45 Celebrity Tattoos and Exactly What They Mean

There's always a story when it comes to ink.

Tattoos are a big part of today's culture, and stars are not exempt. From hidden script to highly visible art, take a peek at some of Hollywood's ink—and what it all means.

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@parisjackson
Paris Jackson and Macaulay Culkin

Apparently, Paris' friendship with her godfather has reached the matching-tattoo stage. They chose spoons because they represent an inside joke the two share. 

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Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus posted an Instagram of her new tattoo and explained its meaning in the caption: "Vegan for life! đź’š."

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Kylie Jenner

Subtle, Kylie. The youngest Jenner communicated to the world that she and Tyga are officially over by transforming her "T" tattoo into the letters "LA," which we can only imagine is a tribute to her beloved hometown. Just in case you aren't completely convinced that Kylie has moved on, check out her other ankle, which sports a butterfly tattoo identical to Travis Scott's (keep clicking to see for yourself). 

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Instagram
Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber got a new tattoo on his leg that says "Better At 70." He explained the ink's meaning in an Instagram caption. "I look back at a lot of things in my life, mistakes, insecurities, and although I have felt I've wasted a lot of time it also makes me want to be better faster! For me personally I want to work everyday to be BETTER AT 70," he wrote.

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Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott took to Snapchat to showcase a major relationship milestone: matching tattoos. According to Us Weekly, the butterfly tattoo could possibly be linked to Scott's single, "Butterfly Effect," which many believe is about Kylie. We can safely say (in the words of Scott) that this is proof that their relationship is, "heatin' up." 

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Ariana Grande

According to the SunGrande and members of her Dangerous Woman tour were tattooed with bees backstage at the Manchester One Love show Sunday. A symbol of the city's industrial heritage, the insect refers to Manchester's textile mills in the 1800s, described as "hives of activity." Citizens have been lining up for bee tattoos after the May 22 bombing. 

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Instagram
Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus got a new tattoo this week at the Shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles. Tattoo artist Dr. Woo shared a picture of the ink, a portrait of her Shetland sheepdog, Emu, on Instagram. "Placed a young Emu on his mom @mileycyrus," he captioned the picture. 

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Snapchat
Demi Lovato

After attending the Time 100 gala Tuesday, she had a massive lion's head inked onto her left hand. Maybe it was a tribute to the essay Ariana Huffington wrote, in which she praised Lovato's "courage, honesty, and willingness to use her own experiences to help others?" Hmm.

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Instagram
Justin Bieber

With backlit armpit hair and all, the Biebs introduced the world to his new bear chest tat and the huge eagle on his abdomen via Instagram story. 

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Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus's latest tattoo is a tribute to her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. He loves the ink and posted it with pride on Twitter. 

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Instagram
Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga kicked off Grammy night by getting a giant tattoo of a moth with a skull for a face. The caption? "The Moth & Metallica." (Note: she's playing with Metallica, so this makes total sense. Sort of.)

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Zayn Malik

He might have gone to the same artist as her sister Bella, but Malik's new tattoo, a cursive "Love" across his right hand, can only be a testament to Gigi Hadid. 

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Instagram
Kesha

"Psychedelic whales are slowly covering my entire body...," the singer captioned a photo of her new ink. She's already got a friendly narwhal tattoo, so it's only a matter of time before her menagerie of sea creatures expands again.

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Instagram
Sofia Richie

Another celebrity jumps on the small-script bandwagon, this time three in one go: "L" on her ankle for her father Lionel, "MBR" on her finger for her brother Miles Brockman Richie, and "Clarity" on her neck

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Instagram
Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner shows us that she and Tyga are still going strong after recently debuting a small tattoo with the letter "t" on her ankle. 

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Snapchat
Lady Gaga

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of  the creative team who helped create Lady Gaga's avant-garde style, Haus of Gaga, Mother Monster took to Snapchat to reveal a new tattoo. Dedicated to the special group of artists, the tattoo reads "Haus" on the back of her arm. This makes it the 20th tattoo that Gaga has added to her collection.

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Halsey

Singer Halsey broke down the meanings of all of her many ink etchings to iHeart Radio, where she explained that she chose the upside down horseshoe on her right arm despite the fact that's it's supposedly bad luck. "I got an upside down horseshoe to signify that I don't need luck. I work really, really hard, and I believe in the stars aligning, but I don't believe that anything happens to anyone based out of sheer luck. I believe people work really hard, and they manifest what they want, and what they need, and what they're hopeful for, and that's what this is—a reminder."

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Evan Rachel Wood

The Westworld actress drew inspiration from Pink Floyd's song "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" for her swooping back tattoo that reads, "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." She noted toEsquire that the song has great significance for her and will play at her funeral one day.

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Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan told Vulture that she believes the teeny tattoo of the seagull on her wrist helped her nab a role in the Steve McQueen flick Shame. During the audition process, she mentioned that she was mulling over the idea of a seagull tattoo as a reminder of the character Nina, who she played in a stage performance of The Seagull.

She told him, "There's this brilliant thing Nina says in Act Four when she comes back and she's completely f*cked up—she's had a child with this writer and she's lost the baby and she's lived in abject poverty, and she comes back and she's fraught but she's got this clarity." McQueen was a big fan of the idea, and she ended up getting both the tattoo and the role.

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Lily Collins

Lily Collins is all about the ethereal for her tattoo designs (she has a tattoo of a moonlit fairy under her left breast and an elegant back tattoo that reads "Love Always and Forever"), and the one on her foot is no exception. She told the Daily Mail UK, "The one on my foot is a rose with the words, 'The nature of this flower is to bloom.' There's a single petal falling off to symbolize that I may look delicate, but I'm as strong as a rose," she says. "I had it done after I finished shooting my film, Love, Rosie."

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Kelly Osbourne

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, longtime LGBT supporter Kelly Osbourne got the word "Solidarity" inked on the side of her head (ouch) in solidarity with the LGBT community and all those who lost their lives that day. On Instagram she wrote, "Solidarity: 'Noun. Unity of feeling of individuals with a common interest or purpose.' Individually, we have rights and unique gifts. Together, we have strength and powerful harmony. I have wanted to get this tattoo for a long time. The tragedy in Orlando devastated me and reminded me that every moment of our lives is precious..."

This isn't exactly the only scalp tattoo she's gotten either, as Osbourne has the word "Stories" etched on the other side of her head to match.

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Lady Gaga

The ink-friendly singer commemorated her epic collaboration with Tony Bennett with a beautiful black-and-white trumpet on the inside of her left bicep (designed by Bennett himself!).

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Lady Gaga

And yet another, an etching of one of her idols David Bowie (you saw her full-on Grammy's tribute to Bowie, right?) on her left rib is a tribute to the Thin White Duke in his Ziggy Stardust days.

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Megan Fox

The Transformers star has been inked and de-inked a couple times before (she got rid of her Marilyn Monroe tattoo to avoid "attracting negative energy") but the most prominent is the script on her back that adapts a line from Shakespeare's King Lear. It reads, "We will all laugh at gilded butterflies" and she has been quoted saying that it's a reminder "to not get too caught up in Hollywood because people will end up laughing at you."

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Twitter
Justin Bieber

Not shy about showing off some ink, Justin Bieber revealed another tattoo during his tour stop in Bologna, Italy. The placement this time? Sprawling text on his chest saying "Son of God." This is actually one of a few tattoos that refers to his Christian faith—he also has a cross on his stomach and a portrait of Jesus on his leg.

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Jessica Alba

On The Late Show, Jessica Alba revealed to host Stephen Colbert she named her small wrist tattoo "My First Breakup." The Honest Company CEO said, "It's lotus in Sanskrit. It means the manifestation of spiritual beauty." Alba nonchalantly mentioned she got the ink after breaking up with a "famous actor"—who may or may not be NCIS star Michael Weatherly—and finding herself again.

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Snapchat
Demi Lovato

Demi continues to add ink to her ever-growing collection, this time sharing the news via Snapchat. The singer posted videos while under the needle and later revealed two large roses underneath an older tattoo reading "Stay". Her snapchat videos appeared to show her getting a back tattoo as well, but Demi has yet to show it off.

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Instagram
Ruby Rose

The actress added to her myriad of tattoos with a set of Pantone color swatches. "Guys Home Depot is trying to save paper...So now you can order me and I will stand facing your wall until you pick the color you like," she wrote on Instagram. "I'll even stand facing the wall as you have breakfast and as you're watching tv at night so you can see the colors at different times. Offer limited. Conditions apply. *this is a completely false ad."

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Instagram
Demi Lovato

The 23-year-old singer just added another tattoo to her pretty extensive collection—a smiley face on her pinky finger. "Cause life's too short not to tattoo your pinky," she wrote on Instagram.

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Kylie Jenner

After initially keeping fans in the dark about its meaning, Kylie has finally shared the story behind the red ink on her arm. She captioned an Instagram snap: "Grandmother's name in my grandfather's handwriting." The cursive script reads "Mary Jo."

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