There’s a rise in the number of tattoos now using the iconic black and white bear as their foundation.

While there seems to be a Panda story in the news every other day, Panda tattoos aren’t too mainstream…yet. But, they are gaining popularity as a versatile design that can be rocked by both men and women. Generally speaking Panda tattoos are supposedly worn by those who want exude the richly meaningful traits associated with the gentle giant beasts.

Traits such as tenderness, cuteness and peacefulness are what Panda tattoos tend to portray, and what might be leading to their recent surge in popularity. Fact of the matter is, the picture of a panda is now a form of contemporary art. It has surpassed the cartoonish stage, the clothes fashion and decoration stage and is currently adored as a cute form of body art.

To bring this into perspective, it is important to understand that the Panda is a large bear that is native to western China. The soft black and white patterns of its body make it easily identifiable and lovable. For many centuries, the Panda has been a symbolic creature in Asian cultures and especially in the Zen philosophy, which brings forth the contrasting symbols of Yin and Yang. Based on this philosophy, Pandas exert and display positive respect toward nature, the environment and vegetarianism. For that matter, having a Panda tattoo acts as a  way of expressing utmost serenity, harmony, and maybe even a lucky charm.

Additionally, a Panda tattoo gives the wearer a sense of individualism which reflects what most think of when thinking about a Panda.  For instance, the Panda may be a bear but it is very different from other bears, it has the eyes of a cat, which should make it  aggressive, but it is a peaceful and very social animal.  Another juxtaposition that you’ll be amazed to know is that the Panda is a carnivore, but 99 percent of its diet consists of bamboo vegetation.

So remember, if you’re planning on getting some ink, don’t laugh off the Panda it just may be the lucky charm you were meant to have.