A new age is upon us and it’s a permanent one. While cultures around the world have endorsed the use of the female body as a canvas for centuries, only in the last decade has Hollywood begun to see a very literal unveiling of both new and old ink.
Celebrity female tattoos continue to make their premier on the ankles and inner-arms of the red carpet today. But, if mainstream media culture is ready to see skin, why are so few of these tattoos actually good?
Historically an accessory for rockers and musicians, tattoos have come a long way from burly barbed-wire armbands and butterfly tramp stamps, to mile markers of life events and literal works of art. The Dixie Chicks chart gold and platinum albums with chicken footprints on their feet while Angelina Jolie commemorates the birth of her children by tattooing the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of their birthplaces on her shoulder.
Despite an increase in tolerance for permanent body art and modification, however, it would seem that pop culture isn’t quite ready for full sleeves and back pieces to be gracing the pages of People and Us Weekly. Instead, appearing frequently on actresses and socialites, are the tiny “vacation trinket” style female tattoo designs of hearts, stars, and things with wings (butterflies, dragonflies, faeries, ladybugs) in predictable locations: the ankle, the foot, the small of the back, and the inner wrist or forearm.
Such tiny allotments of space don’t allow for much artistic license, and, while they may be easy to cover up for film shoots, the final product suffers. The media, however, doesn’t seem to mind that beautiful women have poorly placed or unseemly, albeit tiny, tattoos. In fact, fluent socialites and fashion critics seem to refer to female tattoos with a reverence akin to accomplishment or self-sufficiency. The female celebrity with a tastefully discreet or meaningful tattoo is admired for asserting her individuality and therefore personalizing and owning her own body in the midst of constant social scrutiny and media consumption.
In exposing their ink, female celebrities seem to make themselves more human, advertising themselves as more than just the movies or music they make. Still, with all the commercial tattoos taking up body space on screen, are there any truly hot tattoos? Definitely. Check out the top five hottest female tattoos in Hollywood.
One might start with the Queen of Ink herself, Kat von D, originally of Miami Ink and more recently of High Voltage Tattoo on LA Ink. Self-designed and placed, Kat’s unusual eighteen-star cluster of stars around her left eye are a permanent part of the makeup masterpiece she applies daily, and only a fraction of the very personal and professionally designed ink that covers most of her body.
Philadephia’s home-bred rapper, Eve, sports symmetrical paw prints on the tops of her cleavage, a flirtatious warning for anyone who might try to cause her trouble. Like Eve, the tattoos can be softened up or become truly intimidating depending on what she’s wearing and how she holds her body. A really great tattoo seems to meld with an individual’s personality and remain flexible to them as a person.
Alicia “P!nk” Moore is a rabid fan of the tattoo gun, memorializing benchmark moments in her life, including ink for her first single and the passing of her favorite pooch. Sexiest of all, however is the solid black serpentine dragon on her upper left thigh. Very in tune with her body and how it draws strength from her mind, P!nk’s solid block of ink is assertive and sensual all at once.
Similarly, Christina Ricci’s sexy sparrow tattoo dives across the majority of her right breast, peaking out at the neckline of only the deepest plunges. In full color and rockabilly style, the ink is not only a classically foxy surprise, but a sweet contrast to her other linework.
Ani diFranco, on the other hand, sports a delicate tribal sprawl across her breastplate. The tattoo is both elegant and fierce, accentuating diFranco’s feminine bone structure but emphasizing her toned muscles and sculpted figure.
Some tattoos are inked with intense personal meaning behind them, others not at all. What each of these truly hot female tattoos have in common, however, is a disregard for discreet, and a true connection between the tattoo and the individual, so as to create a seamless projection that reflects its owner at all times. Each tattoo is personal in ways that assert the celebrity’s strength and scrappiness while simultaneously exuding mesmerizing femininity.