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Loser Lover Tattoo Meaning

The word  “tattoo” stems from the Tahitian word for mark, “tatau”. The British explorer Captain James Cook introduced the word in 1769. Two and a half centuries later, Hollywood introduced the loser lover tattoo in a movie with surroundings that are far less idyllic than the island of Tahiti.   

The loser lover tattoo is a meaningful one. It has its origin in a scene from the movie IT. In the scene, a pre-teen boy changes the “Loser”, crudely written by a vicious bully on his arm cast, to “Lover”. The tattoo can be viewed first and foremost as an anti-bullying statement.

Tattoos are a form of art. Many people get inked with tattoos with outstanding design features that are beautiful or at least striking. The loser lover tattoo is not one of these. The text is in a relatively simple black capital letters font, with the only color the red “V” that replaces the “S” in the word. Because of its deceiving simplicity, it probably has great significance for the wearer.

What Is The Meaning Of The Loser Lover Tattoo?

Because of the origin of the tattoo, the meaning could firstly be interpreted as anti-bullying. But the tattoo could also signify something else about the wearerˈs life.

The Loser Lover Tattoo As An Anti-bullying Statement

The meaning of the loser lover tattoo that seems the most obvious is that the wearer feels strongly about bullying. They could have been bullied or know someone who has been.

The tattoo originates from the movie IT, produced in 2017 and based on the Stephen King horror novel. In the movie, a group of seven pre-teens, six boys and a girl, from the fictional town Derry in Maine form the “Losers Club”. The kids are all victims of bullying and rejection from their schoolmates.

One of the boys, Eddie, tries to get away from IT, a shapeshifter that appears to the kids as Pennywise, a terrifying clown. While fleeing the clown, Eddie breaks his arm and gets a cast. Later a bully scribbles the word “LOSER” on the cast. Alone in the kitchen of his home, Eddie changes the “S” to a “V “.

The effects of bullying can be far-reaching. The bullied often suffer self-esteem issues, stress, and anxiety and may even harbor suicidal thoughts. The loser lover tattoo can be viewed as a belief in positive outcomes, loving oneself, and believing that love can conquer even the severe effects of bullying.

The Loser Lover Tattoo As A Symbol Of A Life Theme  

Some people recognize recurring themes in their lives. They are possibly always failing at personal relationships or constantly do not perform according to their abilities. When they overcome these struggles and are successful, they may want to get a personal tattoo to remind them of their victory. This design is a great choice to express overcoming negative patterns or themes.

The Loser Lover Tattoo As A Symbol Of An Important Event

The loser lover tattoo is an apt choice to celebrate the individual overcoming a traumatic event, like losing love but finding someone new. It could symbolize the wearer’s belief that good will overcome evil or that a positive mindset helped them ride the storm raging in their lives.

The Loser Lover Tattoo As A Symbol Of A Life Philosophy 

There are suggestions that the loser lover tattooˈs meaning is the wearerˈs resolve to fight hate with love. Research has shown that humans are hard-wired to pay more attention to negative experiences (called the “negativity bias”). Having the loser lover tattoo somewhere where the wearer can see it could symbolize their belief that one should work harder at finding the positive.

The Loser Lover Tattoo As A Cry For Help

It is possible that this tattoo is a cry for help by the wearer. Like with any tattoo you see, you can comment on it. You can say something like ‘Nice tattoo’ or ‘Interesting tattoo’ and see where the conversation goes. You may help someone by just talking with them.

Where Has The Loser Lover Tattoo Been Spotted?

Because the design is simple, the tattoo works well in small body areas. The tattoo has been spotted on peopleˈs necks, behind their ears, just above the elbow, and on their wrists.

Celebrities Sporting The Loser Lover Tattoo

The rapper Lil Uzi Vert (real name Symere Woods) hails from Philadelphia. In July 2022, Woods changed their pronouns to they/them. They started rapping in high school and featured on the hip-hop trio Migo’s hit single, “Bad and Boujee”.

Lil Uzi Vert alludes to depression, suicidality, and self-medication in some of their songs. They have many face tattoos, and the loser lover one is inked next to their right eye.

Sportspeople With The Loser Lover Tattoo

The English footballer Dele Alli, who used to play for Tottenham Hotspur and is now on loan to the Turkish club Beşiktaş, has the loser lover tattoo on his upper left arm, just above his elbow.

Alli, whose full name is Bamidele Jermaine Alli, was born in England. He was a week old when his father moved to America, leaving him and his mother behind. At age nine, Alli moved to Nigeria to live with his father for two years. At age 13, back in England, he moved into a footballing friendˈs house, referring to the latterˈs parents as his adoptive parents, although he wasnˈt formally adopted.

A 2016 article in the Telegraph newspaper refers to Alli ˈs “tough upbringing”.

Alli revealed his loser lover tattoo during a practice session in June 2020.  

Other Tattoo Designs Which Are Anti-bullying

Tattoo-lovers who wish to make anti-bullying statements are fond of the “My Little Pony” tattoo, which swept America in 2014.

The tattoo became popular as people were taking a stand against bullying after an 11-year-old boy tried to commit suicide as a result of being bullied for liking the cartoon “My Little Pony”. Amanda Fontenot, an anti-bullying activist, convinced seven of her family members to get this tattoo and join the movement. She said, ˈKnowing even, for a child, that you’re not alone and that people love you and accept you no matter what you choose to do, is something that is indescribable.ˈ

Other Tattoos Inspired By Movies

Movies inspire many tattoos. The most popular are the “Star Wars” movies, the  “Harry Potter” series as well as “Lord of the Rings”, the latter featuring even a detailed map of Middle Earth. The famous dance scene between Johan Travolta and Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction” is also a popular tattoo.


Because the loser lover tattoo design is not to everyone’s taste, it is not as popular as others. For this reason, the wearer could feel like they are taking a solid stand against bullies in all spheres of life.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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