Just because celebrities may have more money and connections than the average person doesn’t make them immune to some questionable decisions.
When it comes to tattoos, there are plenty of stars who have come to realize their ink doesn’t live up to the hype.
From Ben Affleck’s garish full-back phoenix tattoo (which he claimed was fake for years, perhaps out of sheer embarrassment) to Ariana Grande’s misspelled Japanese design — not to mention the many tributes to relationships that didn’t stand the test of time — here are some of the worst celebrity tattoo fails of all time.
Ben Affleck never learns his lesson. The “Argo” director has taken a ton of flak for his enormous back tattoo since revealing it in 2016, with then-wife Jennifer Garner and now-spouse Jennifer Lopez both criticizing the colorful piece in the past.
After spending years denying that it was actually real, Affleck defended the body art and even poked fun at himself, saying he has “thick skin” after a particularly cutting New Yorker article took aim at the design.
Apparently, Lopez decided to help make Affleck’s tattoo collection “cooler” after saying his designs are “awful” and “always have too many colors.” The duo, who wed in 2022, got coordinating tats on their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, with the “Let’s Get Loud” singer rocking an infinity sign with both their names on her ribs and the “Pearl Harbor” actor debuting a simple arrow design with their initials.
This pop star is no stranger to the tattoo parlor; Grande is covered in more than 40 designs, including various pieces she had dedicated to ex-fiancé Pete Davidson and has since covered (sorry, “evolved”).
However, her biggest body-art faux pas actually had nothing to do with her many dedications to the “SNL” star, but rather one painful misspelling. After attempting to pay tribute to her song “7 Rings” with a series of large Japanese kanji characters on her hand, Grande actually got a tattoo that translated to “Japanese barbecue grill.”
After sparking a debate about cultural appropriation — and suffering multiple corrections — she finally fixed the artwork.
Davidson continues to make the same mistakes, having inked tributes to at least three of his past girlfriends: Cazzie David, Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian.
While the “King of Staten Island” only dated the Skims mogul for less than a year, he racked up multiple tattoos in her honor — and ones dedicated to her family. One, featuring the initials of Kardashian’s four children with Kanye West, particularly infuriated the rapper and his fans.
Following the pair’s breakup in August 2022, all of Davidson’s Kardashian-themed tats appear to have been removed, save for the permanent brand of Kim’s name on his chest.
While some may say that Drake has a whole collection of questionable ink — including portraits of his idols (like Sade, Aaliyah and Lil Wayne) and family (including his mother, father, grandmother, uncle and best friend) — one design proved especially offensive to fans.
In 2019, the “God’s Plan” rapper got depicting himself as the fifth member of the Beatles after beating the band’s record for number of charted songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, and was savagely roasted for the choice.
It appears bad taste in tattoos runs in the family. Drake skewered his own father, Dennis Graham, for the enormous portrait he got inked of his famous son in 2017.
Speaking of family members shouting out their kin with ink, Ray J proudly honored sister Brandy with a trippy portrait of the singer featuring red eyes and the words “best friends” on her forehead and “4 ever” on her cheeks in a graffiti-style font.
While fans slammed the design as “cringy” and “demonic,” the “One Wish” singer defended it, standing behind his tattoo artist’s signature “style.”
He did admit, however, that his sibling wasn’t a fan of the design at first, saying, “it’s growing on her.”
Sylvester Stallone was attempting to be sly when he covered up two tattoo portraits of his wife, Jennifer Flavin, with his canine companion from “Rocky” and a blue-eyed leopard — mere days after the former model filed to divorce the actor.
The split was apparently much more temporary than the ink, as the couple reconciled less than one month after Stallone’s second trip to the tattoo shop — not even long enough for the wounds to heal.
Heather Rae Young
“Selling Sunset” star Heather Rae Young might have thought she was giving her now-husband, Tarek El Moussa, a sweet and sexy permanent tribute, but fans didn’t see it as such.
Young’s “Yes Sir, Mr. El Moussa” tattoo went viral around Valentine’s Day 2021 for all the wrong reasons, prompting the star to delete her Instagram post showcasing her fresh ink.
“I will be Mrs. El Moussa, so this is my name. And it’s a special thing that we do around the house: Daddy is the boss, I’m the queen of the house. We do it with the kids … It’s something cute we do around the house,” Young later said, doing her best to defend the design.
Never trust Pinterest for tattoo design. Orlando Bloom got son Flynn’s name misspelled in Morse code on his arm after not doing his homework, later returning to the shop to have it fixed.
“Finally dot it right! How do you make a mistake like that? #pinterestfail (read the small print) 😂,” he captioned a snap of his new and improved ink.
Carrie Ann Inaba
Talk about lost in translation. In 2019, the “Dancing With the Stars” judge revealed that her Japanese ankle tattoo, which she thought said “courageous love,” actually translates to “rough sex.”
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