Being True To Yourself Tattoos

Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini has a tattoo of a square inside a circle on her left wrist as a tribute to her song “Square Pegs” and its message of non-conformity. She told Ty Kelly and Chuck:

“My third tattoo is because of my song called ‘Square Pegs.’ The hook is ‘square pegs make the world go round’ and it’s about embracing what makes you different and knowing that flaws are not a bad thing. It’s what makes you who you are and embracing that. I got that tattoo in L.A.”

The feeling of not fitting in isn’t unique to Kelsea. She wrote this song trying to capture a universal feeling that everyone deals with sometimes, telling Radio Disney:

“A square peg, it’s someone who doesn’t necessarily fit in the mold of whatever normal might be. And I think we all have those moments of feeling like we don’t fit, like we’re the square peg….I’ve spent a lot of my life wondering where and how I fit, and I’m starting to find that there’s a lot of beauty in not fitting. I really wanted a song to capture that….Being normal can be a little boring sometimes. I think that being different is exciting.”

Many fans of the song have their own versions of this tattoo — including fellow country singer Levi Hummon. They got their tattoos together following their sold-out concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA on November 23, 2015. He told Mega Country:

“After the show we got very, very excited. I ended up getting a matching tattoo with Kelsea Ballerini. It’s currently on my hand. It’s actually her song, square peg in round hole.
And it’s about being a creative person, not being able to fit in necessarily, so I thought it related to me.”

Her makeup artist Meegan Pearson and some other members of her crew were also part of the matching tattoos.

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Lauren Jauregui

Lauren Jauregui celebrated her 22nd birthday on June 27, 2018 by visiting artist Jon Boy at Bang Bang’s tattoo parlor in New York City. She got a tattoo that says “I am that I am” written in lowercase cursive letters along her spine.  The tattoo expresses her gratitude.  She tweeted:

That I am alive because I am alive. Breathing in the oxygen from the trees around me and perfectly made for this perfect planet in the middle of eternity. One with all that is because I am.

This phrase comes from the book of Exodus in the Bible.  When Moses first encounters God in the burning bush, God tells Moses “I am that I am.”

Lauren is religious but she believes that the overarching messages of love and compassion in the Bible are more important than specific lines of scripture.  She was raised Catholic but disagrees with the church’s views on homosexuality because she believes in the dignity of all humans.  She has been known to call out the hypocrisy of politicians who use religion texts to justify their hatred.  In a open letter to Trump voters, she wrote:

The God that I have come to know and love is intolerant of judgment and hatred. And I know this, because I was raised Roman Catholic in a Latin household and went to private Catholic school my whole life so I have studied WAY more than most of you have studied the religion or the Bible for that matter.

Her twitter is full of such statements:

You don’t get to deem who God loves.

When your “beliefs” allow for the dehumanization and invalidation of a whole COMMUNITY of people’s existence, it is WRONG. Ask Jesus.

It seems fitting that this tattoo speaks to the ill-defined nature of God, which is interpreted many ways by many people.

 

The phrase “I am that I am” can also been seen as a statement on self-acceptance.  Lauren has dealt with homophobia, sexism and xenophobia but has only become stronger because of it. “I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it,” she wrote.  She is no longer afraid to be herself and to speak her mind even though record label executives have warned her that she might alienate fans by doing so.

Lauren was accompanied in her tattoo session by a group of her closest friends and family who all got inked along with her.  Her brother Chris Jauregui got Spanish writing on his bicep.  Their mom Clara got the initials “LCT” on her wrist for her children: Lauren, Chris and Taylor.  Longtime friend Erica Timmons got a spine tattoo which says “present in peace” with the same font and placement as Lauren’s.

Lauren’s boyfriend Ty Dolla $ign got tattooed but not with anything matching.  The rapper, with whom Lauren collaborated on the song “In Your Phone,” got a skull on his thumb.

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Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels has a tattoo on the side of her neck that says “I am ____ .” as a tribute to her journey of self-discovery.  Since transitioning for being a behind-the-scenes songwriter to being a performer; she is happier, has fewer panic attacks, and feels that she has become a more authentic version of herself. She told Vevo:

I feel the most like myself that I ever have, now…I feel like every day I’m getting more and more comfortable in my skin and comfortable as an artist.

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Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels had the words “speak up” inked on her throat on May 28, 2017 as a reminder to say what she thinks and be confident.

“I think the [tattoo] that probably best represents me is the ‘Speak Up,'” she told Vevo. “And I think now more than ever I have the opportunity to have an opinion, and to have a voice, and that I should speak up.”

She told MusicChoice:

“I have a tendency to make myself feel really small in vulnerable times. And I just have to remind myself that I’m not. And to say what’s on my mind and know that people are not going to judge me for it. And I’ll feel stronger because of it.”

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Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels has a tattoo of a geometric anatomical heart with an eye crying in the middle of it on her right arm. The crying eye represents a bit of her vulnerability and the whole design was inked on November 3, 2016 by talented artist London Reese.

As cliche as it sounds, it’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve. And we put the eye in there because it’s my way of showing myself a little bit. And showing that I’m slowly coming out of hiding. Because I do, I hide, and I’ve gotten so content with hiding over the years.
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Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels has a faceless woman tattooed on her right upper arm. The portrait has a geometric pattern on her face, while the rest of it is very vibrant and colorful. The ink piece was done by artist Jim Sylvia across multiple sessions in February and March 2016.

Back then Julia was still writing songs for other artists and the concealed face symbolizes herself being unseen. She told Vevo:

I have this faceless woman here. It kind of, at the time, was describing my anonymity in the music industry…I’ve always kind of felt like this is who I am on the inside. Everything’s just kind of changed so much this year that I feel like this is me, this is me showing myself, this is me at my most vulnerable.

She made the transition to being a performer after she wrote her breakout hit “Issues,” a song that was so personal she couldn’t imagine anyone else singing it.

“I’m a very nervous person, and I’ve never really been much of a confident person. I think it took a song like ‘Issues’ for me to realize that [being a singer] was something that I wanted, and something that I’ve suppressed because I’m so fearful of it,” she told Jimmy Fallon.

She had been hiding her face from the world in large part because of her severe anxiety. In an essay for Glamour, she opened up about her journey towards overcoming the anxiety which had plagued her since she was 18 and caused her to have panic attacks. Putting her face out into the public eye was not easy for her, but she is happier now that she’s done it. She wrote:

I was scared of not hiding anymore. I was scared of reaching a level of potential I had never reached.

When I see people sing “Issues” with me, it’s the most incredible feeling in the world…This is what I’ve always wanted. To be understood, to be heard. To be seen.

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Maren Morris

Maren Morris got this beautiful watercolor-style bull skull tattoo from artist Amanda Wachob in July 2016. She chose a longhorn bull to represent her Texan heritage and added flowers to show her feminine side.  She explained on instagram how this tattoo represents the different aspects of her personality: “Little bit Texan sass, little bit feminine. Thanks, @amandawachob ! Love your talent. Have followed her work for almost 6 years! 👍🏼🌸” (more…)