It’s hard knowing whether you’re going to like something for the rest of your life. For example, I used to hate reality television, but that was until the summer I spent watching every season of Vanderpump Rules. Everyone hates coffee the first time they try it—until they learn the powers of the magical substance. And making the decision to tattoo something on your body—only to realize later that you wish you hadn’t—is a feeling shared by us regular people *and* celebrities alike.
Whether it’s the name of a partner who ends up cheating on them (eeek), something they thought was profound when they were younger that just doesn’t translate anymore (hi, Nicole Richie!), or a text that afterward they realized was, in fact, spelled wrong, celebrities are guilty of some common mistakes when it comes to tattoos.
While some stars with regrettable ink have decided to just erase the mistake from the skin with a (painful and expensive) removal process, there are others who have opted to cover up past tats, or just learned to fess up and live with their misspellings or badly drawn designs. If you’re considering making your own permanent statement on your skin, check out this list of celebs who regret their tattoos…before you find yourself under the tattoo needle.
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Before there was Brangelina, Angelina Jolie was married to Billy Bob Thorton, and the Academy Award winner showcased her love for the fellow actor by getting his name tattooed on her upper arm. However, after the marriage went south in the early 2000s, Angelina had the tattoo removed, according to Yahoo News, and later ended up with the coordinates of the birthplaces for her children and (now ex) husband Brad Pitt in its place.
When Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen split, instead of removing the tattoo of her ex-husband’s name from her ankle, the former Real Housewife covered it with a whimsical fairy.
If you haven’t learned yet that you should always (always!) spellcheck your tattoos, Hayden Panettiere is here with another friendly reminder. While the Nashville star intended to get inked with the phrase “Live without regrets” in Italian on her back, the third word is intentionally misspelled with an extra “i.”
While Hayden seemed to take the mistake in stride, telling Glamour that since it’s spelled wrong, “I literally have to live by that advice,” the Daily Mail reported later that the actress was in the process of getting it removed.
Even celebrities do things when they’re younger that they regret later in life. For Jessica Alba, one of those things is the flower tattoo she got on the back of her neck when she was 17. “I’m so irritated that I got it,” the Honest Company founder told Refinery29. “I got it lasered many times and it’s not coming out.” Jessica said she also has a bow in the middle of her lower back that feels like “kind of a tramp stamp” that she wishes she hadn’t gotten.
But three tattoos she’ll never regret? The zodiac signs’ constellations of her three kids that she has on her left arm.
Actress and activist Eva Longoria has had all four of her tattoos removed, including one that was the date of her marriage to former husband Tony Parker and the word “nine” on the back of her neck, the former NBA player’s jersey number.
In 2016, she documented a trip to the doctor to remove the remaining two tats—a star on her wrist and a cross on her lower back. “This is a tale for all young kids,” she said in the series of Snapchats, Revelist reports. “It hurts to get a tattoo, but it’s ten times worse getting it off!”
Sarah Hyland has multiple tattoos, but the Modern Family star decided she had outgrown one of them in 2019. The actress shared a video on Instagram Stories of her getting laser tattoo removal that looked painful AF, and based on the location of the laser, the most likely candidate of the tat she was saying goodbye to was a purple dinosaur on her butt that she got just two years earlier.
In 1995, Pamela Anderson did the opposite of most people on this list and got a string of barbed wire tattooed on her upper arm when she got a movie role that called for her to get a barbed wire tattoo painted on every day. Nineteen years later, it appeared that Pam was ready to move on and started the process of removing the ink, according to Huff Post.
If you know one thing about Adam Levine it’s likely one of these three: he’s the former frontman of Maroon 5, he used to be a judge on The Voice, or that he’s got his fair share of tattoos. Adam told Anderson Cooper that he would never cover up any of his ink but there’s one that he now thinks is “pretty stupid.”
The tat in question is on his shoulder and was inspired by a Russian prison tattoo but the singer thinks the “bastardized” version ended up looking more like a cauliflower. “I tried to surround it with something and then it just got even worse,” he said. “But there’s a lot more, so at least I can focus on those.”
After splitting from husband of nine years Seal, Heidi Klum finalized the end of their marriage by removing the tattoo of his name from her right inner arm. The TV host and “Kiss From a Rose” singer commemorated their fourth wedding anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony and tats of each other’s names. A decision that later, for Heidi, did not make the cut.
When it comes to tattoos, Justin Beiber started out small, with the outline of a seagull on his lower abs that he told GQ his family all got as a tribute to a book they love.
Today, Biebs has literally dozens of tattoos on his body, but his most infamous might be on his wrist and look very similar to a pop singer/Disney star ex-girlfriend. “I tried to cover her face up with some shading, but people still know,” he told the publication.
In an effort to show her love for her (now ex) husband Simon Barney, Tamra Judge had his name tattooed on her left ring finger. Unfortunately for the former Real Housewives star, the marriage ended soon after. Tamra had the ink removed with the help of Dr. Terry Dubrow (and husband to former RHOC cast member Heather Dubrow), according to Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
In his 27 years, Pete Davidson has added over 100 tattoos to his ink collection, and fans were shocked last December when reports surfaced that the SNL star is in the process of getting not one, not two, but all of them removed. During a virtual Q&A about The King of Staten Island, the actor allegedly said that after spending hours in the makeup chair getting his tattoos covered up each day for shooting, he decided it would be easier to just laser them off.
Pete has already altered several of his tats, Elle reports, including the ones he got with ex-fiancé Ariana Grande.
Ariana isn’t the only singer who had a slight hiccup with their tattoo in honor of a hit song. Jessie J revealed her misspelled tattoo on Instagram when she posted a photo of herself in a bikini, but before fans had the chance to call out the mistake, the singer owned up to it in the caption.
“Yes, my tattoo says…’don’t loose who you are in the blur of the stars,'” she wrote, Buzzfeed reports. “Yes, they are MY lyrics from my song, ‘Who You Are.’ Yes, that I wrote. Yes, I spelt the tattoo wrong. Yes, I repeat it’s spelt wrong.” But instead of getting the ink removed, Jessie says, at least for now, she’ll stick to hiding the tat by wearing high-waisted everything.
While it is faint, if you look closely at Jennifer Lawrence’s right hand, in light reddish-brown ink is H20. Yes, the chemical formula for water, and yes, the Oscar winner knows that the tat is actually written incorrectly. At a Comic-Con panel in 2015 J Law explained that she was hanging out with Liam Hemsworth’s family and they were all getting tattoos and she decided she should as well.
“I was like, ‘Well I’m always gonna need to be hydrated, so I guess I should just get H2O on my hand,'” she said, Vogue reports. However, the Passengers star realized afterward that the “2” in the design is too high and admitted,”I should have Googled it before I got it tattooed on my body forever.”
Another celebrity who is a member of the “Tattoos We Got When We Were Younger That We Now Regret” Club is Nicole Richie. The actress told E! that tattoo on her wrist that says “Virgin” is her “biggest regret.” “See this tattoo? It says ‘virgin,’ you guys. It’s embarrassing and desperate,” she said. “Now, I am a Virgo so when I was 16 I thought, ‘Ooh I’m going to be different and I’m going to put virgin, because the Virgin is the sign for Virgo.” She joked that the best option she’s come up with is to add an “ia” to the end of it and tell people she’s from Virginia, but she’s afraid people won’t buy it.
Nicole has also expressed regret over two other tattoos: her “butt crack cross” and the bow alongside her last name on the back of her neck.
When it comes to a specific tattoo, Demi Lovato was less “Sorry Not Sorry” and more actually just sorry. The singer told Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Live! that she regrets getting the image of a pair of lips (her friend’s, not hers) on her forearm, calling it “a spur-of-the-moment stupid decision.” Instead of getting the ink removed, though, Demi chose to cover up the lips with two detailed roses.
Yes, even The Queen sometimes has regrets. Nicki Minaj was 16 when she got the Chinese characters that read “God is with me always” on her arm, but now that she’s older, she’s having second thoughts about the ink, Elle Australia reports. “You have no idea what you want to put on your body at the age of 16,” the Grammy nominee reportedly said in an interview. “You need to wait until at least 21 and decide.”
When Pharrell Williams realized his tattoos no longer made him “happy,” the music producer looked into a surprising method of removal. The Grammy winner reportedly was interested in getting rid of his ink through skin grafting, in a process where the new skin is grown in a test tube instead of transplanted from another area on your body, according to the New York Daily News.
Among the tats he had grown out of were the flames on his upper body, telling reporters that, “I got fire on my arms, I don’t need fire on my arms! I’m a grown man.” However, in the end, TMZ reports that the musician settled for good, old-fashioned laser removal.
Iggy Azalea proved that she was too fancy to mess around with having the names of exes still tattooed on her fingers. When the Australian rapper split from A$AP Rocky, she first crossed his name out on the series of tattoos she had on the inside of the fingers that read “LIVE,” “LOVE,” and “A$AP.” The Grammy nominee did eventually get the tat removed, according to E!.
Blake Shelton will be the first person to say that he thinks the tattoo on his forearm sucks. The Voice star drew the design himself, Showbiz Cheat Sheet reports, and intended for it to two strings of barbed wire that encircle his arm with deer tracks in between. However, he (and fans also) think the tracks ended up looking more like ladybugs than what he intended.
But even though the Grammy nominee isn’t a fan, his ink did lend itself to fiancé Gwen Stefani sharing a sweet moment on Twitter when her three sons all got temporary tattoos that matched Blake’s.
Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas were married for 19 years – which is basically forever in Hollywood years. But fans knew the couple was really over when Melanie appeared on the red carpet with the tattoo of his name on her arm partially covered. At first, the actress used makeup to erase Antonio’s name, but the Daily Mail reports she eventually made the decision to have the ink permanently removed.
In an effort to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes he did, Mark Wahlberg brought two of his kids along with him so they could see for themselves just exactly what they would have to go through if they ever wanted to get a tattoo removed. “I’ve taken my two older kids to the procedure so they see how painful it is and what I have to go through,” The Departed star told Today, as reported by People.
The actor had gotten inked in several places over the years and said the tattoos were still meaningful to him, but he had gotten to the point where erasing them was easier than getting them covered for movie roles.
Adrienne Bailon may have broken up with Rob Kardashian years ago, but the singer is contemplating keeping the faint remnants of the tattoo of his name that remain. The Cheetah Girls star told InTouch that since the ink is on her butt, it’s not like many people will see it anyway, and if she ever has kids who end up seeing it, Arienne plans on turning the moment into a “good learning lesson.”
When you have the choice of removing your tattoos or coming to work four hours earlier than everyone else, 50 Cent made the decision to go the route of tattoo removal. The rapper turned actor realized while on the set of the movie Twelve that his call time was significantly earlier than everyone else’s in the cast just so there would be enough time to cover up his ink.
“If everyone is getting there for 6am, I’m there at 2am. So I was like, ‘Oh man, hold up,” he told Bang Showbiz. After that, 50 started the painstaking work of removal.
There was a time when Asia Argento says she would have described Rose McGowan as a “sister,” and the two even got matching tattoos—a simple dot on their ankles. But when the friendship went south in 2018 Asia made how she felt about her former BFF perfectly clear by announcing she was getting the matching tattoo removed.
She made herself even more clear by choosing to cover the tattoo with one of a bloody knife, and writing “Bye bye Rose McGowan” in the Instagram story where she shared the update. It’s probably unlikely there are any friendship bracelets—or friendship tattoos—for these two in the future.
Nick Lachey (a.k.a. the lead singer of 98 Degrees) road the band’s success in the late ’90s all the way to the tattoo chair. The musician’s upper right arm used to be blessed with a sun that said 98° in the middle, and it was a sad day for fans everywhere when Nick got the sun filled in, covering up the band’s name. To be fair though, for a while there, it did seem like the Boy Band era was going to last forever.
Megan Fox’s love for Marilyn Monroe runs deeps—but not deep enough to keep her tattoo of the blonde bombshell on her forearm. Marie Claire reports that the actress first got the tat because Marilyn was one of the first people she saw on television and that Megan “always empathized with her.” But later, the Jennifer’s Body star realized Marilyn’s life wasn’t maybe wasn’t one she wanted to emulate.
“She was a negative person, she was disturbed, bipolar,” she said. “I do not want to attract this kind of negative energy in my life.”
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