When Lady Gaga made her debut with the album ‘The Fame’ in 2008, she shocked the whole music scene. Her extravagant outfits, daring dance moves and somewhat strange video clips left no one untouched. In no time, she became very popular and her songs topped the charts. Today, she lets the music speak more for itself: a jazz album with Tony Bennett, a Sound of Music medley at the Oscars... no one can deny she has talent now.
Lady Gaga likes to experiment: with music, her hair and clothing and with tattoos. She already had her first tattoo on her seventeenth, and she has added 18 since. However, she has only had tattoos on the left side of her body (except for one!). This is because her father once asked her to at least keep half of her body ‘fairly normal’. She now views her right side as Marilyn Monroe and her left as Iggy Pop.
Below we have put together a summary of her main tattoos and their meanings.
Love for music
On the inside of her left wrist, she had a peace sign tattooed in honour of John Lennon, of whom she is a big fan. She also grew up near the ‘Imagine’ commemoration memorial in New York. The peace sign is reversed to those looking at it. It is in the right direction for her, so she is reminded of the important things in life.
She had the tattoo done in Japan, where she also had ‘Tokyo Love’ tattooed. That last tattoo is a reference to her collaboration with the Japanese photographer Araki, who made those photos of her with an SM undertone. Not only Gaga, but her entire styling and design team, had the same tattoo done.
Her love for her fans also follows on from her love for music; she calls them ‘Little Monsters’. She also had a tattoo done for them after she won two Grammys in 2010: ‘Best Dance’ and ‘Best electronic dance album’. She added another fan tattoo in 2012.
The RIO tattoo refers to the signature of three of her fans from different backgrounds and age. With this she wanted to show that music brings everyone together.
Some of her albums have been immortalized on her body too. The ‘Born this way’ album is symbolized by a unicorn. The song of the same name is an ode to ‘being different’. The unicorn is a reflection of that.
We see traces of the ‘Artpop’ album that was released in 2013. Lady Gaga has stated herself that she is constantly balancing between art and pop culture.
This was quickly followed by a tattoo that symbolizes her fight against sexual abuse. At the 2016 Oscars she sang the song ‘Till it happens to you’, to highlight the issue, and she was accompanied on stage with around twenty victims of sexual abuse. They all had the same tattoo done.
Although she was initially very proud of her first tattoo, the treble clef, she did cover up the tattoo in 2008 by renowned tattoo artist Kat Von D. Kat Von D. then designed a rose tattoo on the left side of her lower back, which just stops just at the treble clef.
There is another floral tattoo on her left shoulder: three interwoven daisies.
Even if daddy Gaga was probably not that happy with the trumpet tattoo, which his daughter had inked on the right side of her body, he was incredibly proud of the tattoo that his daughter had done for him after a serious heart surgery.
Her sister Natali was also immortalized in the shape of a mouse, which was her nickname as a child. The mouse holds a needle and thread, a reference to fashion design; the passion of Gaga's sister.
At the launch of her own perfume in 2012, Gaga had an angel tattooed on the back of her head. It was quite a spectacle, in which she and the tattoo artist did the whole thing in a large perfume bottle. She had to cut a triangle out of her hair for this. Now, since her hair has grown back, the tattoo has become invisible.
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- Categories: Celebrity tattoo