Celebrity Tattoo Gallery: The Good, the Bad and the WTF
by Hilary Braaksma
Tattoos are a serious dedication for anyone, but they’re an even bigger deal for celebrities. When you’re in the news, your ink is sure to be there, too. Look through our roundup of the best, worst, and weirdest celebrity tattoos.
Even if it’s teeny tiny, getting a tattoo on your face is a pretty big deal. The 22-year-old pop sensation put the whole world in a frenzy when he posted this picture to his Instagram showing off a small, permanent cross next to his eye. Now that’s gotta hurt. “Resting up for the show in Philly it’s gonna be a good one mark my words,” Bieber captioned the photo. He didn’t address his reasoning behind inking his face.
In his upcoming movie Live By Night, Oscar winning actor Ben Affleck was spotted baring a giant tattoo of a Pheonix on his back. And neither one of his exes named Jennifer were too happy about his bold tattoo of choice. J-Lo in particular admitted his tattoo was “awful”, while playing Plead The Fifth on Watch What Happens Live. We would all have to agree with her on that one.
Model Amber Rose and her husband, rapper Wiz Kalifah, are both tatted to the max. Amber’s half-sleeve tattoo pays homage to her dogs, her hubby, and the cannabis plant. What more does a lady need?
Amber sports a large red rose on her other arm. A tribute to herself, perhaps? Can’t say I blame her.
On Angelina’s right arm she has a tattoo in Arabic, which reportedly translates to “Determination”. On her lower left arm she has the Roman numeral 13 and the Roman numerals for 13 May 1940, which is the date of a famous Winston Churchill speech. On her left wrist is the letter ‘h’, which is rumored to be either for her brother, James Haven, or her ex-boyfriend Timothy Hutton. She made out with both of them, so it’s whatever.
When Angelina Jolie married Billy Bob Thornton in 2000, she got his name tattooed on her upper arm. After their divorce in 2003, Angie told an interviewer: “I will never be stupid enough to have a man’s name tattooed on me again.” She had “Billy Bob” and the accompanying dragon removed, and has now replaced it with the geographical coordinates of each of her six children’s birth places, and a coordinate for her current partner Brad Pitt’s birth place.
Model Chanel Iman has a clothes hanger and her own name tattooed on the back of her neck. I guess the only interpretation for this is quite literal: Fashion models are basically walking clothes hangers. Flaunting your job and your name in a tattoo? It’s a bold move, but Chanel manages to pull it off.
Hand tattoos aren’t for the faint of heart, or anyone who questions their future job security. Former Girls Aloud singer and X Factor judge Cheryl Cole has a tribal design on her hand that was actually her very first tattoo. Talk about confidence!
Christina Ricci has a tattoo of a pin-up style mermaid on her ankle. The actress is known for her kooky movie roles, so the off-beat tattoo doesn’t surprise us at all!
David Beckham has said he has 32 tattoos and doesn’t regret any of them. Of the 32 pieces of art, Beckham claims the tattoos he has for his four children are his favorite. His son Brooklyn’s name was his first tattoo, and he recently added “Harper” above his collarbone in honor of his daughter. On his upper left chest is an image of Jesus with three cherubs, which he said represents his three sons.
Eva Longoria had her ex-husband Tony Parker’s basketball number, nine, tattooed on the back of her neck. Since his cheating scandal and their divorce, she’s had it removed. We’re sure that’s one piece of body art she’s glad to be rid of.
Eva Longoria’s Celtic cross tattoo gets a lot of air time considering the amount of backless dresses she wears (not complaining). Longoria is said to have been raised in a Roman Catholic family, which could explain the meaning behind the tat.
The paw prints on rapper Eve’s chest are by far her most famous tattoo, but certainly not her only. Her other tats include a flower on her wrist and a Chinese symbol on her bicep.
Hayden’s back tattoo is the best case for spellchecking before getting inked. The tattoo was supposed to say “Live Without Regrets” in Italian, but regrettably, one of the words is misspelled. The actress is currently undergoing laser removal to get rid of the tattoo.
34-year-old actress and model Jaime King has her last name inked in blue and black on the back of her neck. It’s quite the combination—neck tattoos and name tattoos (espeically your own) are two of the tackiest tats around.
Stand-up comedian, actress, and activist Janeane Garofalo has a decent-size collection of tattoos, including this Rosie the Riviter portrait with “Valor” written below.
Hoo has the weirdest tattoo? 19-year-old popstar Justin Bieber, that’s who! There are a lot of myths going around about this owl tat—some say it’s the symbol of a secret society, some people think he just has bad taste. Either way, it’s definitely not our favorite.
It looks like we know who holds the key to 28-year-old Kelly Osbourne’s heart! The punk princess has a lot of love for her rocker dad, Ozzy Osbourne.
True to Kelly’s cutesy-yet-hardass image, she has a cartoon skull tattooed on each foot. One of them has a lightening bolt, the other has a bow, taking “his and her” to a whole new level.
We love Lauren London’s “Art & Soul” tattoo on her upper back, and we’re glad it’s less controversial than some of her other tats. The actress and mother of one of Lil Wayne’s children ended up getting Wayne’s name tattooed on her lower back, but covered it after the two split. Weezy also had a tattoo of Lauren’s name on his arm, which later got covered as well. Pretty run-of-the-mill tattoo drama, except for the rumors floating around that they both got their ink while Wayne was still married to his ex-wife Latoya Wright. Ouch.
On the show Girls, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath described her tattoos as a way to take control of her body after gaining weight in high school. Since Hannah’s tattoos are actually Lena’s tattoos, does that explain Dunham’s affinity for strange body art? Apparently so: “I wrote that scene and it is pretty close [to being accurate],” Dunham told the Huffington Post. The tattoo she has on her arm is of a cow laying in a field of flowers, although the cow is hidden behind her dress in this low-strap gown.
40-year-old actress Lena Headey has a colorful lotus tattoo in between her shoulder blades, accompanied by the butterflies she has tatted on her upper arm.
44-year-old comedian and author Margaret Cho is one inked lady. Her pink carnation and paisley eyeball are just a few out of many.
A few years ago, Megan Fox, 27, rocked a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on her forearm, but she has since gotten the tattoo removed. “She was a negative person, she was disturbed, bipolar. I do not want to attract this kind of negative energy in my life,” Fox told the Italian magazine Amica. Learn from Megan’s mistakes and do your research before going under the needle!
This Shakespeare quote is a tattoo Megan Fox thinks is worth keeping! “We will all laugh at gilded butterflies,” is a quote from Shakespeare’s play King Lear.
Below a tattoo of a lion (covered by her dress in this picture) actress Mena Suvari, 34, has the phrase “Word, sound, power” inked between her shoulder blades. Deep. We kind of wonder what it means!
56-year-old actress Melanie Griffith got hubby Antonio Banderas’ name tattooed on her bicep. It’s a touching gesture, but does Antonio seriously think that looks good?
47-year-old retired boxer Mike Tyson is one of the most controversial people in the entertainment industry. After such a spotty past (a rape conviction in ’92 and biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear in ’97), the poor judgement required to get this facial tattoo in 2003 surely didn’t surprise anyone.
Twilight star Nikki Reed, 25, has a phrase in Russian tattooed on her back. Reportedly, it reads, “It should be something more.” She had another tattoo in Russian on her wrist—the name of ex-boyfriend Pavel Priluchnyy—but has had that ink removed since marrying husband Paul McDonald.
25-year-old singer Rihanna has several tattoos, but this tribal design on her hand certainly stands out! It’s a traditional tattoo done by natives of New Zealand—pretty cool, except for that fact that her sleazy ex Chris Brown has one to match it.
Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, 31, has a pretty intense tattoo on her upper back—an intricate Phoenix design on each shoulder blade encases the motivational middle piece, the phrase “Don’t be bitter—Glitter.” This one’s not for the faint of heart, but we love her positive attitude!
Actress Scarlett Johansson, 28, has a picture of a sun rising over a mountain tattooed on her arm. ScarJo hasn’t said what that tattoo means, just that whenever she looks at it makes her happy. Sounds good to us.
Actress Sienna Miller has three stars tattooed on her shoulder. We love how subtle that tat is, but we do wonder what it stands for. Her own stardom, perhaps? I like to think Sienna wouldn’t be so tacky.
Vanessa Hudgens, 24, has this pretty butterfly tattooed on her neck. Butterfly tattoos and neck tattoos are always a little questionable, but this combo seems to work perfectly with Vanessa’s boho style!
Singer Willa Ford, 32, has this music note band tattooed around her arm. We appreciate her dedication, but we can’t say it’s our favorite ink.
Miley may have thought her latest tat was Jupiter, but we’re still digging this simple Saturn tattoo, rings and all. Cute and small, this tattoo is one more for her to add to her already extensive collection.