Tattoos are certainly not a modern fad, but every few years there are certain designs that become much more popular than the rest.
Over the last few years, you may have noticed a new trend in tattoos - they're more simple, subtle and minimalistic.
While the butterfly and heart tattoos are consistently popular, people are starting to use other symbols like arrows, glyphs and geometric shapes to convey their messages. But perhaps one of the most popular has been the semicolon tattoo.
It looks like this:
Have you seen anyone with it?
Perhaps they have it embedded in a design like this one:
The semicolon has been showing up on bodies everywhere and it is not just a meaningless trend. There's a very important story behind the design and it has very little to do with grammar.
The semicolon tattoo was inspired by a tragic loss a woman named Amy Bleuel and her family suffered a couple of years ago.
Amy lost her father to suicide after he struggled with mental illness. To increase awareness and commemorate his life, she founded Project Semicolon.
The foundation aims to “present hope and love to those struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury."
But of all the things Amy could've chosen, why did she opt for a semicolon?
"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life," explained Amy.
The project started off as a social media movement where users were asked to draw a semicolon on their bodies and share the photo online as a conversation starter.
However, it didn't take long for it to garner worldwide attention and quickly turned into something deeply meaningful and permanent for some.
It's a mark of survival, resilience and triumph against an inner struggle that many go through daily but don't talk about.
Sometimes you don't have to speak words to make a powerful and profound statement, something as simple as a semicolon tattoo will do.
The tattoo is also a constant reminder that you don't have to face your problems alone and there are more than 350 million people in the world who have lived through depression and other mental illnesses that can relate to you.
If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness, remember that you can reach out for help at anytime. In an emergency, call a friend, a mental health professional or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) for immediate help.
Do you or someone you know have a semicolon tattoo? Let us know in the comments!