Selena Gomez’s tattoos and their meanings: A complete guide

Selena Gomez’s tattoo collection is certainly one of a kind. The 28-year-old singer debuted a tiny “Rare” tattoo commemorating her most recent album — which also inspired her new beauty line — earlier this year. But the neck tattoo isn’t her only special ink; the “Spring Breakers” actress has a total of 14 tattoos dedicated …

Selena Gomez’s tattoo collection is certainly one of a kind.

The 28-year-old singer debuted a tiny “Rare” tattoo commemorating her most recent album — which also inspired her new beauty line — earlier this year.

But the neck tattoo isn’t her only special ink; the “Spring Breakers” actress has a total of 14 tattoos dedicated to her friendships, her music and her faith. Clearly, the meaning of each design is very close to her heart.

Here’s everything to know about all of Selena Gomez’s tattoos and their meanings.

1

"Rare"

Celebrating her recent album

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Gomez debuted this cursive neck tattoo from her go-to artist Bang Bang in January. Her album’s lead single, also titled “Rare,” includes the lyrics: “It feels like you don’t care / Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” The word is clearly a very important part of this chapter of Selena’s life.

2

The date of her kidney transplant

June 2017

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In an interview with CapitalFM in December, Gomez revealed that the series of numbers on the back of her arm commemorates the date she underwent a kidney transplant, revealing that her friend and donor Francia Raisa has a matching tattoo. Gomez showed off the tattoo for the first time in January while dancing in the music video for her song “Rare.”

3

Prayer hands

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After returning to the stage at the American Music Awards in 2019, Gomez revealed this upper-leg tattoo of praying hands and a rosary. Some fans pointed out that the design bears a striking resemblance to her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber’s tattoo of praying hands on his left leg. Bieber’s extensive collection of ink also included a tattoo of Gomez’s face on his arm, and as he awkwardly revealed in a 2016 interview with GQ, “I kinda try to cover her face up with some shading, but people still know.”

4

Arrow

Matching with Julia Michaels

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Following Gomez’s surprise appearance at her friend Julia Michaels’ concert last November, the pair got matching arrow tattoos on their hands. “It’s tatted,” Gomez wrote on her Instagram Story. “My arrow points to you forever.” The two frequently collaborate on music, and Michaels co-wrote Gomez’s emotional hit “Lose You to Love Me.”

5

"4"

For her four best friends

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Forget friendship bracelets — Gomez and her three closest pals all have matching tattoos. “4, because you are my 4 for the rest of my life,” she explained when debuting the tattoo on Instagram in celebration of one friend’s 26th birthday in 2018. 

6

"1"

For her "#1" friend

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Another tattoo in honor of a close friend, the number 1 on Gomez’s ribcage represents her long friendship with her “actual #1,” Courtney Lopez. “You are the definition of FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made baby,” Gomez gushed about Lopez in an Instagram post.

7

Semicolon

For mental health awareness

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This tiny punctuation mark has huge significance. Gomez, an executive producer for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” got the tattoo with two of the show’s cast members, Tommy Dorfman and Alisha Boe, in 2017.  Suicide prevention and mental health advocacy nonprofit group Project Semicolon explains that while a period represents the end of a sentence, a semicolon signifies that “your story isn’t over.” Thousands of people have similar semicolon tattoos — which, as Dorfman wrote in an Instagram post, “means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life.”

8

"g"

For her little sister

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Gomez doesn’t just have tattoos for her friends; she also honors members of her family with ink. Behind her ear, the singer has a lowercase “g” for her 7-year-old half-sister, Gracie Teefey. The two sisters walked the red carpet at the premiere of “Frozen 2” together last November in matching Marc Jacobs dresses fit for ice queens.

9

"Sunshine"

Her grandmother's nickname

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Although Gomez has not confirmed the meaning, some fans linked this tiny foot tattoo to her grandmother, who she referred to as “sunshine” in a tweet.

10

"LXXVI"

76 in Roman numerals

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Tattoo artist Bang Bang told The Daily Mail that the Roman numerals for the number 76 are “a tribute to a family member who [Gomez] said means a lot to her.” Since Gomez’s mother was born in 1976, fans suspect the tattoo is in her honor. He also revealed that Gomez “held her best friend’s hand the whole time” while getting this tattoo, as she was afraid it would be painful.

11

"x31"

The date she met one of her best friends

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It’s rare to find a friend as dedicated as Gomez. While unwinding on a beach vacation in 2015, she was photographed with a tiny symbol on her hip that many believed depicts a variation of the spiritual om symbol. However, in a 2016 interview with Refinery29, she revealed that her left hip tattoo, which appears to read “x31,”  actually represents the date she met one of her BFFs.

12

Arabic script

Meaning "love yourself first"

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The “Lose You to Love Me” singer advocated for self-love in 2014 when she returned to Bang Bang for this 4-inch line of Arabic script on her back that translates to, “love yourself first.”  Along with six of her other tattoos, this design was available for fans to purchase as a temporary tattoo during her Revival tour.

13

"God strengthens me"

For one of her favorite Bible verses

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While Gomez is open about her faith, this tattoo remained a secret for at least a year. “I’ve done a pretty good job at hiding it,” she told Ryan Seacrest in 2013. The meaningful ink is inspired by one of her favorite Bible verses, Philippians 4:13.

14

Music note

Her first tattoo

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This simple music note was Gomez’s first tattoo in 2012. While fans originally thought the design was a heart, Gomez set the record straight during an interview with Access Hollywood, explaining, “music is a big influence in my life.” Before she made a name for herself as a singer and actress, Gomez’s parents named her after Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla.

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