Fan Tattoos

Screenshot from MrAmericanDream05 YouTube Account “Someone said to me once, ‘When you see fans with Gaga tattoos, does it make you worry they’ll regret it one day?'” pop star Lady Gaga reminisced in this video while on-stage at one of her Spring 2011 shows. “And I said ‘No, I’m gonna bust my [expletive] the rest of my life to make sure you never regret it.”

Waldo, an avid Gaga fan and the subject of her conversation in the video, was ecstatic  “Right after the show when I went to see her, she actually signed my arm, which I got tattooed,” the young fan stated, showing off the fresh addition to his “Little Monster” adornment.

Tattoos immortalizing fandoms have been prevalent in pop culture for quite a few decades, but the Gaga fan community in particular is a current example of a fan’s object of affection directly encouraging ink (among a long list of examples, Exhibit B: the artist kissing a fan’s tattoo HERE and Exhibit C: fan Stephanie getting national recognition for her Gaga ink and fandom HERE). Heck, Gaga herself has a “Little Monsters” tattoo dedicated to her loyal fan community. However, there are some pop culture figures who wish those who idolized them maybe did not take their love to this extreme.

Very recently, a story made international headlines about a fan of pop/hip-hop singer Drake who had his name tattooed on her forehead. While Drake said via this article the gesture was “incredible”, he also stated that he’d want to meet the young lady so he could “understand what happened” and was none too happy with the artist who did the ink. “You should lose your job and should never do tattoos again!”  Though the inker and rapper have made up (article), it did cause a great amount of controversy.

Fan tattoos for singers are not the only ones that exist and meet with shaky acceptance. There are also some questionable sports fan tattoos (AHEM, article here, with photos) and in a video from me, Fan-Culture‘s site runner Amanda, a Syfy “Ghost Hunters” fan shows the hosts/TAPS co-founders Jay and Grant her TAPS-centric tat, to which the guys react to around the 7 minute mark in this video (even though they did sign the tat for her).

From an exclusive interview with Josh Gates of another Syfy series “Destination Truth” (video here), the reality TV star and world explorer took on the subject of fan tattoos and if anyone had or planned on getting “DT” tattoos:

I think you should only tattoo something on yourself that is extremely meaningful to you in a personal way. That’s the thing about a tattoo is that it’s something you have to live with, it’s permanent, it’s part of you. If “Destination Truth” is that intrinsically  meaningful to somebody, sure! … I think there’s a lot of things you can put on yourself that will speak to you, and putting a logo on you is a big decision.

A few months later though, Gates’ tune changed. Via an email to me, he says he’d want to talk anyone completely out of getting the show’s logo tattooed:

Seriously … I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get inked if that’s something that you’re really into – I just think it shouldn’t be a TV show (even if it is a great TV show)! That’s my two cents!

What is your take on it, readers? Do you think if a fan feels strongly enough about their fandom that they should get a tattoo commemorating that time period of their life, or do you think it’s a bad idea in the long run? Weigh in within the comments 🙂


About Amanda Rosenblatt

I have always been obsessed with fan stories, the origin of fanaticism and pop culture in general.
This entry was posted in EXCLUSIVE, female celebrities, inspiration, male celebrities, music, negative, QUOTES, sports, television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fan Tattoos

  1. adakahless says:

    I’m with , Josh’s first opinion. Make your tat meaningful to you. Start with something small as a first tat and don’t over think it. If you still want to immortalize your favorite show on your skin, then do so. I don’t let anyone decide what to do with my body but me. I appreciate the advice and feedback from others but ultimately it’s my choice. I don’t have any tats with no desire for one right now. But if I do decide to take that hop, I’ll probably get a small “DT” inked somewhere.

  2. I think Josh makes a very valid point, If you are going to do a fandom tattoo, make sure your ready to be with it for the rest of your life. I’ve got two such types of Tattoos that are now a part of me. But I put many months of thoughts and decision making into it before doing it. So I see no problem with tattoos for shows or tv show or in memorandum of some one on a show who has passed or made a difference. But you need to be Very Sure that it’s what you want to do! No one can stress that enough.

  3. B says:

    I have a Nsync tattoo. Yes, I said Nsync. It’s more than just about the group though, it’s about the memories I have of going on trips to support them, the best friend I made because of them and a time in my life that was pretty awesome. I think if it means something to you, go for it! I mean, with any tattoo you should pretty put some though into it, wether it’s a band logo or a butterfly.

  4. stephxy says:

    Having been mentioned in your post, and having at least 3 tattoos which PROMINENTLY feature a pop-culture icon. Of the dozens of tattoos I have, the 3 I am speaking of are two portraits of Lady Gaga and the logo of the sci-fi show “The X-Files”. I agree with Josh Gates’ general assessment that a tattoo should be something that you find moving, influential, and significant in your life. People ask me fairly often what I will do when/if Lady Gaga is no longer a successful artist, and my answer is always the same. Lady Gaga herself is the representation of many beautiful experiences and true friendships, as well as the backdrop with which I learned to harness my self-confidence and become a leader among my peers, friends, and fellow fans. The short answer is this: Whatever happens to Lady Gaga in 10 or 20 or 50 years is largely irrelevant, because nothing can take away significance of the last few years of my life…

    As for that X-Files tattoo- the show has been off the air since 2002, and I got the ink in 2005. So with a decade between the end of that show and now, and nearly that long since I had the show’s logo and an alien skull tattooed on my arm, I can say with honesty and confidence that I do not regret that decision. Similarly to my connection to Lady Gaga, her music, her message, and her fans, I was also moved and connected and made to feel brave by this sci-fi show from the 90’s. Impulsivity is a bad idea in almost any venture, and I would encourage anyone with a desire to get ANY tattoo to sit on the idea for at least a few months, and even longer if needed to reach a level of certainty.

    Honestly, I hear about many more ex-girlfriend/boyfriend names, butterflies, tramp-stamps, and tribal messes being removed or covered that I do about pop-culture related tribute tattoos.

  5. Ericka says:

    I have a fan tattoo! right forearm, BRITNEY SPEARS!

  6. Dolly Veader says:

    Gone are the days when people use to get themselves inked to follow to be a part of the mainstream fashion; now people wear tattoos that reflect their passion and inner attitudes. TV shows such as Miami Ink have changed the way people used to look at tattoos. With the top celebrities flashing their ink in public, tattoos have become a rage across people of all ages. No wonder then why the demand for tattoo designs and tattoo pictures has skyrocketed in the past few years. Especially, tattoos designs such as Tribal tattoos, cross tattoos and Star tattoos are becoming more and more sought-after across the tattoo design industry.:

    Latest content article on our own blog site

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