Do tattoos have to have meaning? The short answer is no. Tattoos can be purely ornamental, have no meaning at all, or feature symbols that have no specific personal or cultural meaning to the wearer. Ultimately, it is up to the individual getting the tattoo to decide if the design should have meaning or not. Some individuals choose to go with a design that has special personal significance to them, such as memorializing a loved one or commemorating an achievement. Other people may simply like the look of a certain tattoo and choose to get it simply for aesthetics.