Angelina Jolie is a famous American actress and has been cited in many celebrity news, magazines and websites as one of the world’s “most beautiful woman”. She has stared in countless movies and won acclaim for her acting skills, as well as her work as a U.N. Representative. But one aspect of Angelina that fascinates many of her fans is her love for getting tattoos and exactly what they mean to her.
“They’re body art. I don’t think it’s abnormal that someone who spends their life in other skins wants to claim their own by marking things on it that matter to them.” -Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie’s very first tattoo was inked in 1993 and she got a Japanese Kanji symbol for “Death” on her left shoulder blade. She said it served as a reminder to her to live life to the fullest. She has since had the tattoo removed and replaced by a magical Pali incantation written in Khmer, the native language of Cambodia. She got this tattoo to protect she and Maddox, her son, from bad luck and avoid accidents. It reads:
May your enemies run far away from you.
If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always.
Your beauty will be that of Apsara. (a celestial dancer in Khmer mythology)
Wherever you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.
The tattoo was done by Sompong Kanphai in in a hotel in Pathum Thani, Thailand, the same tattoo artist who did her “Bengal Tiger Tattoo”
The next tattoo Angelina got while on a trip to Amsterdam in 1996. She soon regretted the tattoo, and had this to say. “I dropped my pants in a tattoo parlor in Amsterdam. I woke up in a waterbed with this funky-looking dragon with a blue tongue on my hip. I realized I made a mistake, so a few months later I got a cross to cover it. When my pants hang low, it looks like I’m wearing a dagger !”
Angelina Jolie had the cross tattoo done the day before she married Johnny Lee Miller. In her own words: “It was all symbolic, and it was a good thing, nothing dark.”
Next to it is a phrase in Latin. “Quod me nutrit me destruit”, meaning “What nourishes me, destroys me.”
Probably her most visible tattoo removal was the first dragon Angelina had tattooed on her left upper arm in 1997. In 2000 she later added the name of her second husband “Billy Bob” but had it removed after their divorce. In an interview during the time of the tattoo removal procedure she said, “I’ll never be stupid enough to have a man’s name tattooed on me again.” It took 5 visits to the tattoo removal clinic to erase the Asian dragon.
Angelina now has the geo-coordinate tattoos (expressed in the degrees, minutes, seconds notation) of where her children were born :
N 11º 33′ 0″ E 104º 51′ 00″
N 9º 2′ 0″ E 38º 45′ 0″
S 22º 40′ 26″ E 14º 31′ 40″
N 10° 46′ 0″ E 106º 41′ 40″
N 43º 41′ 21″ E 07º 14′ 28″
In 2011 Angie added her partner Brad Pitt’s geo-coordinate as well as a flourish around the upper corner.
On the inside of Angelina’s right forearm was a tattoo of lines she and former husband Billy Bob had designed together. She has since had the design covered with an Arabic script tattoo that means “Strength of Will”.
The gothic lettering tattoo just under Angelina’s neck reads “Know Your Rights” and is the title of the song by The Clash, one of her favorite bands. According to Angelina, it is a slogan of empowerment which she described as “humanitarian, but a little punk rock”. She had this tattoo done in 2004 and has since added some flourishes below this tatt.
On the inside of Angelina’s right palm is the letter “M” which is a tribute to her mother, Marcheline.
Another one of Angie’s early tattoo’s was that of a Japanese symbol for “Courage”. She and ex husband Johnny Lee Miller had matching tattoos done and that is why she chose to have it removed, it didn’t feel like her own.
On Angelina’s inner right thigh is the name “Whiskey Bravo” , which represents her partner Brad Pitt’s initials in the aviation alphabet, as Jolie and Pitt are both licensed pilots.
Angelina’s left forearm now is emblazoned with many tattoos tied together with some fancy flourishes. The first is a coverup from where the “Courage” tattoo formerly was. In it’s place is a quote from famous author Tennesse Williams. “A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages.” She had this tattoo done in the presence of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand. Here is how she describes what the quote means to her.
“I don’t think I know one person who I think can be completely who they are, every second of the day, who feels completely free…So it’s kind of a prayer for everybody to find their happiness, to break out…Anything that makes us comfortable, those things are cages around us.”
She also has the roman numeral 13, because she does not believe in superstitions, and In 2009, it became XIII V MCMXL. Which translates to 13 may 1940, the date of Winston Churchill’s famous speech, he said : “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
On Angelina Jolie’s inside left wrist is a rune style tattoo of the letter ‘h”. According to sources, it is to remind her of her brother, James Haven whereas some say it is to signify her ex-boyfriend Timothy Hutton. Knowing Angelina’s disposition to laser off any reminders of her past relationships, the former meaning is more plausible.
Angelina’s lower back is always a work in progress it seems and is now the location of her biggest pieces, the bengal tiger. She started out with two iroquois symbols in 1997, and later added a tribal dragon inked in 1998, and later a blue window.
The ‘window tattoo’ refers to her once held view on life: “Wherever I am, I find myself looking out of the window, wishing I was somewhere else.” The window has since been covered up by the tail of the Bengal Tiger. She had the window covered because she no longer subscribed to that view and she felt that she is “where she wants to be right now”.
This 12-inch long, 8-inch wide Bengal tiger tattoo on her lower back was done in Bangkok in 2004, during a 2 hour session by tattoo artist Sompong Kanhphai who also blessed it by chanting an ancient hymn. Sompong also did her Khmer tattoo and Angelina said that she felt that her life had been filled with luck after she received the first tattoo from him. She had the tiger tattoo done to celebrate her Cambodian citizenship.
According to press report, it took the tattoo artist, 2 hours to complete the design. It took two hours to complete the tattoo because Angelina opted for a traditional Thai tattooing style. Purely by hand, the tattoo artist maneuvered a long needle that glides inside a hollow tube, delicately inking the skin manually. While tattooing, the tattoo artist chanted ancient Buddhist hymn to bless the tattoo.
These are some more recent shots of Angelina Jolie’s additional flourishes she has added to her previous pieces.
Angelina Jolie will forever be working on adding, removing, and covering up tattoos all over her famous body. What do you think of all that ink, does it work well for her?