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.