Rooney Mara didn’t get any actual tattoos to embody her Girl With a Dragon Tattoo character, but she did shave her eyebrows, chop her hair, and pierce her nipples, nose and brow. Meanwhile, quite a few good-looking famous women have opted for real-life ink. Here are several eye-catching examples and what they mean.
Charlize Theron’s ankle tattoo matches one her mother, Gerda, has. It’s a Koi fish, which is a Japanese symbol of love.
Rihanna’s hip tattoo ostensibly means “forgiveness, honesty, suppression and control” and is from Gita, a holy Hindu Sanskrit scripture, but some experts say it’s mangled. Also lost in translation? Her neck ink reads “rebelle fleur.” Because French adjectives follow the nouns they modify, it should probably read “fleur rebelle” for “rebel flower.”
Hayden Panettiere has “Vivere senza rimipianti” (Italian for “Live without regrets”) on her back but there are one too many i’s. It should read: “Vivere senza rimpianti.” Her rep stands firm that the misspelling was done on purpose to make it her own.
Angelina Jolie once had a snake and the name of her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton, on her arm. That spot now features a list of the coordinates for the birthplaces of her six adopted children and that of Brad Pitt.
Evan Rachel Wood’s upper back tattoo reads “All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream.” It’s a quote by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem A Dream Within A Dream. The poem questions the way one can distinguish between reality and fantasy.
Christina Aguilera’s lower back tat is a Hebrew psalm lyric meaning “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Rumor has it the ink references her now ex-husband, Jordan Bratman. Oops.
Christina Ricci’s upper back tattoo resembles Aslan of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe fame. She has called it “a symbol of my hellish childhood… I struggled through my oppressive teenage years, and when I turned 18, I escaped. Like Aslan, I was finally free.”
Nicki Minaj’s arm tattoo is written in Chinese and means “God is with me always.” Minaj has pronounced her Christian faith on Twitter in response to rumors about her being Mormon and/or Wiccan.
Katy Perry has a matching tattoo with husband Russell Brand in an identical bicep location. Both their tattoos read “Anuugacchati Pravaha,” meaning “Go with the flow” in Sanskrit.
Megan Fox’s ink is a reference to, not a complete quote from, Act V, Scene III of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. She most likely picked her favorite part of these lines from the king: “When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down / And ask of thee forgiveness. So we’ll live, / And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh / At gilded butterflies…”