Tattoos have various meaning to the people who chose to adorn their body in permanent ink. Tattoos can be cultural, they can signify deep meaning with a certain group or collective. They can also be used to express individualism and using your body as a canvas to show the world your unique ideas. Tattoos have a long history in tribal cultures. Warriors would tattoo large portions of their body to appear more threatening and imposing to other armies. People today can still be seen sporting tats that have tribal meaning and represent a warrior aesthetic.
Celebrities are no different in their desire to express themselves through body art. Sometimes, their egos and desire to show themselves off go a little haywire and the results become the stuff of tabloid gossip. Celebs know that getting inked might enhance their image as rebellious. It’s no wonder why the once squeaky clean stars like Justin Bieber and Harry Styles are now heavily tatted. In these cases, it seems to be a way of breaking away from their more innocent pasts. Here are some examples of celebrity tattoos that have turned heads and left people puzzled at their possible meanings.
The hip-hop star Eve has two paws on her chest. She has shown them off in every rap video she has been a part of. In an interview with MTV she once said, “It's just funny, 'cause I got with the Ruff Ryders and they call themselves dogs and I call myself the bitch of the litter. And it just stuck, like the paws were supposed to be there.”
17 Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson’s face tattoo would be bizarre if it were anyone but iron Mike Tyson himself. The tattoo has a life of its own and has been referenced numerous times in pop culture and in big budget Hollywood movies. In The Hangover Part 2 one of the main characters gets the same exact tattoo on his face when traveling through Thailand. Mike Tyson was featured in the first 2 Hangover films.
16 Jamie Foxx
When Jamie Foxx has a completely shaved head there’s a sort of barbed wire design that can be seen on the back. The academy award winner has many tattoos but this is the one that has raised the most eyebrows. He apparently got it on his 40th birthday. We’ll let history decide if this one was a good choice or not.
15 Fred Durst
The Limp Bizkit singer is heavily tatted, but one specific tattoo is stranger than all of his other ones. He is a massive fan of both Elvis Pressly and Kurt Cobain, and decided to show his love by pairing them both together over top of his heart. His memento to these fallen geniuses has gotten Durst some backlash from fans who resent their idols being put on his chest. Get over it people! you’re allowed to ink your body with whatever you want.
14 Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt has an odd tattoo on his lower back. At first glance it just looks like a series of lines and doodles with no context, and that’s exactly what it is! The story goes that Brad Pitt’s equally famous lady Angelina Jolie scribbled the design on his back, as any loving couple would do. Brad Pitt then chose to trace over the scribbles in permanent ink. That’s quite the romantic gesture if true. But any man dating the lovely Jolie would be wise to do the same.
A bar code? Seriously? Is it meant to be some sort of ironic gesture? Pink wears her hair up most of the time so the design is easy to see. There’s a specific number under the bar code like you would see in any grocery store item or random purchase. Fans have speculated that their might be a hidden meaning in the numbers.
12 Steve O
Only the insane Steve-O of Jackass fame could possibly conceive of getting a tattoo of his own crazy self, covering almost the entirety of his back. The notorious stuntman and downright unbalanced personality did this to himself while presumably under the influence. He is in recovery from his various addictions and one can hope that this might lead him into making better decisions from here on out.
11 Russell Brand
The British comedian extraordinaire Russell Brand is heavily tattooed and shows them off quite regularly with his revealing attire. He says his tattoos represent different beliefs from various spiritual ideas. He even got matching tattoos with his then wife Katy Perry to symbolize their (hopefully) everlasting bond. Who know’s if either of them might take a trip to the tattoo removal parlor for that one.
10 Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried has the word “Minge” tattooed across her foot. Minge has various meanings depending on the context, and most of the time it is of the unappealing variety. But maybe Ms. Seyfried has her reasons. Either way, this Hollywood stunner looks great and should continue to wear sandals and show off her peculiar ink.
9 Audrina Partridge
This is a strange one as far as celebrity tattoos go. Is it an apple with a snake going 'round it? Is it a heart with a globe running through it? What it is exactly, only Audrina could tell you. This reality TV star has a lot of explaining to do on multiple subjects.
8 Chris Brown
What was Chris Brown thinking when he got a tattoo of what appears to be a woman with a beaten face? Nobody knows…The rapper who infamously had a domestic dispute with his then girlfriend Rihanna, now sports a neck tattoo of something that looks troublingly similar to that incident. The heavily tatted Brown has many puzzling additions to his body art, but this one takes the cake for shock value and the “what the hell were you thinking” award.
7 Christina Ricci
The tiny actress from Adam’s Family fame has several tattoos on her body. This one might be hard to make out, but apparently it is the Lion Aslan from the classic kid’s book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. She must be a super fan of the book to put the lion on her shoulder and make this one her most visible tattoo.
6 Brock Lesnar
One of the fiercest competitors in the UFC, Brock Lesnar has a reputation for being super aggressive and downright scary. So it’s probably little shock that he would get such an imposing and frightening looking tattoo. The sword starts at his stomach and points up towards his neck. Lesnar had recently left the UFC. Who knows who he's intimidating now with his aggressive body art, but this man is meant for being scary and fighting.
5 Gucci Mane
Of all the face tattoos that rappers get, from teardrops to names of family members, a colored ice cream cone has to take the cake for the most strange and downright ridiculous. Ice cream cone covering most of your face? Who knows what it’s supposed to represent but it sure is provocative and courageous to have that on your face forever.
4 Cara Delevingne
The young Supermodel Cara Delevingne got a tattoo of a lion on her finger to represent…? No one but her closest friends and family probably know the reason behind the strangely placed tat, but there must be something behind having the king of the jungle put on your index finger forever. Delevingne has been linked to singer Harry Styles and Jake Bugg.
3 Ryan Gosling
We’re not really sure what this one is supposed to represent. It looks like a hybrid between some sort of plant or hand. Here’s what the man himself had to say about the tattoo. "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". Gosling is a man of many talents including acting and now directing, but maybe he should leave the tattooing to the professionals.
2 Harry Styles
The One Direction crooner Harry Styles has seen his body go through a heavy dose of ink since his early days in the boy band. Styles, who has dated Taylor Swift and Cara Delevingne might be trying to amp up his bad boy image a la Justin Bieber. If he keeps going with his tattoos, his whole body will be decorated pretty soon.
Kesha might have the most hidden tattoo on this list but also the most painful! She revealed her "suck it" tattoo on her lower lip and people were curious to know the reason for it. The controversial singer has gone in and out of rehab and to question the motives of the "Tik Tok" singer would probably go unsubstantiated. One hopes that she at least had a hand to hold while getting this piece of ink.