15 Famous Celebrity Tattoos & Their Stories
Whenever you see someone with a tattoo, one of the first questions that might
pop into your mind is, "Why did they decide to get that tattoo?" Many people
decide to have this type of permanent ink etched into their skin for a wide
variety of reasons. Some may decide that they want to pay tribute to a certain
person, place or thing or even a special event that earmarks a pivotal moment in
their lives. For example, many people decide to portray the names of their
lovers, children and birthplace to pay homage to things that are memorable to
There are also those who use tattoos to simply express themselves
artistically, which is why they may have so many of them. Instead of having just
one or two small, isolated tattoos, these individuals may decide to have one
consistent running theme that crosses over large sections of their body. It is
almost as if they are using their bodies in the same way that a painter would
use the entire canvas, making sure that no empty spaces are left without being
part of the artistic image.
On the other hand, many others decide to have tattoos done as a last-minute,
spur-of-the-moment thing that they just felt like doing at the time. But many
actually live to regret it years later. Regardless of the reason why they chose
to have a specific tattoo done, everyone has some sort of a story that goes
along with each one. Many of the celebrities that are currently still enjoying
their time in the limelight have also been able to share their fame throughout
their careers with various forms of permanent body art.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 15)
Mike Tyson's Face
Mike Tyson became the center of many jokes and also the inspiration
of many artists and tattoo addicts when he decided to have a tattoo inked onto
his face. When discussing exactly what he wanted to have done, Tyson simply told
his artist to surprise him. Originally, he wanted to just have a lot of hearts
permanently marked on his face, but his tattoo artist told him not to rush into
making that decision. Instead, he suggested that Tyson give him some time to
come up with the perfect design for his tattoo. A week later, he showed the
initial sketches of a tribal design and Tyson loved it and decided to and have
Even though many people might believe that the tattoo is a repellent for
women, its exotic nature and unique design has actually proven to be quite
magnetic for Tyson when it comes to the ladies. There have been reported
instances where women paid homage to him by having the same exact design
tattooed on other places of their own bodies. When asked in a recent interview
if he regrets having that tattoo put on his face, he consistently stated that he
is very happy with how it turned out and it helps him to remember that other
people's opinions of him should not matter more than his own.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 14)
Angelina Jolie's Tribute to Billy Bob Thornton
Before this celebrity started a family with Brad Pitt, actress Angelina Jolie
was head-over-heels in love with Billy Bob Thornton. She was married to him for
a number of years and wanted to express that love to the world by having his
name tattooed on her skin. The first tattoo was created back in 2000 and was
simply Thornton’s name inked on her left arm with a sort of reptile underneath
it. After the first tattoo, Jolie continued to go to the same tattoo artist,
Friday Jones. She
stated that she enjoyed the overall experience and artistic value of each one.
Jolie is said to have at least 12 tattoos covering various parts of her body,
although she covers them up for movies. She even has tattoos of the longitudes
and latitudes of where her adopted children first came into her life.
Additionally, she's rumored to have a name tattooed beneath her panty line.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 13)
Brad Pitt's Doodling Tattoo
The love of Angelina Jolie’s life is currently Brad Pitt, who decided to pay
tribute to his beautiful fiancée and the mother of his six children through a
different type of tattoo. Many Pitt fans may be puzzled by the tattoo that the
actor has on his back, which literally looks like one of his kids took a marker
and drew a bunch of random lines while he was asleep. The true story behind this
tattoo is pretty close to what it looks like with the main difference being that
it was actually Jolie who created the drawing. Out of sheer boredom, she drew a
series of lines and random art on his back, which he liked so much that he
decided to have it permanently sketched onto his body.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 12)
Johnny Depp's "Wino Forever" Tattoo
Angelina Jolie is not the only Hollywood celebrity that has had a former lover's
name permanently etched into their skin. Johnny Depp is another great example.
He chose to show his love to his then-girlfriend Winona Ryder by having "Winona
Forever" inked onto the upper portion of his right arm. This was not Depp’s
first tattoo, because he had already received a Cherokee tribal head symbol on
the same arm.
After his relationship ended with Ryder, it was then time to try and come up
with a way of fixing this artistic mistake. He trusted in the expertise and
guidance of his talented, professional tattoo artist, John Shaw - who came up
with a very creative way to change it instead of going through the painful
process of having it completely removed. Shaw removed the last two letters of
Ryder’s name and placed the tattoo within a stylish banner that read "Wino
Celebrity Tattoo Story 11)
Megan Fox and Her Marilyn Monroe Tattoo
Actress Megan Fox began getting tattoos at the age of 19. All throughout her
young life, she has viewed Marilyn Monroe as a major source of inspiration and
influence. She has always admired the fact that Marilyn was able to start acting
at such a young age and make her mark in cinematic history in such a monumental
way. Therefore, she decided to pay tribute to the memory of the legendary
actress by having a portrait of her headshot permanently sketched on her arm.
This was just one of the tattoos that the actress was able to have done,
because she enjoyed being able to artistically express her thoughts and feelings
through different types of body art. Now that she is much older and a married
mother, her viewpoints and overall perspective of her tattoos have drastically
changed from when she first got them. Even though the tattooed portrait of
Monroe was once her most cherished work of body art, she opted to have it
removed through progressive laser surgeries as a sign of her growing up and
finally making the inevitable transition into womanhood.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 10)
Scarlett Johansson's Sunshine Tattoo
Actress Scarlett Johansson shocked many of her fans and critics when she showed
up to a film premiere of the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl" with a tattoo on her
arm. Instead of choosing to etch the name of a current or past lover on her arm
or even focus on symbolic imagery, she simply decided to have a colorful picture
of a sun rising over the clouds permanently inked into her skin. When asked
about the story behind this particular sample of body art, Johansson expressed
the joy that she wanted to experience by looking at a tattoo that made her happy
about herself and her life on a daily basis. Therefore, she is able to enjoy
looking at the actual sunrise in the morning but is also able to enjoy her own
sunrise at any time of day or night that she wants.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 9)
Rihanna's Tattooed Statement after Violent Beating
After being violently beaten by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown, singer and
actress Rihanna decided that she was going to make a statement through body art
that would serve as a permanent mark of her own empowerment and self-liberation.
This celebrity did not want anyone else to work on this particular tattoo other
than the artist that she frequently used in the past, BangBang, who was working
in Los Angeles at the time.
Against the wishes and advice of her tattoo artist, Rihanna decided to have a
couple of guns being drawn on one another tattooed on her arms in order to make
the statement that she was not going to be a victim any longer. The design
turned out so well that she even got the same design done on her ribs. Even with
this permanent body art in place, Rihanna still has been able to maintain her
endorsement deal with Cover Girl. Since the initial etching of the tattoos, she
has reconciled and gotten back together with Brown on numerous occasions.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 8)
Tommy Lee's Mayhem Tattoo
Former Motley Crue drummer, Tommy Lee, has a very big tattoo of the word
"Mayhem" etched across his abdomen. Not only was this considered as being one of
Lee's signature words throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it is also part of the
name of the band that he created in 1999, titled "The Methods of Mayhem." Even
though the band did not last very long, the tattoo is still relevant since it
was primarily what Lee stands for overall in every aspect of his life.
Lee has acquired an extensive list of different tattoos all over his body
during the years. His fans, industry critics and tattoo enthusiasts strongly
agree that the "Mayhem" tattoo is the best design of them all. During the years,
this particular tattoo has become synonymous with his personal and professional
identities, and has been able to enjoy an extent of fame and popularity on its
own. Regardless of whether or not he will ever be able to reignite the flame of
his music and career, the memory of his "Mayhem" tattoo will continue to burn
brightly in the minds of his fans.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 7)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's Tribal Tattoo
are not that many celebrities who put as much thought and effort into designing
their tattoos like former wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He
created a very elaborate Samoan design that is literally filled with symbolism,
imagery, philosophy and strong, underlying themes of family values, loyalty,
strength and the ability to protect the people that you care about the most.
The coconut leaves represent a Samoan chief warrior and the sun symbolizes
good fortune being brought to him. The section of his tribal tattoo that travels
from his shoulder onto his chest actually represents his family members,
including his former wife and their daughter. There are several descending
swirls that present all aspects of time, with the future swirl being the biggest
of them all.
A tribute to his ancestors was achieved by including two eyes within the
design and the broken face that is marked by the teeth of a shark is used to
symbolize strength and power. There are also several other symbols and images
that are included within the overall design that represent the struggle between
good and evil, as well as how the good spirits will continue to dominate his
future and protect him.
Once the design was finished, Johnson went to Hawaii to have it inked into
his upper arm and shoulder. Before deciding to have this body art completed, he
only had one tattoo of a bull's head on his other arm. Many people criticized
Johnson for choosing to have such an elaborate tattoo created around the time
his acting career was starting to take off. However, it seems as if his career
has actually become more successful since he had the ink done.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 6)
Jamie Foxx's Tribal Tattooed Head
now and then, a celebrity will decide out of the blue to get the most random
tattoo on one of their most random body for no clear reason. As mentioned
earlier, many people seem to get tattoos as a form of artistic expression and
physical freedom, while others may choose to develop a symbolic representation
of their personal, professional and religious values. However, you cannot really
put the famous Jamie Foxx's tribal head tattoo in either of those categories
because this particular design does not seem to make any sense.
When photographs and reports about this tattoo first started circulating
through the media, many fans, critics and movie producers just assumed that it
was an elaborate temporary tattoo that he decided to wear while he was shooting
It was not until several years later that many people finally admitted to
themselves that the tattoo was real. Many searched for a valid reason of why
Foxx would do such a thing to the back of his head. Reports and interviews with
the Academy Award-winning actor have led some to believe that he simply chose to
get the tattoo to mark the milestone of his 40th birthday; although no one truly
knows what the tribal design means.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 5)
Hayden Panettiere's Italian Phrase Tattoo
Even though a person may want their tattoo to end up looking one way, they might
have to face the fact that they got something completely different by the time
the ink has been etched. In some cases, the tattoo may end up looking better
than they thought it would while, in other cases, it might actually look much
worse. Where actress and singer Hayden Panettiere is concerned, it was a little
bit of both.
Panettiere decided to have an Italian phrase translated into "to live without
regrets" tattooed on her back. The ironic part about this tattoo is that the
artist misspelled one of the words by adding an extra "I" where it did not
belong. Therefore, this celebrity has a tattoo that reminds her to live without
regrets, while it also ironically became one of the regrets that she has to live
with. When asked about how she felt about this misspelled body art in an
interview with Zimbio, Panettiere stated that she was happy that it was on her
back so she does not have to worry about staring at it constantly and obsessing
over the error.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 4)
Lindsay Lohan's "Beautiful Life" Tattoo
Another example of unintentional tattoo irony is the one that notorious actress
and singer, Lindsay Lohan, decided to have placed onto her lower back. She
decided to have a Spanish phrase that means "the beautiful life" tattooed. At
the time that she had the work done, her career was transitioning quite nicely
from a child actor into an adult actress.
Lohan even had her own record deal and a somewhat successful pop album, which
featured a song that was actually titled "The Beautiful Life." Since then,
however, her music and acting career have pretty much gone nowhere but down. She
has been in and out of courtrooms, prison cells, rehab clinics and tabloid
articles for the past several years. Even though her life may have seemed to be
very beautiful back then, it has not been looking that way recently, which means
that this tattoo is just an ironic reminder of a career life that will soon be
Celebrity Tattoo Story 3)
Jeremy Shockey's Patriotic Tattoo
Many people decide to receive tattoos that express their patriotism and overall
love for their respective countries. Professional NFL player Jeremy Shockey
became a great example of this when he chose to have a colorful, patriotic
tribute tattooed on his right arm. The art work is a detailed picture of the
official bird of the USA, the American bald eagle, with a beautifully drawn
rendition of the American flag sketched in the background.
When asked about the story behind getting this particular tattoo, Shockey
stated that he simply wanted to express his undying love for America and his
appreciation of the rights and freedoms that he is provided as citizen. The
tattoo also represents the freedom to use your own body to artistically express
your feelings, thoughts and personal preferences. The eccentric quality of
Shockey's tattoo has been praised and applauded by tattoo artists around the
world as being well developed and perfectly designed.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 2)
Evan Rachel Wood and Her Beatles Tattoo
already mentioned, sometimes a tattoo may not turn out the way that the person
originally wanted. This is the case with actress Evan Rachel Wood, who wanted to
mark the achievement and milestone in her career when she starred in the hit
the Universe." Award-winning director Julie Taymor made the movie as a
tribute to the Beatles.
Shortly after wrapping the movie, Wood decided that she, too, wanted to pay
homage to the band by having a special Beatles design etched onto her ankle.
Sadly, though, the tattoo did not turn out the way that she wanted, so she later
decided to have it covered up by a different design that looks just like the
diamonds on a playing card.
Celebrity Tattoo Story 1)
Sylvester Stallone's Scar-Covering Tattoos
Celebrity actor Sylvester Stallone recently got quite a lot of body art,
primarily on his back and shoulders. In one of his most recent movies, "Bullet
to the Head," his character has some pretty elaborate tattoos. Many people
that saw the movie reported to have thought that the tattoos were signs of a
really great makeup department and/or temporary tattoo artist. However, Stallone
has confirmed in interviews that each of the tattoos is actually permanent.
Stallone stated that his primary purpose for getting all of this colorful
body art was to help cover up the physical damage and scarring that his pivotal
movie roles had caused over the years. For example, he tore one of his veins
while filming "Rocky II" and he had to have a total of 60 stitches. As time went
on, Stallone said that the condition of skin just kept getting worse and that
many people thought he had varicose veins. He decided to go ahead and invest in
the tattoos to cover the marks. One image includes a beautiful portrait of his
wife with three roses surrounding her head that symbolize each of their
daughters, who all share the same middle name, "Rose."
In most cases, people remain satisfied with the tattoos they decide to have
etched into their skin. Even if the actual image did not turn out exactly as
they originally thought, they may choose to look past the surface of the tattoo
and focus on the meaning and the overall story behind why they got it in the
first place. Perhaps it was just their way of proving to the world that the only
opinion they care about is their own and that they were willing to go above and
beyond to prove it. Many people get tattoos to honor births, deaths,
relationships, and sometimes their country.
One of the biggest problems is that people seem to forget that the purpose of
a tattoo is to exhibit art on their bodies. Art is something that can have a
wide variety of meanings to people. How one person may feel about a specific
piece of art may be completely different from how another person feels about the
same piece. The same principle applies to tattoos. Tattoos should be cherished
more by the people that chose to wear them for life, not those who view them
from a distance. At the end of the day, it truly does not have anything to do
with them, especially if the tattoos are not offensive or degrading in nature.
The best thing that the average person can do, whether they are a lover or a
hater of permanent etching, is to respect the rights and freedoms of other
people that simply wanted to find a different, unique way of expressing
themselves. Even though you may not personally like a tattoo design or wonder
why a person decided to get specific ink, it is not your place to criticize that
person or their decision. Throughout your life, you are going to make choices
that seem to make sense to you that will not make sense to other people. It is
you that will have a story to tell about the journey and reasoning behind your
personal body artwork. The actual design and artistry of the tattoo itself is
not where the true value lies, the true value comes from the story that is being
told by the art.
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Tattoo Designs and their Meanings
The Evolution of Tattoos