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Lady Gaga’s Tattoos & Meanings

Lady Gaga always draws attention with something new and eccentric in her appearance, that’s one sure thing.

She keeps on changing clothes, haircuts, makeup and attitude, but one thing stays the same: the tattoos on her body. Yeah, her thirteen tattoos are permanent and will stay in the same place on her body forever, so let’s explore them for a while and see what the ideas behind the designs were.

First of all, a very interesting fact that you might have missed is that all Lady Gaga’s tattoos are placed on the left side, her right part of the body being left pristine. The reason for that was a commentary made by her father when she started to tattoo herself and was planning to get a tattoo on her right hand, him saying that it would be good if she kept the crazy aspect of her personality on her left side only. She liked the idea, so she kept her right half free of tattoos.

Let’s see now what she’s got on the left.

The Treble Clef

Let’s start with her first tattoo, the treble clef on her lower back which has been now integrated into a tattoo of roses. She was quite young when she decided to get this tattoo, 17 years old, and she did it helped by a fake ID because being underage, she couldn’t get a legal tattoo. The treble clef is a symbol for her love for music. Presently, her huge rose tattoo integrated the clef in its design, but didn’t cover it. This first tattoo came as quite a shock for Gaga’s parents, as they keep a real close relationship with their daughter, but she kept getting more tattoos and her parents accepted the idea in time.

Rose Tattoo

The rose tattoo we told you she got as a cover-up of the treble clef was performed by artist Kat Von D in 2008, and the process appeared on the show LA Ink. As Gaga wasn’t very happy about her adolescence “tramp stamp” treble clef tattoo, she got this roses tattoo to disguise it, but it became something really big, as the designs extends to her left side of the back on a large surface. She admitted she loves the tattoo and the curved and feminine lines inked by Kat Von D.

Peace Sign Tattoo

Another tattoo that dates back to Gaga’s younger years is the peace sign she bears on her left wrist, which is a tribute do John Lennon. She says that the songwriter and activist was a large influence for her, as she grew up just two blocks away from the place where he was killed, from the Imagine memorial. Also, she is a fan of Beatles and Yoko Ono so her peace sign brings homage to all of them. The sign is tattooed inwards so that she can see it the right way up and remember about the really important things that matter in this world.

“Tokyo Love” Tattoo

Lady Gaga’s body stands as evidence for the most intense experiences she lived throughout her life, and many of her tattoos are made with that idea. Her “Tokyo Love” tattoo on her left shoulder is a reminder of the experience she had in Japan in August 2009, with the famous photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. She and some members of her team of stylists and designers got this tattoo with the signature that Araki left on the back of the polaroids from a bondage photo shooting that meant a lot for Gaga.

Three Daisies Tattoo

Next to this Tokyo Love Tattoo Gaga has an older tattoo of three daisies which doesn’t mean anything in particular, it only expresses her love for these flowers.
Her left shoulder is also a host for a tattoo that stands as a tribute to Gaga’s father, a heart with “dad” written inside it. She got this tattoo after her father passed through an open-heart surgery and survived. It seems that his heart condition had been going on for quite a while and Gaga was afraid for his state, so she wrote a song and got a tattoo to show her love and support.

German Quote Tattoo

Another tattoo that she got in Japan is a German quote from her favorite author, Rainer Maria Rilke, located on the interior of her left arm. Here is what the tattoo says, translated in English: “Confess to yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep into your heart, where the answer spreads its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly, Must I write?” and she got it as a reminder of her purpose in life: to write songs.

“Little Monsters” Tattoo

Next to her German quote, there is another tattoo that says “Little Monsters”, the official name of Lady Gaga’s fanbase. The singer has a great appreciation for her fans and attributes her success to them, so she got this tattoo in their honor after winning two Grammy awards in 2010.

Unicorn Tattoo

“Born This Way” is the title of Gaga’s second album and also the inscription on her Unicorn tattoo, located on the left upper leg. The unicorn is a symbol for distinction and uniqueness, things she promotes on her album. The song that gives the title of the album is dedicated to the gay community, which Gaga supports, so this tattoo reminds fans of this aspect also.

“Artpop” Tattoo

Her third album, “Artpop”, also has a tattoo dedicated on Lady Gaga’s arm. It has no special meaning, it’s just an inscription with the word “artpop” in capitals, showing how much each album means to the singer.

The tattoo count doesn’t stop yet, Gaga showing to her fans a classical anchor tattoo on her ribcage in September 2012. The tattoo was done at the Tattoo Museum in Amsterdam and symbolizes stability.

Cherub Tattoo

Soon after this tattoo, a new one appeared on a strange location from Gaga’s body, a cherub on the back of her shaved head. The inking process happened live during the launch of Gaga’s fragrance, at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum while she was wearing only lingerie.

“Rio” Tattoo

Finally, the latest ink art that the controversial artist got on the side of her neck is a tattoo that says “Rio”, the “i” being made of a cross. It was made in Rio de Janeiro and dedicated to her fans in this city, the font of the tattoo being inspired by signatures of three fans coming from different neighborhoods of Rio.

Well, that’s it. These were Gaga’s thirteen tattoos and the reasons why she inked them on her body. We are sure that she will continue improving her collection, so keep a close eye on her and the media!

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