Although at their core, they’re just like us, celebrities’ lives are constantly examined with a fine-tooth comb. Their looks especially become a talking point in tabloids, news articles, and interviews no matter what their gender. Any time they change their hairstyle, clothing and even get a new tattoo, their choices become instant trends as the world watches them eagerly. People want to emulate their favorite stars, but sometimes, they make some questionable choices in life that put them in the hot seat.
To a lesser degree, they might just get a seriously ugly tattoo done that leaves everyone going ‘WTF were they thinking?’ Some celebrities are more prone to this than others, but it seems no one is without a permanent mistake at one point or another. From Angelina Jolie to T-Pain and everyone in between, sometimes our favorite celebs have awful taste in ink. Here are fifteen absolutely horrendous celebrity tattoos that will have you scratching your head or laughing out loud.
15. Chris Brown’s battered woman neck tattoo
We all remember the horror that was Chris Brown and Rihanna’s abusive relationship back in 2009. After a pre-Grammy party, Chris assaulted Rihanna in his Lamborghini during a heated argument and left her on the sidewalk, battered and bruised. He received five years probation and six months of community service. It should have ended his career, but unfortunately, it didn’t; he’s released five albums since then.
Naturally, the world was shocked when he got a very disturbing-looking tattoo on his neck in 2012. The image appeared to be a battered Rihanna with a black eye and stitches in her lips. However, the singer completely denied the allegation and said it was based on a MAC cosmetics design with half a face decorated like a Mexican sugar skull. Even though his tattoo artist basically confirmed that it wasn’t, in fact, RiRi, it was still a tactless decision considering his past.
14. Kesha’s ‘suck it’ lip tat
Let’s be honest, Kesha has had a rough year. We all did, but we can’t just leave her off this list because we feel bad for her. Kesha is the queen of poorly done tattoos. Some were stick-and-poke ones done by herself, others just look like she drew them and demanded the artist put her drawing on exactly as she did it.
One of her worst tattoos has to be the one she got done in 2012. The “C’Mon” singer tattooed ‘Suck it!” on the inside of her lip. Soon after, she appeared on Conan where she showed it off for the comedian and his audience. “I was super zen,” she explained. “No, I was just kinda fed up with all the nasty little bloggers and I was like you know what—suck it.” After Conan stated that it must’ve really hurt she replied, “Yeah I wouldn’t do that again.” Amen to that, sister.
13. T-Pain’s Facebook tattoo
What is it with rappers and their crazy, ugly tattoos? First Gucci Mane and his wacky ice cream face tattoo and then T-Pain goes and gets a Facebook tattoo. The “Lemonade” rapper got his controversial piece of ink in 2011 while on vacation in Hawaii. “I get a tatt every time I come to Hawaii. I think this one’s pretty sweet, unless Facebook shuts down soon 0_o,” he tweeted soon after the piece was done.
The tattoo says ‘You don’t have to like me’ and features the Facebook thumbs up next to the word ‘like’ as it appears on the site. It’s all in black ink and appears on his arm next to an equally horrendous skull and a few other fading tattoos. If he likes Facebook that much, he should get an emoji next or perhaps one of the alternatives to liking a post. Either way, it’s pretty funny because the like symbol doesn’t even look like that anymore, so it’s already outdated.
12. Sinead O’Connor’s ‘BQ’ face tattoo
While mostly dropping out of the spotlight in the U.S., singer Sinead O’Connor still appears in the tabloids from time to time when she does something outrageous in the U.K. Throughout her nearly twenty-five year career, she’s been threatened by Frank Sinatra, refused to accept a Grammy, ripped up a photo of the pope and even became a priest herself. If that doesn’t speak volumes about her poor decision-making skills, we don’t know what does.
Naturally, her choice in tattoos is equally as horrible as her career highlights. In 2013, she appeared at the Bestival in England with a pair of red facial tattoos. The letters ‘B’ and ‘Q’ appeared on either side of her face, slightly obscured by sunglasses. As mysterious as ever, she explained on her website at the time that the tattoos referred to “Brendan Quinlan.. ‘It’s what it is’ .. Un ange passe.” Whatever that means.
11. Steve-O’s self-portrait back tattoo
Professional crazy person, Stephen Gilchrist Glover, better known as Steve-O, has some of the wackiest tattoos in the history of tattoos. He has a couple of penis related ones including a cartoon version with USA and red, white, and blue colors behind it along with another that reads “I have a small weiner” on his arm. Aside from those, his most horrendous tattoo has to be the giant one that fills his entire back.
In the ultimate display of comical tackiness, Steve-O got an autographed photo of himself tattooed onto his back. “We had a deliberate photo session to shoot it — just to make a dumb face. It was a toss up… a tough decision between a bunch of them,” he told Body Modification Ezine in 2003. “I say it all the time. ‘I have the Guinness Book of World Records largest self-portrait, I just haven’t called them yet.’ I haven’t talked to them, but I’m sure it’s the biggest.” No one will argue with you there, Steve-O.
10. Mena Suvari’s Rastafarian reggae tattoo
American Beauty actress Mena Suvari has one of the largest tattoos on this list. Her enormous black inked tattoo starts at the base of her skull and ends at her upper back, right between the shoulder blades. The tattoo features a giant lion’s head along with ‘word sound power’ underneath. In 2012, she also added the word ‘freedom’ on top of the lion after her divorce with second husband, Simone Sestito.
Although she doesn’t talk about it much, the tattoo signifies her love for reggae music. It’s taken from a Rastafarian viewpoint that then became the name of former Bob Marley & The Wailers musician Peter Tosh’s backup band. Basically, the sound of a word is a source of power. It’s an interesting concept, but the execution of the tattoo was poorly done. The size of the tattoo would have looked better on another, larger part of her body, or should have been drawn proportionately to her smaller features.
9. Nicole Richie’s virgin tattoo
Getting a tattoo while you’re in high school is never a good idea, but nevertheless, even celebrities can’t seem to resist the urge. Reality star and adopted daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie, has a few awful tattoos she regrets. The one she gets the most flack for happens to be in one of the most visible places on her body—her wrist.
“See this tattoo? It’s embarrassing and desperate,” she told the Daily Mail in 2014. “Now, I am a Virgo so when I was 16 I thought, ‘Ooh I’m going to be different and I’m going to put virgin, because the Virgin is the sign for Virgo.’” Obviously, the mother of two is no longer a virgin, so why doesn’t she just cover it up? “I’d add an ‘i’ and an ‘a’ and say I’m from Virginia, but I just don’t think people are going to believe me. So I’m just stuck,” she admitted. Hey, at least it doesn’t say ‘sl*t.’
8. Angelina Jolie’s latitude and longitude tattoos
For someone who used to wear a vial of her husband’s blood around her neck, tattoos are no big deal. Angelina Jolie has around twenty tattoos at current count and shows no sign of stopping. Although her most horrendous tattoo used to be Billy Bob’s name with a Chinese dragon underneath, she now has it covered up with another eyesore—a bunch of numbers.
To be more specific, the numbers are the latitudes and longitudes of all her adopted children’s birthplaces with an additional seventh line for Brad Pitt’s birthplace added in 2011. Sure the sentiment is sweet, but it just looks like a bunch of text stamped on her arm rather than a piece of art. What happened to people considering tattoos an art form and getting a piece done accordingly?
7. Brad Pitt’s tattoo of Angelina’s doodles
Although Angelina’s known more for her poor judgment in the selection of tattoos, it seems some of her reckless abandon rubbed off on Brad during the course of their relationship. A photo began circulating sometime in 2007 of Brad with his shirt pulled up slightly, revealing a bizarre collection of black lines drawn on his back. Many fans speculated that it might be referencing New Orleans’ levee system since the actors had a large mansion there for a while. Others thought it was just a crude drawing or that it might be for an upcoming film.
However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angelina came clean on the role she played in Brad’s ugly tattoo. “I drew that,” she admitted. “We went to Davos. It’s not that we were bored at the World Economic Forum, but one night, we didn’t have anything to do, so I was drawing on his back.” Sounds like boredom alright, but Angelina went on that “the picture everybody saw was kind of awkward, but it just lines up beautifully on his back, just enhances the part of the body I like.” We’ll just have to take her word for it.
6. Justin Bieber’s floating crown tattoo
Since the tender age of sixteen, Justin Bieber has been pretty rapidly covering his body in tattoos. Now twenty-two, The Biebs has over fifty-two tattoos with various meanings, many of them religious or of a mysterious nature. A couple of years ago, MTV even made an interactive map of his tattoos, which is surely out of date by now.
One of his smallest and earliest tattoos resides on the left side of his collarbone. A black inked crown hovers on his chest looking more like a ring version of the royal accessory than an actual one you’d wear on your head. Not much is known about this particular tattoo, but fans speculate it could be a tribute to the King of Pop, his idol, Michael Jackson. According to MTV’s interactive map, the crown was his 7th tattoo and the artist actually came to his home to ink it sometime in 2012.
5. Pink’s help button tattoo
Pink is well known for her collection of often questionable tattoos, but one of the most horrendous has to be the help ‘button’ she has on the inside of her left forearm. The crudely drawn text and poorly shaded button are quite an eyesore, looking more like it was scribbled on with pen than permanently etched into her skin.
The tattoo was done in 2006, around the time her album “I’m Not Dead” dropped. It came out of a supposed moment of clarity between her and fellow songwriter/producer, Butch Walker, while the two were jamming in the studio. “We got it done early in the studio that night,” explained Pink. “We had been drinking. Obviously.”
The pop star went on to say that she got the help button tattooed so she can “press it when thing aren’t going so well.” Unfortunately for her, life doesn’t quite work that way. “It hasn’t worked yet though, I gotta get it activated,” she exclaimed.
4. Ryan Gosling’s monster hand tattoo
Hey girl, Ryan Gosling may be swoon-worthy, but some of his tattoos are pretty damn awful. In a 2011 interview with the UK’s Metro site, Gosling described the few tattoos he had at the time. “One is supposed to be a monster’s hand dropping a bloody heart but I did it myself with a tattoo kit, so it looks like a cactus.” The tattoo appears on his forearm, just above his elbow, next to the initials, W.H.R.
Apparently, the hand is only one of many homemade tattoos Ryan did on himself. In 2007, The Guardian interviewed him about his career up to that point. The interviewer, noticing his tattoos, asked him if one was just a stamp from a club the night before. “A tattoo should never be meaningful,” he explained, “because at a certain point you’re going to hate it, and it might as well make you laugh.” Well, that’s one way of looking at it, but unfortunately, everyone else has to look at it, too.
3. Jessica Alba’s bow tramp stamp
From Amy Schumer to Christina Aguilera, a lot of female celebrities have gotten tattoos near their nether regions, specifically right over their butt cracks. Referred to affectionately as a “tramp stamp” for its strategic placement, they were especially trendy in the ’90s when tattoos were just starting to become very mainstream. Seeing as most of these actresses were teenagers during this time, it was especially popular as a first tattoo for teenage girls.
While appearing on The James Corden Show last year alongside fellow actor Ben Schwartz, Jessica Alba revealed she had a tattoo. “Yeah I have a tramp stamp,” she told Corden while discussing tattoos. “I was going through a breakup. It’s really bad.” After revealing it was a bow just above her butt crack, James and Ben proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday” and proclaim “It’s a gift,” much to Jessica’s embarrassment. At least Jessica got something cute, but the placement of the bow is undeniably tacky.
2. Blake Shelton’s hunting tattoo
Country music star and The Voice judge, Blake Shelton, doesn’t even like his own tattoo. In a 2009 article with country music site, The Boot, he was quoted as saying, “I probably have the crappiest tattoo—not only in country music—but maybe the world.” Blake got the tattoo one night when he was drunk and sketched it out himself. “I’m a country guy from Oklahoma and I thought ‘I’ll get some deer tracks going around my arm in a band of them,’” he told Oprah in a video interview.
Apparently, Blake was constantly teased by his friends about the tattoo, which they said resembled lady bugs. Even fans questioned him on the meaning of the tracks. “It doesn’t mean crap,” he explained on Oprah. “Later I got the barbed wire to try and distract from the sugar smacks or coffee beans that I ended up with.” Just another reason why you should never draw your own tattoo or get one while drinking.
1. Lady Gaga’s little monster claw tattoo
Ever the queen of shock and awe, Lady Gaga got this decidedly creepy tattoo back in 2014 as a tribute to her fans. Ever since her second album, The Fame Monster, her fans have taken to calling themselves “little monsters,” with their universal sign being a hand in the shape of a claw.
Inspired by the video for “Bad Romance,” The Monster Claw became immortalized on Gaga’s back with the help of tattoo artist, Eric Gonzalez, of Deer Eyes Studio in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Both Gonzalez and Gaga posted progress photos of the design from sketching it out to placing the template on her back and tattooing it on.
Despite the meaning behind the claw, many fans criticized the artwork and were not impressed by the tattoo. “Wow she has all this money…and doesn’t know how to pick a good tattoo artist,” commented Instagram user firerabbittt. “Damn that’s a terrible looking hand,” another user by the name of gburci724 commented. Regardless, she’s stuck with it forever now; #Monster4Life indeed.