the Disney movie.

The social media platform is split between those who choose a Rapunzel design because of this newly attributed meaning, and others who choose it because they simply love the film. For the film-lovers, the tattoo often represents a source of positivity or optimism, with those getting inked choosing the magical flowers or the sun design from Tangled.

For those inspired by the Disney film, they have shared TikTok videos of their Rapunzel tattoos set to the music of Tangled. Check out some of the Tangled-inspired tattoos below:

@maryjdesigns

Heaing this sound always makes me want to draw her 💜 please purchase a tattoo pass to use this design 💕 #tattoo #tattoodesign #tattooideas #disneytattoo #tangled #tangledtattoo #rapunzel #rapunzeltattoo

♬ Kingdom Dance – From “Tangled”/Score – Alan Menken
TANGLED: THE SERIES – “What the Hair?!” – Rapunzel and Cassandra venture out to a wizard’s cottage to try and find out what has happened to her hair. This episode of “Tangled: The Series” airs Friday, March 24 (7:30 – 8:00 P.M. EDT) on Disney Channel. (Disney Channel via Getty Images) RAPUNZEL, EUGENE

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website. For the UK, you can visit the Refuge website here, or Women’s Aid.

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Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.