Matching tattoos, inspirational quotes, and minimalist iconography. Celebrities may have a hand in influencing tattoo trends, but they also follow many of the same trends as the rest of us. Stars run the length of Rihanna’s back. Kendall Jenner is just one of many celebrities who shares matching tattoos with her best friend, and countless celebrities have meaningful quotes and phrases in both English and other languages. Just as celebrities follow the same tattoo trends, they can also run into the same tattoo mishaps. For instance, Rihanna's tattoo of the phrase 'rebelle fleur' should actually read 'fleur rebelle' since French syntax differs from English.
Though tattoos of foreign languages can be tricky, few tattoo trends are riskier than those inked to show devotion to a significant other. Despite that risk, plenty of celebrities have shown their love through ink. Laser removal and cover-ups have mitigated some of that risk, proving to be useful for celebs like Angelina Jolie, Iggy Azalea, and Russell Brand. Jolie famously tattooed Billy Bob Thornton’s name on her arm, but following their break up, she removed the tattoo and later replaced it with a tribute to her children. Like Jolie, Azalea replaced her tattoo devoted to A$AP Rocky with something she could ensure her lifelong devotion to--her music career. Though she initially covered the A$AP tattoo with an X, she eventually chose to remove and replace the tattoo with ink referencing a potential music project. Brand simply chose to remove the tattoo of a Sanskrit phrase he shared with ex-wife Katy Perry.
Save for Jolie's Billy Bob ink, many of these commemorative tattoos have been quite minimalist, a common trend among celebrity tattoos overall. Brand’s matching tattoo with Perry for example, did not clearly announce itself as a tattoo dedicated to their relationship because the former couple opted to ink brief quotes on their biceps as opposed to one another’s names. Emma Watson has the phrase “time’s up” tattooed in simple script on her forearm, and Lily Collins has a dainty image of a woman resting on a lily pad on her back. Actors especially often sport minimalist ink, likely due to their need to remain a relatively blank slate for their career.
Unlike actors, who tend to be more conservative with their ink, sporting fewer and smaller tattoos, musicians are often much more heavily tattooed, which helps them to develop a unique image. Singers like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna are much more heavily inked. Gaga, for instance, commemorates each new music project with an accompanying tattoo, and Bieber dons tattoos all over his torso.
Although celebrities sport many of the same tattoo trends as their fans, one trend clearly missing from celebrity ink is color. Bright bold colors are few and far between in celebrity tattoos. In fact, it’s quite uncommon to find celebrities with colorful ink, even amongst heavily inked celebs like Gaga, Rihanna, and Bieber, all of whom sport solely black and grey. Because so many celebs opt for minimalist tattoos, black and grey ink reigns supreme. Actress Ruby Rose is one of few celebrities with a number of colorful tattoos. In fact, Rose actually has the entire pantone color scheme tattooed across her back, alongside other colorful characters, including a Ninja Turtle and anime character, Polly Esther. Perhaps because most other celebrities strive to have a collection of tattoos with major personal significance, they are more inclined to pass over bold colors for muted black and grey to achieve a more serious appearance.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.