UK tattoo parlors are being overbooked for bee tattoos to honor Manchester attack victims
Following Monday's deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, England, at an Ariana Grande concert, people are flooding U.K. tattoo parlors to get a symbolic bee inked on their bodies.
York native Freya Elliott, 24, a beauty salon owner who's from Manchester and goes by "welcome_foolishmortals" on Instagram, got a bee tattoo Wednesday to show her hometown pride.
"From what I've seen, a lot of Manchester [parlors] have become fully booked," Elliott said via an Instagram message. "York Tattoo appears to be the only one in my current city who has taken part and [the artist] told me she was very nearly fully booked and has been inundated with messages from people, not just from York, but overflow from other cities who have been unable to get a slot closer to home."
The worker bee has long been Manchester's sigil of sorts, a symbol of the city's working class history during the Industrial Revolution. During the 1800s, bee-like locals, known as Mancunians, spent their lives weaving cotton in Manchester textile mills, which were described as "hives of activity."
Many social media users from the U.K. have posted pics of new Manchester bee tats.
The trend was apparently started by Manchester tattoo artist Sam Barber, who created a promotion to raise money for the victims of the attack, according to Unilad. Barber and other artists will be doing bee tattoos for 50 pounds.
"I was born in Manchester and have lived here my whole life, same as generations of my family," Barber told Unilad. "It's a city close to my heart. We are strong and caring people here in Manchester and will prevail, if any city can get through a time like this, it is ours. We will not be divided."
Widnes, England, native Jools Yasities, 48, said via Instagram that she and her daughter, Natascha, 24, also got bee tattoos Wednesday at a parlor in Earlestown, England, called Tattoo Booth.
Yasities said the parlor's owners are following Barber's lead in donating proceeds to charities benefiting the Manchester attack victims.
"We wanted to do something to show our solidarity and to donate to the cause," Yasities said. "As mother and daughter we felt it would be a bonding experience while also creating a permanent reminder of our respect."
"People in the northwest here are saddened and angry of course, but determined to pay every act of kindness and respect possible," Yasities added. "There's very much an attitude of we won't be beaten or cowed down."