Tribute tattoos: is it wise to honour your beloved in everlasting ink?

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https://www.theguardian.com-Brooklyn Beckham is the latest celebrity to get a tattoo in honour of his partner – but when it comes to body art, it is probably safer to pay tribute to a pet

Get it in the neck … Brooklyn Beckham’s tattoos. Photograph: @luigiandiango/Instagram

Name: Tribute tattoos.

Age: For all time, allegedly.

Appearance: Like graffiti on a flesh-coloured background.

What’s the difference between a tribute tattoo and a regular tattoo? A tribute tattoo is in honour of a specific person, or sometimes a dog. A regular tattoo is just, like, an anchor or something.

You mean in honour of someone dead? No, it might just be your significant other.

Why would you need a tribute to them, if they’re right there? It’s supposed to be romantic.

I don’t get it. Can you give me an example, preferably involving a celebrity? Certainly. The actor Chris Zylka had Paris Hilton’s first name inked on his forearm, in the Disney font, six months before they got engaged.

Seems weird, but I guess it’s OK if you’re getting married. Oh, they never got married – the couple split in late 2018.

Sad. Do you have any more recent examples, possibly involving a celebrity I have heard of? Of course. Brooklyn Beckham has just got a new tattoo on the back of his neck in honour of his fiancee, the actor Nicola Peltz.

What’s it like? It’s something she wrote to him – “My forever boy. Read this any time you feel anxious. I want you to know how deeply loved you are …” – underneath a rendering of her eyes, which he already had.

I suppose that’s quite sweet. It continued: “You have the kindest heart I’ve ever met and hope I never go a day without your love.”

He must have a very long neck. Sorry, there’s more: “I think you are so incredible. Just know we can get through it all together if you breathe slow and trust. I love you beyond. Love always, your future wifey.”

I’ll bet she wishes she had proofread it now. This is Beckham’s fifth tribute tattoo in honour of Peltz, so I’m sure she checks her spelling these days.

It shows a lot of commitment, and a very high pain threshold. Sadly the celebrity world is littered with tattoos that outlasted relationships: Johnny Depp’s “Winona Forever”; comedian Pete Davidson’s inked tributes to Ariana Grande; Rob Kardashian’s former girlfriend’s name on his chest.

So tribute tattoos are tattoos for people who don’t understand that tattoos don’t come off? There seems to be a basic misunderstanding somewhere.

A whole-back portrait of a departed dog seems quite sensible by comparison. True – a dead pet can’t break up with you.

Do say: “Hey, I just met you / And this is crazy / But here’s my bum where / I wrote this essay.”

Don’t say: “Leave the name blank, mate – I’ve got a Sharpie for that.”

 

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