Why do celebrities get tattoos? There are many ways to view the set of tattoos on celebrities but I choose to partition them into two categories to help with our analysis: 1) tattoos inked prior to gaining celebrity; 2) tattoos needled on once celebrity is attained.
For the first category – those tattoos that the celebrity got before they were famous we simply have to ask the question of why people get tattoos in general. Tattoos are a form of expression – they can make a statement either directly about the person with the tattoo or comment on an issue of concern to the person who gets the tattoo. Examples of the first type are a tattoo of a lover’s name, the common tattoo of the marine corps, or of various motorcycle clubs or gangs – these signify membership or express strong feelings about an individual or an organization – they enhance the sense of belonging. Putting my girl’s name on my chest tells everyone who my babe is and expresses a form of ownership and devotion… at the time anyway! The second type says something about how the tattooed feels – “live free or die,” or a tattoo of a marijuana plant, or ”America Love it or Leave it’ all express opinions that let the viewer know something about how the wearer wishes to be seen.
Then there are tattoos that people get that they think look beautiful or intriguing – this is body art and aficionados often get progressively covered at great expense with all kinds of beautiful or scary looking illustrations. This definitely says something about the tattooed individual but I am not sure exactly what! They apparently think that plain skin is like an empty canvas – it needs to be painted. Tattooed people generally think that they are sexier for their tattoos.
So having looked at a brief survey of why ‘normal’ people get tattoos we are left with why celebrities get tattoos once they are famous. Guess what – same reasons! Celebrities are people with fame – that is it. Probably there are less celebs getting the standard tattoo of criminal gangs but I can’t be sure. One never know what’s in fashion these days.
Now the problems with tattoos – well they are permanent! Of course there are also infections and pain and healing to deal with but let’s forget the medical side. Tattoos can sometimes be removed or faded but this is never easy and can wind up looking like a big mess. Today we are in love with Rosie so we get a big tattoo of her name or pic – maybe in a private place! Now its 20 years (or 20 weeks) later and we found out Rosie was really gay and we no longer even know where she lives. Oh well – too bad, so sad. Or we got that big marijuana plant tattooed on our left bicep when we were 19 – oh yeah that was sooo cool. Now we are 50 and trying to convince our children not too abuse drugs… .
Bottom line is that tastes change – they change often and they change to a great degree in most people over time. Tattoos don’t change – they fade, they can get distorted with skin stretching but they won’t change to fit the changes in tastes, relationships, and ideas that you have.
So many celebs have screwed up with tattoos they probably wish they had never had done. Check out these.
Image credit to WENN.com