ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Fame may be fleeting, but tattoos are meant to be forever. For these celebrities, they've committed to some surprising body art, and many of them faced unnecessary criticism about their unconventional choices. However, when you hear everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Kristen Stewart open up about their own relationship with their tattoos, it's hard not to appreciate them even more.

These celebs prove that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to their body art, and those stories need to be told!

1. Jennifer Lawrence

Proving once again that she's the exact type of person you want in any spontaneous situation, Jennifer Lawrence got her subtle "H2O" tattoo when she accompanied [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866) co-star Liam Hemsworth to get some ink. In another show of her refreshing candor, JLaw opened up about one little mistake that's now permanent:

By the way, I know the ‘2’ is high, and in H2O the ‘2’ is supposed to be low - I should have Googled it before I got it tattooed on my body forever.

Oh, Jennifer, the fact that you're so upfront about this makes me love you even more.

2. Miley Cyrus


With over 20 tattoos including a dreamcatcher, an alien head, and a watermelon slice, Miley Cyrus is clearly no stranger to ink. This particular tattoo on her ribcage may look at home with all of the rest, but it's actually a tribute to her dog Floyd who passed away last year and carries a lot of significance for the pop star.

3. Brad Pitt


Brad Pitt's abstract back tattoo may look like a secret code that only he can understand, but it's actually a drawing from wife Angelina Jolie. One night, they were in Davos for the World Economic Forum (as this jetsetting couple is known to do), and Angie sketched on the parts of Brad's back that she particularly likes. When he liked it, he decided to get it tattooed.

4. Johnny Depp

One of the most famous tattoo cover-ups ever, but the story behind Johnny Depp's "Wino Forever" tattoo bears repeating. When he was dating Winona Ryder in the early '90s, Depp got a tattoo on his upper right arm that read "Winona Forver." Once the couple broke-up, he had it changed to represent his undying love of wine.

5. Cara Delevingne


The prolific model and up-and-coming actress has a highly-detailed lion tattoo on her finger with a surprising amount of meaning behind it. She got it from Bang Bang, Rihanna's tattoo artist, and explained its significance in detail:

I’m a Leo. It’s the first tattoo I got. I grew up being fearless in everything. I just used to climb anything. I lost that [sense of fearlessness] when I started modeling. When you work a lot and don’t really know what you want, you just do it because the work is there. I lost that inner fire, so I got the lion to bring that back in my mind.

Cara also has a tattoo of the word "Bacon..." that proves she's a gal after my own heart.

6. Scarlett Johansson

When Scarlett Johansson first revealed her ribcage tattoo, featuring a freehanded horseshoe and the phrase "Lucky You," many gossip blogs immediately (and rudely) assumed it was a mistake or a dare.

In fact, the style of the body art is completely intentional and specialized by Parisian artist Fuzi Ubtpk. He describes it as "ignorant style" with "an ironic twist and self-confident assertion" featuring "direct black lines with devastating punchlines." So, Scarjo's tattoo is all in good fun, but it also carries a personal meaning for her.

7. Ryan Gosling

Getty Images
Getty Images

Ryan Gosling's got plenty of tattoos, but the one that has caused the most confusion is the shape on his left arm. He said that he likes "when tattoos look stupid" but since he couldn't find anyone to do intentionally bad tattoos, he did them himself. Here's how he describes it:

One of my tattoos is supposed to be a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart but I did it myself with a tattoo kit so it looks like a cactus.

When you're that good-looking, anything on your body becomes immediately desirable.

8. Lady Gaga


The future star of American Horror Story: Hotel received a lot of flak for this extremely unexpected tattoo of a cherub on the back of her head, but I think those critics would stay silent if they knew the supposed meaning behind it. First, she shaved part of her head in solidarity with her photographer friend Terry Richardson, whose mother had passed away.

Later, she debuted the crowned tattoo in the same shaved spot, and it's widely believed to represent a guardian angel in honor of Richardson's dearly departed mother. Though she has since grown her hair out, the angel will remain at the back of Gaga's mind forever.

9. Kristen Stewart


For her award-winning role in Clouds of Sils Maria, Kristen Stewart's character Valentine had this tattoo of any eye on her right arm. After the film wrapped filming, she decided to make it permanent and called up her mom's tattoo artist. The art has quite a bit of personal significance for her as she told IndieWire in 2014:

This is part of ‘Guernica.’ It’s a Picasso painting that I saw when I was 18 and in Madrid. It f*cking floored me and it’s the first time I responded to a piece of art like that. It is just perfect for me. I love what it makes me think of. It’s like ‘keep going, and keep the f*cking light on.’

It's beyond cool that Kristen was able to help guide the direction of her character with this tattoo and in turn take it on as part of herself. I guess art really does imitate life.


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