Tattoos can be a double-edged sword. They may look cool and add something special in your youth but as time goes on, you may regret them. Age can change your body, so a tattoo looks worse and you can think twice about it. That goes double when you get a tattoo to mark your significant other…and that relationship ends up going south. It’s probably the biggest regret of them all and why a lot of folks try to avoid that sort of thing.
Celebrities are as prone to it as anyone else as the last several years have seen a rise in stars getting tattoos to mark their various achievements. The Dixie Chicks laugh over how they made a pact to get a tattoo on their feet for each number one single, not dreaming they’d have a dozen. Many stars have marked relationships or marriages with tattoos that are meant to show that great love off. Of course, when said relationship goes sour (as too many do in Hollywood) then they’re left with a bad reminder they have to either erase or rework somehow.
There are a lot of examples but some shine more than others and here are 15 celebrities who serve as a reminder of the risks of inking yourself for something that may go bad down the road.
15. Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson came to fame by showing off every inch of her body in Playboy to boost her to fame via Baywatch. Her relationship with rocker Tommy Lee had her adding ink including his name “Tommy.” When their marriage ended (then restarted then ended again), Anderson had it changed to “Mommy” instead. More notably is that for years, Anderson boasted the image of a wire across her right arm from her 1996 movie flop Barb Wire. In 2014, Anderson finally got around to having it removed, thinking it was time to let go of her past. She still looks damn hot but perhaps for the best a lady famous for showing her skin doesn’t have it marked so much.
14. Heather Locklear
As a veteran of many a relationship over the years, it’s no surprise Locklear has gotten herself inked over time. She got a tattoo of “Richie” to note her long-time relationship with Bon Jovi star Richie Sambora. When that ended, Locklear had the tattoo changed to a rose. Later, when she began her rather bizarre relationship with David Spade (as odd a pairing as you can imagine), she added “Finch” to the rose, apparently a nod to his Just Shoot Me character. With that done, the name has been removed. Today, Locklear appears still hot but not adding more ink to a body most agree doesn’t need to be highlighted any more.
13. 50 Cent
The rapper has been famous for escaping a rough gang life, including being shot, to become a major rap star. His street fashion and attitude are well known, especially his torso covered with ink and has added to his “gangsta” appeal. In 2010, he made headlines by undergoing treatments to remove much of his ink from his arms. 50 Cent explained that he was trying his hand at acting and felt the tattoos were too much of a hassle, not just in keeping him from some roles but also having to have them covered up constantly on set. He has kept the large back tattoos that he has pride in but shows how he’s become enough of a success to leave much of his rough “street past” behind while still remembering his roots.
12. Megan Fox
From her breakout, Megan Fox was compared to Angelina Jolie for her looks, body and an affinity for tattoos and acting out wildly. They include symbols on her wrists and writing on her right shoulder and left ribcage, inspiration messages for herself. However, the tattoo she chose to remove had nothing to do with a bad relationship. For some time, Fox boasted a large image of Marilyn Monroe on her right arm that she picked for the woman’s beauty. But in 2013, Fox had the image laser-removed, explaining that she didn’t feel having the likeness of a woman known as an addict and bipolar mess was sending the right message. She’s softened a bit with her marriage and motherhood, but it’s still notable how Fox has her own attitude to add to her sex appeal.
11. Denise Richards
The marriage of Denise Richards to Martin Sheen seemed to indicate Sheen was entering a new period of his life as a more stable family man. That, of course, would end very badly as their divorce in 2008 kickstarted Sheen’s incredible self-destruction that’s become tabloid fodder ever since. During their marriage, each got tattoos of the other’s name, Richards having “Charlie” tattooed on her left ankle. With the marriage over, she’s changed it to a winged creature, a sign of how “freed” she’s become and when you see how insane Sheen has gotten, it’s hard not to agree that Richards avoided a serious fall.
10. Johnny Depp
One of the more famous examples of tattoo change for a celebrity. Back in the early 1990s, Depp wasn’t a box office name yet, still regarded as a quirky actor for lesser known roles when he began a relationship with actress Winona Ryder. It promised some serious stuff as Depp got a large tattoo on his shoulder of “Winona Forever.” When they broke up in 1993, Depp changed it to simply “Wino Forever.” He’s added more ink since, including a tattoo on her shoulder of wife Amber Heard and “Slim” on his knuckles. Recently, with Heard filing for divorce and accusing Depp of beating her, Depp changed the face tattoo to a large ink splot and has been spotted on the red carpet with the knuckles changed to “Scum.” Looks like breaking up really is hard to do with Depp.
Besides her fantastic voice and great body, the singer is well known for plenty of tattoos on her body, from a Pisces sign behind her ear to a Sanskrit prayer down her hip to the “Shhh” on her finger. So it takes a lot for her to cover something up but it happened when she had a design on her right hand intended to pay tribute to the Maori culture changed. The artist believed it reminded Rihanna too much of her infamous ex Chris Brown and the new style used a Henna pattern to be more in tune to the culture and standing out more. It was painful but it somehow fits for a woman with great flair and the care she shows in her appearance.
8. Kat Von D
The tattoo artist became a star in her own right with her own TV show and chain of parlors, showing her extensive ink and little shame in flaunting it. In 2010, she became a tabloid favorite with the revelation she was sleeping with Sandra Bullock’s then-husband Jesse James and embarked on a two-year relationship that involved multiple engagements and breakups. During it, Kat got a tattoo of James on her ribcage, a rather freaky drawing of the guy that looked borderline serial killer. When the two finally broke up, Kat went through a painful laser removal process, posting it all for her followers to catch and says a lot a woman who boasts so much ink on her body would want this gone fast.
7. Heidi Klum
The supermodel/TV host has been known for her tall and gorgeous looks with lush blonde hair and naturally prefers not to mark her skin much. She changed that in 2004 when she married rocker Seal and in 2008, had a wave representing his name tattooed on her right arm with some stars following it, one for each of their children. The duo divorced in 2012 and Klum had the tattoo erasing Seal’s name, keeping the stars but having the “name wave” wiped away. Klum stays on good terms with her ex but not surprising she wouldn’t want that name blemishing her otherwise flawless skin.
6. Christina Aguilera
The signing star has several tattoos to mark important parts of her life from the “Xtina” on her neck to a Hebrew psalm on her lower back. When she married Jordan Bateman in 2005, Aguilera tried to get his initials tattooed on her wrist but it was misspelled so she shifted it to his initials in Hebrew instead. The two divorced in 2011 and within a few years, Xtina had erased those initials from the wrist. She has a lot to remember but apparently Aguilera doesn’t want a permanent reminder of this part of her life as she moves on to success.
5. Kaley Cuoco
The star of The Big Bang Theory has been known for her nice humor and gorgeous looks that’s helped that show become a hit. When she married Ryan Sweeting in 2013, Cuoco had their wedding date inked onto her upper back. The marriage ended in 2015 amid reports of him cheating and Cuoco took to Instagram to show the tattoo being changed to a moth design. Her message was “do not mark your body with any future wedding dates,” advice that many a star should take to heart.
4. Nick Cannon
The marriage of Cannon and Mariah Carey was fodder for plenty of jokes on their age difference but they seemed a good couple. Yet it still pushed it a bit when Cannon had “MARIAH” tattooed onto her upper shoulders in a wild font. After years as seemingly happy couple, the two announced they had separated in 2014 and formerly filing for divorce in 2015. Cannon took a unique way to cover the name up: He got a massive tattoo across his entire back with a wild design pattern with a huge cross amid other items. He’s still popular as a music star but Cannon showed that being “Wild n Out” with his body didn’t always work well.
3. Adrienne Bailon
There are tattoo regrets…and there is this. The Disney starlet broke out with her great singing and dancing styles in The Cheetah Girls and other projects before she hooked up with Rob Kardashian. Their relationship expanded to the point where Bailon had Rob’s name tattooed on her rear end. Thus, when it ended, Bailon had a major regret and when she finally got enough money (and courage), she had the whole thing laser removed. Bailon even went so far as to have the removal process filmed for her TV show The Real to be an example to other women that trying to put a bad relationship behind you can be trickier when you’ve marked your behind.
2. Eva Longoria
Many a gal regrets a bad marriage but Eva Longoria has to do it more than others. When she married basketball star Tony Parker, Longoria got not one but three tattoos of her new hubby on her body: A giant “nine” on the back of her neck (Parker’s number with the San Antonio Spurs), a small “07-07-07” on her wrist (their wedding date) and his initials on a spot on her body she preferred not to mention. The couple divorced in 2010 amid reports of Parker cheating on Longoria but she waited two years before finally getting the markers removed (presumably that includes the private one). Longoria keeps a star on the other wrist and a Celtic cross on her back but is no doubt happier to erase what memories are left of a marriage that ended so badly.
1. Angelina Jolie
While she’s regarded well today as a director and a humanitarian, Angelina Jolie still retains the edge from her breakout as a bit of a wild child. She got attention for her incredibly sexual presence, her willingness to flash her body in movies and some notable tattoos. Indeed, a major bit for Jolie’s roles has been to cover up her ink for her roles (especially those where she shows off skin). During her wild marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie had his name tattooed on her left forearm with a dragon image. The two divorced in 2003 and Jolie had the tattoo removed and replaced by one listing the birthplaces of her adoptive children. Jolie has changed her image, so no surprise she lets go of a rough part of her past even as she remains famous for her looks.