Nice vs ugly celebrity tattoos

Ink or stink: The best and worst celebrity tattoos 

Photo: Getty Images

Many stars from the world of entertainment have chosen to decorate their bodies with an array of different tattoos. Some have managed to pull off the inked look; others…not so much.

Before last year’s Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio bet co-star Tom Hardy that he would receive a nomination for his role as the villainous John Fitzgerald in The Revenant.

Doubtful this would happen, Hardy accepted the bet and increased the stakes so that the loser would have to get a tattoo of the winner’s choice.

For better or for worse, Hardy was indeed nominated, leaving the British actor at DiCaprio’s mercy. And what does the tattoo look like? “He wrote in really sh*tty handwriting, ‘Leo knows everything’,” Hardy revealed in an interview with Esquire. Don’t worry though Tom, you’re far from alone as a contender in the ‘celebrity with the worst tattoo’ category.

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Mike Tyson

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Tattoos on the face are not exactly the smartest idea. No matter what you do – save for a balaclava – they cannot be hidden. Perhaps ex-heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson got hit a bit too often in the latter stages of his career. Either way, the tribal tattoo that adorns the left side of his face was a dubious choice. It is now so (in)famous that it was even given a key role in The Hangover 2.

Gucci Mane

Didn’t we just say that tattoos above the neck are not a good idea? Rapper Gucci Mane is another who chose not to listen and get, let’s say, an unusual motif on his cheek: a three-scoop ice cream cone with the word ‘Brrr’ on it. But to prove that cool is in the eye of the beholder, the ice cream motif has gone on to become somewhat iconic. According to Mane’s spokesperson Kali Bowyer, the image is “a reminder to fans of how he chooses to live his life. Cool as ice. As in ‘I’m so icy, I’ll make ya say Brr.’”

Mena Suvari

♥ NainA ♥ on Twitter

@ContestsInIndia @MumbaiSkin_Inks A2. Mena Suvari's Tattoo #TweetofLove

In American Beauty she turned Kevin Spacey’s head. But if he composed himself long enough to look at the back of her neck today, he might get a bit of a shock when he sees a fetchingly-whiskered lion – with the words ‘Word, Sound, Power’ written below – looking back at him. “Sexy Tattoo”. It doesn’t really matter what Spacey thinks though – Suvari’s tattoo-artist boyfriend probably loves it.

Jennifer Lawrence

© Youtube // HitFix

After the final instalment of the Hunger Games franchise wrapped, the Hollywood A-lister was more than up for joining co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson in getting a celebratory tattoo. “I was like, well, I’m always going to need to be hydrated, so I guess I should just get H20 on my hand” she explained. Unfortunately for Lawrence, she got the ‘2’ inked in the wrong spot – above the other characters, rather than below. So, scientifically, it translates as ‘Hydrogen-squared, Oxygen’. In other words, not the chemical equation for water. 

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Denny Horror on Twitter

cuando creo que el mundo apesta y que no queda esperanza pienso en el tattoo de Steve-O y se me pasa :)

What else can we say about the merits of getting a huge, autographed portrait of yourself tattooed on your back bearing the message “Yeah dude, I rock!”, other than: “Please, please don’t.” 


But: Of course there’s always a bright side: Some celebrity tattoos are definitely nice to look at.

Angelina Jolie

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On the face of it, dedicating a tattoo to your offspring might seem a little tacky. But when that tattoo was hand-etched onto your body by revered Thai tattoo artist Ajarn Noo Kanpai, the gesture suddenly gets a lot cooler. The Buddhist incantation that Jolie had Kanpai inscribe on her left shoulder blade is written in Khmer script, the language of Cambodia, and meant to offer protection to her and her Cambodian-born son Maddox. Applied in 2003, the actress and United Nations goodwill officer liked Kanpai’s handiwork so much she returned to Thailand a year later and got him to tattoo a 12-inch long, 8-inch wide Bengal tiger on her lower back.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

© Youtube // WWE

Dwayne Johnson chose to celebrate his Samoan heritage by having his family history tattooed on his magnificently-sculpted physique. A Samoan tribal tradition, the sleeve tattoo – that covers his left pectoral, shoulder and upper arm – represents three things: Johnson’s ancestors and family, the protection of that family and the projection of a strong warrior spirit. In terms of aesthetics, it is undoubtedly one of the attributes that helped the former pro-wrestler and current Hollywood superstar secure People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ award in 2016.

David Beckham

Like Dwayne Johnson, most of the markings on David Beckham’s body are dedicated to his family. However, amongst the collection there is one he may be a little less proud of. In 2000, all seemed lovely when Becks chose to get wife Victoria’s name written on his left forearm in Hindi. Unfortunately, whoever did the tattoo didn’t appear to be particularly well-versed in the language, and added in a superfluous ‘h’. Apparently Mrs. Beckham declined to a change name to ‘Vihctoria’ to compensate. He doesn’t seem to mind, and it still looks good with his other tattoos.

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12 2016 The Red Bulletin

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