Inspirational Tattoos

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan has a tiny letter “V” tattoo on the underside of her finger which stands for “Visitors.” She explained its meaning on her instagram:

V I S I T O R S — Nothing is ours and everyone is visiting. Some people stay a while. Some are just passing through your life. Some stay as long as they’ll stay anywhere. It’s important for us to be super careful of the souvenirs they leave with and that they leave in us. My buddy and I tattooed this V on my right ring finger and his left thumb-knuckle so that every handshake reminds me I’m visiting and greeting a visitor.


Lili Reinhart

Lili Reinhart has a tattoo of an arrow on her forearm which “represents fighting through depression and anxiety.” She has struggled with mental health problems since she was 12 years old and has used both therapy and medications to help mange it. She encourages others to take control of their own mental health and seek out the help they need, advising them not to give up on themselves. She told People Style:

“The arrow represents mental health awareness. I talk a lot about depression and anxiety and my own struggles with it, so I wanted to get it. I saw a quote, it’s kind of like…’an arrow can only go forward by being pulled back, so when you’re going through a hard time, being pulled back, it only means you’re about to experience something greater and bigger.’ So that’s what that represents to me. That was a mantra that I would say to myself when I was going through a hard time, that it it only means it’s going to get better.”

Lili had her own moment of being pulled back to move forward in landing the iconic role of Betty Cooper on Riverdale“Riverdale came into my life when I was going through the worst depression I had ever experienced. And in the end it completely saved me,” she tweeted. The aspiring actress had moved to Los Angeles on her own at age 18 to pursue her career, but her anxiety kept getting worse. Eventually things got so bad that she couldn’t stay and had to move back home to focus on her mental health. At home she switched to a new medication and resumed seeing her old therapist to work on rebuilding herself. She actually recorded her first audition tape for Rivderdale while at home but got rejected. When she was healthy enough to move back to Los Angeles it was with a renewed fervor. She went to an in-person audition for Betty Cooper and landed the role.

The worst times in her life had led to her big break, but when she got the arrow tattoo she didn’t actually know yet that everything would turn out alright. It was perhaps more a symbol of faith that she desperately needed at that time. She got the tattoo from artist Dr Woo in June 2015, right before she left Los Angeles. “Thank you, @dr_woo_ssc! I waited for months and finally got my tattoo today (second one to date),” she wrote.

Actress Mädchen Amick, who plays Lili’s mother Alice Cooper on Riverdale, has a matching tattoo from the same artist, but it’s purely coincidental. Mädchen’s arrow is a symbol of her zodiac sign Sagittarius. They noticed the matching tattoos the first time they met during a rehearsal for Riverdale and instantly bonded over it.


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.


Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni tattooed an arrow on the back of her right ankle in June 2014 to represent how progress comes from struggles. She explained its inspirational message on her instagram:

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.


Maren Morris

Maren Morris’ back tattoo says “It’s a wondrous world of ridiculous things / but nothing so rare as the love that it brings”  which is a line from the song “Christina” by folk singer-songwriter Patty Griffin.  There’s actually a tiny error in the tattoo since the second line should start “with” instead of “but.”

She got this tattoo in April 2013 after putting a lot of thought into planning it.  She shared a photo on instagram back in August 2012 where she edited the lyrics onto her back in two different fonts, trying to decide which she liked better.

Patty Griffin is one of her influences and musical idols.  “Going to see Patty Griffin at the Ryman this evening. I may never come back down,” she tweeted before seeing her in concert in October 2013.


Noah Cyrus

Noah Cyrus tattooed the motto “stand still” on her arm in honor of her father Billy Ray Cyrus, who she says “always taught me to stand still when things get too crazy.”  He also has a song called “Stand Still.”

Her dad made the tattoo extra meaningful by getting his own to match — with Noah’s encouragement!  She got her tattoo in June 2017 and Billy Ray got his a month later in July 2017.  She told Vogue:

Something floated around from my dad’s side of the family is just to stand still. It just means that when everything is so hectic in your life and you don’t know what to do, just stand still and wait for your heart to tell you what to do, and it will take you to the right place. So, to stand still and take a breath in. It really does help me in certain situations. My dad and I have got it tattooed on our arms.


Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni has the inspirational quote “I swear I’ll never give in / I refuse” on the back of her upper left arm in her own handwriting.  These lyrics come from the song “Best of You” by The Foo Fighters, who she described as “one of my forever favourite bands.”  She wrote on her website The Blonde Salad:

It’s a sentence with such a big meaning to me, from one of my favourite songs, written so thin that it looks like it is only written by pen. I’ve been wanting this tattoo for months and in Los Angeles I finally made my decision and made it.

She got the tattoo in April 2012.  It gives a strong message to always keep fighting even when faced with adversity.  She told Glamour:

My favorite [tattoo] I got done on my last night in L.A. after Coachella by Dr. Woo, who is super good, and it’s in my handwriting; I just wrote it on paper.

Though that was back in 2013 when she only had five tattoos, so it might not be her favorite anymore.


Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni got her third tattoo in April 2011.  The phrase “Ode Alla Vita,” meaning “Ode to Life” in her native Italian, is the title of a poem by Brazilan writer Martha Medeiros (though it has often been misattributed to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda). She wrote on her blog:

My third tattoo: the sentence “Ode alla vita” on the right arm, to always remind me how important it is to live at our best each day, and to celebrate a friend who used to share with me the passion for this poem.