Alana Blanchard, 24, has symmetrical tiger tattoos on each side of her torso, framing a flower arrangement.

Alana Blanchard, 24, has symmetrical tiger tattoos on each side of her torso, framing a flower arrangement.

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A tattoo surprise: North suburban woman gets twin tiger tattoos, then finds her mother had one, too

Alana Blanchard, 24, who lives in Lake County, says most of her tattoos have a simple meaning: “I liked it.” But the tigers on her torso also turned out to match one that her mom has.

There’s a certain symmetry in Alana Blanchard’s tattoos.

Two mirrored tigers face a central flower arrangement on her torso. And two jackalopes on her collarbones face one another, taking perpendicular paths.

There’s also another layer of symmetry that Blanchard, 24, who lives in Hainesville, a Lake County suburb, stumbled on when choosing the art to have inked onto her body.

Her mother Aileen Blanchard, 55, has an almost identical tiger on her calf.

“I showed her a picture of what I was going for, and she was, like, ‘Oh, my God, you know I have one, right?’” Alana Blanchard says. “And I was, like, ‘Oh, my God, I totally forgot!’”

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The younger Blanchard’s tigers, which she had done in December, prominently feature dark stripes along with fine details of the animal’s faces, teeth and sharp claws.

The older Blanchard’s tiger, which she had done in 1992 as a graduation present from her sister, sits just above one ankle, the animal seeming to roar and flash its teeth and claws — just like her daughter’s.

Aileen Blanchard, 55, got her tiger tattoo in 1992 — 30 years before her daughter got almost identical tigers on her torso.

Aileen Blanchard, 55, got her tiger tattoo in 1992 — 30 years before her daughter got almost identical tigers on her torso.

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Details of flowers sit below its front paws. And sprouts of grass give the impression the animal is clawing its way through a field. With three decades of wear, though, the dark stripes and finer details are blurred.

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“I think every tattoo kind of means something,” Aileen Blanchard says. “It’s kind of something in you. My tiger would be my fierceness and my strong self. And I also have flowers, which is the feminine part of me.”

The younger Blanchard has a simpler take on the meaning of tattoos in general: “The story behind a lot of them are: I liked it. As I get older, the more I realize how many beautiful creators there are out there. We can just immortalize this art on my body. It doesn’t have to mean anything besides the fact that I like it.”

Alana Blanchard (left) with her mother Aileen Blanchard.

Alana Blanchard (left) with her mother Aileen Blanchard.

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Still, she says the tigers have come to take on new meaning since the mother-daughter realization.

Sydney Pflaumer of Oleander Tattoo in Lincoln Square has done almost all of the younger Blanchard’s tattoos, including the tigers and a vase on her torso.

Though more prominent, the big cats aren’t the only matching ink the Blanchards have. The younger Blanchard let her mom pick out matching finger tattoos, this time on purpose, that resemble a small rosary.

A small cross points toward the knuckle on Aileen Blanchard’s ring finger and on her daughter’s middle finger. Small dots above it resemble the prayer beads found on a classic rosary.

Alana Blanchard and Aileen Blanchard share matching finger tattoos that resemble a miniature rosary.

Alana Blanchard and Aileen Blanchard share matching finger tattoos that resemble a miniature rosary.

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The tiny piece is something the two can always see, Aileen Blanchard says, and brings them together — literally so when they need to go back to get touch-ups to the fine lines in their tattoos.

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