Apparently, in the entertainment industry, Hollywood in particular, it is still taboo for some celebrities to have a tattoo for some reason. The notion seems strange; tattoo culture is on the rise, and in 20 years we are all going to look the same, with those without tattoos potentially being in the minority. While a wide demographic of musicians are notoriously covered in tattoos and even plenty of actors and actresses sport their unabashed love for very visible ink as well, there are still some celebrities that you would never expect to have a tattoo, and others who keep their tattoos well hidden at all times.
For some of these celebrities it may merely be an issue of privacy, being in the spotlight, answering questions, having their personal lives dissected – the last thing they may want is to divulge the deeper meaning of a tattoo that may be quite personal to them. For other celebrities, after years of playing a plethora of wholesome characters, or building an image as one of America’s Sweethearts, a tattoo may be seen as a blight on said image, or something that may somewhat hurt their careers. Madness, clearly; it’s just a tattoo, but within the well-oiled PR machine that is Hollywood where celebrities come and go by the day, those with longevity want to maintain a hold on their celebrity and resultant earning potential for as long as possible. With that said, here is a list of ten celebrities who you probably didn’t know have a tattoo, but now that you do, or even if you did prior, it hasn’t changed your impression of them. After all, it is just a tattoo.
10. Jamie Foxx
The first actor on this list, it’s probably not uncommon knowledge that Jamie Foxx is a relatively talented guy. Actor, comedian, singer, Oscar winner and guy who got a tattoo on the back of his head to celebrate his 40th birthday? That’s right, to celebrate turning 40 a few years ago the man forever immortalized as Ray Charles got a black tribal design tattooed on the back of his head. Though the actor has other tattoos, the tribal on his head was unexpected and a little strange. The legitimacy of it was even ruminated upon by celebrity pundits who care far more than this author does for quite some time. At least for Foxx, all he needs to do is grow his hair in (something he seems reluctant to do?) to cover the tattoo.
9. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt apparently has up to nine tattoos, but unless you’re paparazzi or an obsessed fan, you wouldn’t know it. Strange, considering the sometimes un-watchable but most often incredible actor seems like just the type to have plenty of tattoos and not care who sees them. While he is notoriously private (well, as much as he can be being super famous, married to Angelina Jolie and Tyler Durden all at once), Brad Pitt has stated he is an artist first (furniture design and home design), and an actor second; he’s a pretty eccentric guy. Unless you really go out of your way to find out whether Pitt has tattoos or not, you may never know he has plenty, unlike his wife who openly sports hers everywhere. Just to illustrate his laissez faire attitude, his most notorious tattoo of all may be the line drawings his wife scribbled on his back in no discernable order that he liked so much he got them tattooed on himself.
8. Sandra Bullock
Arguably America’s current sweetheart (whatever that even means), Sandra Bullock is a great actress who has built a long and steady career playing roles in both thrillers and more dramatic films, one of which, The Blind Side, earned her an Oscar. Before her marriage to heavily tattooed bike maker/TV personality Jesse James went horrifically and publicly south, many wondered what the pristine Bullock had in common with the rough bike aficionado. Well, maybe it was tattoos after all; unbeknownst to most of her fans, the iconic actress has a tattoo on her back.
7. Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett oozes class. A fantastic actress with an ability to play regal roles as well as any of her peers, the 44-year-old seems like an unlikely candidate to sport a tattoo. After all, what would Galadriel say? Regardless of the potential advice of an Elvish queen, the Australian actress got inked on her wrist after winning an Oscar this year, leaving many to not only speculate on what the tattoo was of, but also if Blanchett secretly had more. When asked previously if she had tattoos , Blanchett was non-committal in her answer, making this celebrity one who clearly wants to keep what she adorns her skin with under wraps.
6. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow has made her name in Hollywood as an actress, as Brad Pitt’s girlfriend, as Ben Affleck’s girlfriend, as a rock and roll (well, maybe a light rock) wife to Coldplay’s Chris Martin and, currently, as a controversial lifestyle guru. Somewhere within that high profile lifestyle, the actress discreetly managed to get a tattoo most don’t know about, the letter C on her lower body near her hip in honour of her husband, from whom she has now separated. Ironically, it was a temporary tattoo of an eagle that caught everyone’s attention, making many wonder (when the eagle was thought to be real) whether Paltrow had more ink.
5. Caroline Kennedy
Did you know that the current American ambassador to Japan and last living child of President John F. Kennedy has a tattoo? Caroline Kennedy has a tattoo of a butterfly on her inner arm near her elbow that she got in Hong Kong while with her late brother back in the early 1980s. Most people didn’t know about the tattoo, even for someone as famous as a Kennedy, until Caroline decided to run for the Senate in 2008 and naturally tabloids and conservative news outlets ran with the “Caroline Kennedy is bad for the country because she has a tattoo” story, as if it were a conviction for murder.
4. Helen Mirren
Good luck arguing the awesomeness of Helen Mirren, she’s just fantastic. Mirren is one of the most talented and recognizable English actresses of the past 40 years, and has the awards to prove it. An Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and a Damehood from the Order of the British Empire are just some examples of Mirren’s hardware. The actress also has a very visible but apparently relatively unknown tattoo on her hand, a tattoo she says she got long ago “to shock… before tattoos became mainstream.”
3. Julia Roberts
America’s Sweetheart before Sandra Bullock usurped that title, Julia Roberts is another celebrity that doesn’t seem to quite fit the tattooed vibe. It’s kind of like if you found out your mum got a tattoo, is it cool or embarrassing? Maybe that’s why most don’t know about her tattoo. Luckily this author’s judgment is absolutely inconsequential to Julia Roberts, so the lower back tattoo Roberts sports of her children and her husband’s initials is all good on this end if she likes it.
2. Jennifer Aniston
If Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are America’s Sweethearts, then Jennifer Aniston was, at least for a time, America’s trendsetter, especially when it came to haircuts. The world fell in love with Aniston when she played Rachel on the hit sitcom Friends for a decade, (though Leprechaun really is a classic), and followed her lead in fashion and hairstyles. One trend that didn’t catch on was Rachel-inspired tattoos, even though in one episode Aniston’s character goes out and gets a tattoo. Aniston must not have fit the image of a tattooed Hollywood starlet like former husband Brad Pitt’s current wife does, though Aniston has an edgier side too; she has a tattoo on her foot lovingly in memory of her pet, which gets plenty of respect here.
1. Winston Churchill
If the press goes abuzz over a 20-year-old tattoo on a potential Senatorial candidate nowadays, imagine if the President was tattooed. Gone are the days when the leader of a nation could not only sport ink but help guide his country and the world through the most devastating event in human history. Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War when he defiantly stood his ground against Hitler’s Germany and helped defeat Nazism, all with a tattoo of an anchor on his forearm. The tattoo only serves to bolster the legend of one of the world’s most famous political figures of all time.