Fame is fleeting, but tattoos can be permanent. And if you’re a celebrity, that can mean having to explain some pretty weird ink.
Below, we pore over the bodies of 12 famous folk and decipher their peculiar tats.
Ryan Gosling’s tattoo of The Giving Tree
The Drive star got Shel Silverstein’s beloved children’s book on his bicep because him mother read it to him as a tot: “That book is so fucked up,” Gosling told Vulture, “I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him. He’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you—I don’t want to be the tree!”
Ryan Cabrera’s tattoo of Ryan Gosling
Couldn’t he have just posted a “Hey Girl” meme like the rest of us? In fairness, Cabreba says the (hardly recognizable) Gosling tattoo was chosen by his friends.
Harry Styles’ bird tattoos
Just one of the One Direction-er’s many marks, but these twin swallows are his most meaningful: “[Swallows] symbolize traveling, and we travel a lot,” said Styles. “I like that kind of style of tattoos, like the old sailor kind of tattoos.” Pink’s bar code tattoo The UPC symbol on the back of the “Raise Your Glass” singer’s neck reportedly combines her birth date (9/8/79), the release date of her debut album Missundaztood (11/20/01), and her lucky number (13). Eve’s panther claws Probably the world’s most famous chest tattoos, Eve’s paw prints were the result of a dare when she was younger. She used to regret them, but says “now it’s a thing —That’s how people recognize me.” Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s Samoan design The half-Samoan superstar traveled to Hawaii to get this shoulder-bicep-pec tattoo. “[It] tells the story of what’s important in life,” he explained. “Strength, protection and loyalty to family.” Traditional Samoan tattoos—called pe’a—cover the body from the waist […]