The much adored diva Katy Perry has got 10 tattoos total and they all have their own special meaning behind them!
All of them are pretty small but nonetheless, if you aren’t planning on covering your whole body you can surely get inspired!
We’ll go over them in a chronological order.
The Jesus tattoo
Despite Katy’s unholy songs and stunts, she actually stems from a pretty religious family. Since her parents are both evangelical ministers, it’s obvious she grew up in the church. At the age of 9 years, Katherine Elizabeth Hudson, started singing in the church. That’s where her singing journey began. It’s only natural that it feels like home to her.
In order to understand the full significance behind her Jesus tattoo, we’ll have to dig a bit deeper into her roots.
A trip down memory lane
Katy Perry released her first album at the age of 16, but not in the context you might assume. Back then, she went by the name Katy Hudson. Katy Perry’s debut album was nothing like the music she makes nowadays. Christian Rock was the way Katy Perry chose to express her teenage dreams.
“I do this for me and God; I do this as a release; I do this as a spiritual growth, actually,” – Katy Perry’s explanation in an interview from 2001, “I don’t want to, like, offend people. I just honestly think people would love for
somebody to, you know, rip the nice pretty bow off of christianity and just tell it like it is.”
In another interview a few years later, Katy mentioned that at that age, the gospel album and its subjects were her world. She wrote about everything she knew then. After Katy Hudson’s debut album turned out to be a bit of a flop, she finished the tour and went back home.
That was until the moment she saw Glen Ballard talking about Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill on VH1. The 16 year old Katy got inspired and went to visit Ballard’s LA studio. After she played him one song with her guitar she got a call from him the following day. Glen was moving Katy Perry to LA to help her fulfill her dreams. That’s the moment Katy Hudson changed her artist name to Katy Perry to avoid confusion with the actress’ Kate Hudson.
After 3 years of recording she got signed and dropped by record labels twice. But luckily for Katy, that did not dim her light. In 2007 her career finally took off when she released the song ‘Ur so gay’ and her voice, was finally heard.
In that same interview, Katy Perry explained she’s not exactly what she was born into but that doesn’t stop her to have a greater appreciation and respect for her roots, her religious upbringing. Quoting Katy Perry’s words, she does believe in faith and that it is pure.
The famous ‘Jesus’ tattoo she has on her left wrist shows all of that and it helps with keeping her grounded to her religious upbringing. Especially since it’s always facing towards her while playing guitar.
Sweet strawberry of mine
Since the jumpstart of her career was now a fact, Katy wanted to celebrate this with a second tattoo.
After her release of ‘One of the boys’ back in 2008, her debut album as Katy Perry, she went on a world tour. The Hello Katy tour, during which she used inflatable strawberries props on stage.
The strawberry tattoo
On twitter, Katy mentioned she was ”thinking about getting my second tattoo tonight.”
To celebrate the end of the 11 months long tour, she went ahead and did so! Katy got a smiling strawberry tattoo on the inside of her left ankle. The tattoo artist designed her strawberry tattoo to be a little cartoon-ish with a cute smiley face.
Go with the flow: sanskrit tattoo
Well, the title already gave it away, but after a few months into her relationship with Russell Brand the couple got engaged. That wasn’t the only current flow they went with.
To celebrate their engagement the couple decided to get matching tattoos in 2010. Katy Perry’s sanskrit tattoo is in India’s ancient language because that’s where Russell Brand popped the question. More specifically, Russell proposed during their vacation in Jaipur. Needless to say, fiancé Russell Brand got it too. They also got married in India with a very traditional Hindu ceremony! Connecting the dots already?
Both of their tattoos are located on their right biceps and they say ‘Anuugacchati pravaha’. It literally translates to: ”Go with the flow,” which they definitely did.
On the inside of her other ankle, her right ankle she got herself a matching peppermint tattoo. For the same reason as with the strawberry tattoo, she got the peppermint candy to celebrate the release of her Teenage Dream album, and its following tour: the California Dreams tour.
The graphic designer incorporated a peppermint type of font for the Teenage Dream album cover. Katy Perry also chose to make it make sense once again by dressing up in peppermint outfits on stage during the California Dreams tour.
Katy Perry got herself a ‘private’ tattoo artist to travel with her and her tour team for around 1 week. It’s been said 50 members of her team got the same tattoo, the peppermint tattoo. You might’ve already heard of him, his artist name? Bang Bang.
Husband Russell Brand
Her then husband Russell Brand, also got some ink on his body by Katy’s tattoo artist! He got a tattoo to show his love for the football team West Ham United.
A star is (re)born: the lotus flower tattoo
After one year of married life, Katy Perry and Russell Brand divorced. So, in January 2012 Katy got herself a lotus flower tattooed on her right wrist.
In many cultures it is believed that the lotus flower is a symbol of spiritual englightment and purity. Its roots stem from mud, but despite that, the flower still manages to rise above its murky environment and blossom in beauty.
It is therefore believed in many different cultures and religions that it represents rebirth. Rebirth in terms of
overcoming the struggles in our, very often, shitty physical and materialistic world. As a result of these overcomings, we come out on top more wise and stronger. Moreover, a lot of these times we become bit by bit spiritually enlightened. Whether we realise this or not. Starting to catch on the meaning behind her lotus tattoo?
Furthermore, the lotus flower is also a symbol for detachment. Coincidence? As the lotus ‘separates’ itself from the water, its muddy conditions thus its dirty nature, lots of cultures interpret this as a reminder. A reminder to detach ourselves from anything that can damage the integrity and/or purity of our souls. A reminder to focus on the things that matter!
The lotus flower tattoo only makes sense now. Despite Katy not making a public statement about it, not that she’s obliged to do so, looking a bit further shows us the logic. We interpret this as her newfound clarity after her divorce. No need to dwell on the past and make ourselves miserable about things out of our control.
A bit of the traditional Japanese tattoo art: cherry blossom
On the outside of her right ankle there’s one more ‘Katy Perry tattoo’: a cherry blossom tattooed back in November of 2013. Sakura, also known as the Japanese cherry blossom tree has also got its own hidden message.
The cherry blossom's message
In the Japanese culture it’s said that the Sakura blossoms mark the ending of winter and therefore the beginning of spring. It’s the Japanese national flower and it represents a time of renewal and optimism!
Another symbolic meaning behind the tree’s blossoms: the transitory aspect of life. Just like the lotus flower, the sakura tree blossoms don’t last that long either. During their season they only bloom for about one to two weeks.
Our interpretation for the reason why Katy Perry got this tattoo, is probably as a reminder for herself to live in the now. The famous American singer and her now ex-boyfriend John Mayer also got a similar tattoo of a cherry blossom on his wrist; one more matching tattoo.
We can speculate that since their relationship was on and off from 2012 until their official split in 2015, the ‘live in the now’ aspect of the meaning behind their matching cherry blossoms was why they got it. Another way of saying go with the flow, is it not?
Another one of Katy’s small tattoos is the Hello Kitty’s head located inside her right middle finger. Katy Perry got Hello Kitty’s face on 30/10 of 2014, right on Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday and a few days after Katy turned 30.
In a twitter post Katy said: ‘OMG HELLO KITTY IS A SCORPIO TOO ILY!!!’
Remembering her reference to Hello Kitty in her first debut tour ‘Hello Katy’, we can only say her ”obsession” is sensible and quite cute!
XLIX: roman numeral to remember the night of left shark's debute
At the University of Phoenix Stadium, the 49th Super Bowl took place back in 01/02/2014, during which Katy Perry graced the audience with an appearance throughout the halftime show.
Besides Katy singing her famous medleys, one of her dancers that was dressed in a shark costume straight up stole the spotlight! It was the left shark that got everyone’s attention with his memorable dance moves.
To remember the night, Katy Perry decided to get the roman numeral XLIX (=49) inside her right ring finger.
Rainbow prism tattoo
By now you’ve probably already realised Katy has a certain theme going on with the body art she gets inked. Besides the Jesus tattoo, the sanskrit tattoo, lotus flower and cherry blossom, all of them are career related. More specifically, album and tour related. So as a commemoration to her Prism album and the ending of the Prismatic World Tour Katy Perry’s left ankle got honored by Bang Bang’ art again.
The Prismatic World Tour lasted for 17 months! Katy supposedly gave the following explanation on an interview with the Project:
”I always bring Keith (Bang Bang) in for my most special tattoos – the ones my touring team and I get at the end of a tour to commemorate another succesful journey together. It comes towards the end of the tour, because it’s kind of the payoff…”
She further went on to explain it’s like a reward for all the hard work they did and that it’s like family quality time!
I'm watching you: the outer space eye
The last tour tattoo of Katy Perry’s tattoos is unlike all of her other ones. It’s not anywhere near her ankles, nowhere near the style of her other tattoos and it wasn’t done by the same artist.
This intricate fine-line; outer space eye design is located on the wrist of her right arm and was done by tattoo artist Dr. Woo. It is as a recollection for her, you guessed it – tour, ‘Witness’. Needless to say the tour was for the fifth studio album ‘Witness’ of the pop star.
Matching tattoos with the KatyCats
A lot of celebrities show the love for their fans and supporters on multiple occasions, but Katy went as far as getting a matching tattoo with multiple fans!
Back in 2019 during the promotion of her single Never Really Over at YoutubeMusic, Katy Perry’s fans, she calls KatyCats, and herself got some matching tattoos. The designs were: a broken heart saying ‘miss’ on Katy’s hand and the other half saying ‘you’, on Katy Perry’s fans.
What a way to give another meaning to ‘celebrity tattoos’ huh!
More than meets the eye
We hope you guys learned a bit more by reading this article than just the ‘Katy Perry tattoos’. With her marriage that lasted just over a year, the right bicep ‘go with the flow’ tattoo for it, and actually all of Katy Perry’s tattoos, she showed us to be a bit more appreciative.
Just like Angelina Jolie, Katy managed to teach her fanbase an important lesson. One that some might overlook.
Everything in life, even the good, fun stuff, including our successes, is temporary so we should enjoy it while it lasts! Don’t take anything for granted and when life throws a curveball at you, don’t duck but accept it, keep your head high and rise above it.