Independence Tattoos

Kesha


Kesha tattooed the words “Live Free” across her knuckles on August 30, 2017, a few weeks after releasing her third album Rainbow. It took five years for Kesha to release the album due to the legal battles with her label, and having it out in the world marks a major step forward for her. She posted a picture of the “Free” tattoo on her instagram and wrote:

funny how words take on such important meaning once you start living and find yourself looking for the perfect letters to make up the perfect word to make up the perfect feeling…..

Freedom means a lot to Kesha, especially since she’s had to fight so hard to gain creative control over her music and be freed from producer Dr Luke. She signed to his label Kemosabe Records when she was 18 years old and all of the songs that she released on her first two albums Animal and Warrior were subject to his approval. Kesha wrote over seventy songs for Warrior, most of which were scrapped, and also began working on an album with The Flaming Lips that she was not allowed to release. Fans began demanding that the label set Kesha free from Dr Luke and shared their support for the #FreeKesha movement.

Dr Luke’s control over Kesha went beyond their creative differences. In October 2014 she filed a lawsuit outlining all of the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that she suffered. She alleges that Dr Luke drugged and raped her, and that his abuse caused her to have an eating disorder. Unfortunately most of Kesha’s claims were dismissed by a judge. She had held her silence for so long that the alleged rape was past the statute of limitations. Even worse, Kesha is now having to defend herself in court against Dr Luke’s counter-claims that she has defamed him and damaged his career.

Though the legal battle is ongoing, Kesha was finally able to release an album that fits her own creative vision. The album Rainbow and it’s lead single “Praying” were both nominated for Grammy Awards — Kesha’s first.

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Ruby Rose


Ruby Rose has a tattoo on the side of her left wrist which says “D.I.Y.” — an acronym for “Do It Yourself.” This is one of her older tattoos.  When she added her tattoo of Gumby in a cat costume, she placed it carefully so that the tail wraps around this tattoo without covering it.

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LIGHTS Poxleitner


Lights’ very first tattoos were the sparrows on her hips which she got as a symbol of moving away from home.  She explains: “I had just moved away from home and I was 18. I was living in Vancouver at the time and I moved to Toronto, so it’s a big move, it’s like L.A. to New York. I was kind facing the world on my own for the first time and my parents probably would have never let me get a tattoo but I moved out, like ‘I’m a free bird.’ So I got [on my hips] — it’s super cliché, but I got two sparrows. From this hole in the wall place and I was underage. The guy wasn’t that great. But it was exciting because it was my first tattoo.”

Why a sparrow? “I never get anything that doesn’t mean something.  The sparrow travels the world but always knows how to get home. And a sparrow is a love bird. They find their partner and they stay with them forever. They’re a really loyal bird. It just had a really cool story behind it.”

Cheryl

Cheryl Cole butterfly lower back tattoo

The now-covered tribal butterfly tattoo on Cheryl’s lower back was her oldest tattoo, dating back to at least 2002.  In the above photos, taken in 2011, she had already begun work on the swirling design that now covers her lower back.

Cheryl added this portion of the new design in an eleven-hour session in August 2011 at Shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles. The tattoo represents a fresh start after her 2010 divorce. “I designed it myself with the help of an artist and had it done to symbolise a new beginning,” she said.

According to The Mirror, Cheryl told a friend “The tattoo is deeply personal. It took weeks to come up with the final design. It has a strong symbolic meaning and signifies a fresh start and my new independence.”

Neon Hitch


Neon Hitch has a tattoo of an anarchy symbol on her right leg, just above the knee. It is a tribute to her debut full-length album called Anarchy as well as her anarchist attitude and free spirit. In her song “Anarchy” she sings “I don’t play by the rules I’m an anarchist…Anarchy made me, understand me. You don’t understand me…Welcome to me and my anarchy.”

    Cleopatra Coleman


    Cleopatra Coleman wore a sleeveless dress at the The 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 17th, 2016 that allowed us to see her left shoulder tattoo. She got and eagle with spread wings tattooed shortly after moving to America. It represents strength, conviction and independence and all that lovely American stuff. The tattoo is also associated with her sun sign Scorpio.

    Sarah Hyland


    Sarah Hyland got this tattoo of a hummingbird behind her ear in November 2014 from artist Dr Woo. She explained its meaning in an instagram post: “The hummingbird, though it be but little, can travel great distances. It is a carrier of joy and lightness of being. Independent and resilient; the hummingbird lifts negative energy from your life and shows you the perfect combination of playfulness and endurance. Thank you @dr_woo_ssc for giving me this little guy to always remind me that (and whisper sweet nothings in to my ear)”