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A deep dive into Rihanna's tattoos journey

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Rihanna, the Barbadian superstar known for her chart-topping music and fashion influence, also commands attention for her captivating collection of tattoos. Each tattoo adoring her body is more than a style statement; they are windows into her soul, telling stories of her life, beliefs, and experiences. Here's an insightful guide to Rihanna's most notable tattoos and their meanings.

How many tattoos does Rihanna have?

Rihanna is known to have over 20 tattoos. Her collection of tattoos is diverse, each with its unique story and significance. These tattoos range from subtle and discreet to bold and elaborate, showcasing various themes and inspirations.

 

smiling female tattoo artist

 

Rihanna's Pisces symbol tattoo

One of Rihanna's earliest tattoos, the Pisces symbol below her right ear, pays homage to her astrological sign. This small but meaningful tattoo set the stage for her future body art explorations.

Rihanna's music notes tattoo

A passionate ode to her music career, Rihanna got two music notes tattooed on her inner right foot. These notes, a treble clef and a sixteenth note, represented her initial journey in the music world. Although now covered, these notes symbolised her early days in the music industry.

Rihanna's Sanskrit prayer tattoo

Rihanna's venture into more intricate body art is evident in her Sanskrit prayer tattoo, which runs vertically down her right hip. Done by celebrity tattoo artist Bang Bang, this tattoo was intended to depict virtues like forgiveness and control. However, an intriguing twist emerged due to a misspelling, altering its intended meaning.

Rihanna's "Shhh..." tattoo

Perhaps one of her most replicated tattoos is the simple yet powerful "Shhh..." on her forefinger. This tattoo has become an iconic symbol of Rihanna's playful yet mysterious persona. It's a testament to her influence that this minimalist design has been copied worldwide.

Rihanna's Trail of Stars tattoo

One of Rihanna's most visually striking tattoos is a stunning constellation of stars cascading from her neck to her back. Inked by Bang Bang, this trail symbolises her fascination with the cosmos, adding a mystical aura to her personality.

Rihanna's henna-style dragon claw tattoo

An intricate Henna-like tattoo resembling a dragon claw initially adorned Rihanna's right hand. This design highlighted her appreciation for cultural art forms and intricate patterns.

Rihanna's camo shark tattoo

The camo shark tattoo, inked in 2016 with then-boyfriend Drake, symbolised a shared memory. Located on her ankle, this piece represented a moment of personal significance. However, in a move that symbolises change and evolution, Rihanna covered this tattoo with a crown design in 2021, reflecting a shift in her life and relationships.

Rihanna's "1988" tattoo

Rihanna chose to commemorate her birth year through the "1988" tattoo on her right ankle. This simple yet bold statement is a direct acknowledgement of her roots and the start of her remarkable journey in life.

Rihanna's maori-inspired art tattoo

During her tour in New Zealand, Rihanna embraced the traditional Maori tattooing technique. This culturally rich design on her hand is a testament to her appreciation for and connection to the traditional and symbolic art forms of the Maori culture.

 

male tattoo artist

 

Rihanna's Goddess Isis tattoo

Rihanna got her Isis tattoo in 2012 as a tribute to her late grandmother, who passed away in July of that year. The tattoo features the Egyptian Goddess Isis and is located on her ribcage. Isis symbolises eternal love and respect, reflecting Rihanna's close relationship with her grandmother.

Rihanna's Egyptian Queen Nefertiti tattoo

Rihanna also has a tattoo of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti on her ribcage. Nefertiti, known for her beauty and strength, reflects Rihanna's own embodiment of feminine power and grace, making it a fitting tribute to female empowerment.

Rihanna's falcon tattoo

The falcon tattoo, intriguingly shaped like a handgun on her ankle, symbolises vision and freedom. This tattoo encapsulates Rihanna's independent spirit and her boldness in life choices, perfectly aligning with her persona as a strong, visionary woman.

Rihanna's Tibetan script tattoo

A lesser-seen tattoo, the Tibetan script on her back translates to "lover," a personal and intimate expression of her sentiments.

Rihanna's "Thug Life" tattoo

A tribute to legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, the "Thug Life" tattoo across her knuckles showcases her respect for icons who influenced her.

Rihanna's "Rebelle Fleur" tattoo

Inked on her neck, "rebelle fleur" translates to "rebel flower," epitomising Rihanna's spirit of rebellion and beauty.

Rihanna's Arabic quote tattoo

An Arabic phrase meaning "freedom in God" on her ribcage reflects Rihanna's spiritual side and her quest for personal freedom.

Rihanna's gun tattoo

The gun tattoo on her ribcage has stirred controversy but represents her strength and power, a testament to her unapologetic nature.

Rihanna's "Never a Failure, Always a Lesson" tattoo

Located below Rihanna's collarbone and inked backwards for self-reading is "Never a Failure, Always a Lesson." This tattoo encapsulates Rihanna's philosophy of learning from life's challenges.

Rihanna's small cross tattoo

A tiny cross on her left collarbone speaks to her quieter, more personal expressions of faith and belief.

Rihanna's Roman numerals tattoo

Rihanna's left shoulder bears the Roman numerals of her best friend's birthday, a gesture of deep friendship and connection.

Rihanna's "Love" tattoo

On her left middle finger, the word "love" in the cursive script is a minimalist yet powerful expression of one of her core values.

Rihanna's skull and crossbones tattoo

A unique twist on her ankle's classic skull and crossbones features a colourful bow, blending edginess with femininity.

 

female tattoo artist tattooing her client

 

Why did Rihanna get a henna tattoo?

Rihanna's decision to get a henna-style tattoo stemmed from her desire to modify and enhance an existing tattoo. Initially, she had a traditional Maori tattoo on her right hand, which was done using a chisel and ink method traditional to the Maori people of New Zealand. However, Rihanna was reportedly not entirely satisfied with this design.

Seeking a change, she turned to her go-to tattoo artist, Bang Bang (Keith McCurdy), known for his intricate and detailed work. Rihanna flew Bang Bang out to the Dominican Republic to work on her hand. For 11 hours, he transformed the Maori tattoo into an elaborate, henna-inspired design.

Rihanna's henna-style tattoo covers most of her right hand and wrist, showcasing a blend of cultural artistry and personal style. This tattoo not only covers the previous Maori design but also adds a layer of complexity and beauty, reflecting Rihanna's bold and evolving aesthetic preferences.

Conclusion

Rihanna's tattoos offer a glimpse into her life, each a piece of art telling its own story. They are expressions of her experiences, beliefs, and her journey as an artist and individual. Through these tattoos, Rihanna showcases her unique style and shares the chapters of her life, making her body a canvas of her personal history.

For those inspired by Rihanna's journey and considering their body art, it's crucial to remember the importance of tattoo aftercare. A product like the Tattoo Goo Tattoo Care Kit (3 in 1), which includes Tattoo Goo LotionTattoo Goo Soap, and Tattoo Goo Balm (21g), can be an excellent choice to ensure your new tattoos heal beautifully and last a lifetime, just like Rihanna's.

 

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  • Mark Joshua Luz
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