Minimalist Tattoos

Beyoncé


Beyoncé altered her “IV” finger tattoo in August 2016. She covered the previously red tattoo with black ink and changed the design slightly. It now looks like a combination of a number 4 and a letter “J” for Jay-Z. Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z originally got the matching “IV” tattoos to commemorate their 2008 wedding. Four is their lucky number and they chose April 4th (4/4) as their wedding date.

Beyonce’s old tattoo had started to look very faded, which was most likely just natural wear-and-tear. However the lighter appearance of the tattoo lead to lots of speculation that she was having it removed and their marriage was failing. Beyonce and Jay-Z are now in a great place in their relationship. If both of their lyrics are to be believed, they’ve moved on past his infidelity. With this tattoo Beyonce is showing the world that their marriage is stronger than ever.

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Beyoncé


Beyoncé has a tattoo of three little dots on her left ring finger which represent her three children. The color difference is subtle, but the middle dot is in blue ink because it symbolizes she and Jay-Z’s first child Blue Ivy Carter who was born on January 7, 2012. The top and bottom black dots represent their twins Sir and Rumi Carter, who were born on June 13, 2017.

She actually got the tattoo before giving birth, which was a risky move. She and husband Jay-Z were thrilled to have the pregnancy so far along especially since she has miscarried in the past, an experience that she describes as “the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.” But on the positive side, she says that “The pain and trauma from that just makes it mean so much more to get an opportunity to bring life into the world.” And fortunately this time they got not one but two beautiful babies!

After removing the tattoo on her hip, she told People magazine that she wouldn’t get another tattoo unless it was for something permanent like children. This tattoo doesn’t seem like something that she has to worry about regretting — but she might need to add to it if she ever grows her family.
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Selena Gomez


Selena Gomez and the cast of 13 Reasons Why got matching semicolon ( ; ) tattoos in April 2017. She served as one of the executive producers for the Netflix television show, based on the book by Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It tells the fictional story of a high school student named Hannah Baker who sadly dies by suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes addressed to the people who hurt her explaining where her life went wrong.

The semicolon has become a symbol of suicide prevention through the work of the non-profit organization Project Semicolon. They chose the symbol because it represents a place where a sentence could have stopped but didn’t, making it a fitting metaphor for someone’s life which could have ended in suicide but doesn’t have to. The organization describes itself as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury.” They remind people that things can get better with their slogan “your story is not over.”

Selena’s tattoo is a show of support, letting those who are struggling know that things don’t have to end on a low note. She herself has struggled with anxiety and depression and knows firsthand that things can get better. She is a advocate of therapy, particularly Dialectical Behavior Therapy. “DBT has completely changed my life,” she told Vogue. “I wish more people would talk about therapy.”

In a special Beyond The Reasons episode that plays after the final episode of the show, Selena addresses viewers and encourages them to seek help for their troubles rather than resorting to suicide:

Suicide should never, ever be an option…It’s absolutely treatable. Anxiety is. Depression is. Talk therapy, treatment centers, there’s a million ways that you can find help…There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you need help. And if you need help at all you can go to 13reasonswhy.info to find an organization in your area.

The show 13 Reasons Why has come under fire from some critics who allege that it glorifies suicide. The character Hannah Baker could have opened up about her traumas and betrayals and sought counseling instead of taking her own life. However Selena has defended the series for being real and honest about the issues that teenagers today are forced to confront. She fell instantly in love with the “tragically beautiful” story after reading the book and hopes that the show will help people to get the help that they need.

Selena got her tattoo alongside Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica, and Tommy Dorfman, who plays Ryan. They were already planning to get the tattoos on their own, but when Selena heard about their plans she asked to join. Two of the other executive producers, Joy Gorman Wettels and Kristel Laiblin, had gotten semicolon tattoos a week before.
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Jesy Nelson


Jesy Nelson got six symbols tattooed on her left hand knuckles all at once in February 2017. She has the four suits from a deck of playing cards — ♤ spades on her index finger, ♢ diamonds on her middle finger, ♧ clubs on her ring finger, and ♡ hearts on her pinkie — as well as a ✝ Christian cross on her thumb and a 🗲 lightning bolt on her middle finger.

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Avril Lavigne


Avril Lavigne’s days of itty-bitty tattoos are officially over. In October 2017 she tattooed a collection of astrological symbols so big that they take up her whole forearm. The symbols are:

  • ♎ – the astrological symbol of Libra
  • 🜁 – the alchemy elemental symbol for air
  • – the planetary symbol of Venus

Taken together all three symbols represent Avril’s September 27th birthday — Libra is her star sign, air is the element associated with Libra, and Venus is the ruling planet for Libra.

The Venus symbol is of course also used as a symbol for women, but that does not seem to be why Avril chose it.

The double chevrons « » are known as guillemets and are used as quotation marks in some languages. These symbols have also caught on in tattoo culture with the supposed meaning “create your own reality.” It is claimed to be a viking symbol, however there is no documentation of this usage. We believe that Avril is simply using them as quotes around the other symbols.

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