The pirate swords on Carah Faye Charnow’s stomach were her very first tattoo and are her only tattoo without a meaning. More recently in March 2013 artist Dam Smith added a series of letters and numbers that represent Carah’s straight edge (drug free) lifestyle. The swords themselves look like X’s.
The letters “SE” stand for “Straight Edge” while “84” is for 1984, the year she was born. “OLOC” stands for “One Life One Chance,” which a song by the straight edge band H20 as well as the name of H20 singer Toby Morse’s anti-drug advocacy organization.
Carah considers herself straight edge since 1984 because she has always been drug free. Her uncle was killed by a drunk driver when she was a child, making her aware of the dangers of drinking from a young age. In her One Life Once Chance testimonial, Carah explains: “When I was about 5 or 6 years old my uncle died in a drunk driving accident. My grandmother was crying and I didn’t understand, and they explained to me what happened. My grandmother was freaking out and she grabbed me and she said ‘Carah, promise me that you will never, ever drink.’…And I was like ‘I promise grandma, I swear.’ I was so young, but I understood that alcohol had killed him.”
As she’s grown older, Carah’s convictions have grown even stronger. She says “It is so important to me that people know that there is nothing good that comes from [drugs and alcohol]…It just gets you no where. Every moment of my life that has reminded me of that has only strengthened me.”
Miranda Lambert has a large tattoo on her left forearm of two crossing guns with wings. Miranda says that she got the tattoo to honor her success as a performer, but that her dad hates it. “The only reason I regret it is because my dad was pissed,” she explains. “I love it, it’s kind of become my signature, it’s on everything I have, it’s my logo, it’s on all my backdrops–but my dad was upset. He’s kind of old school so he took it personally. But we’ve gotten past it. She turned the experience into lyrics in her song “Heart Like Mine,” in when she sings, “Daddy cried when he saw my tattoo / Said he loved me anyway.” Of course she admits that she didn’t think to ask first: “I got it when I was 22 on tour with George Strait. It’s the first thing I ever did without asking my parents. My dad didn’t speak to me for a week,” she says.