Does Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who shot to fame in 2011 for her hit single “Call Me Maybe”, have tattoos?
Carly Rae Jepsen does not have any documented tattoos, having stated in interviews that she suffers from a severe phobia of needles which has prevented her from getting them.
While Jepsen may not have any tattoos of her own, she has frequently shown an interest in the body art of others, and many of her devoted fans have gotten tattoos in tribute to Jepsen and her music.
Jepsen’s Tattoo Doubts
In 2010, well before “Call Me Maybe” set her on a meteoric rise to spend nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, Carly Rae Jepsen posted a tweet stating that she “love(s) the idea of tattoos. It’s the whole permanent part that I’m afraid of.” The permanent nature of a tattoo is not the only thing that has stopped Jepsen from getting one.
Jepsen has also revealed that she has a severe phobia of needles and is “extremely indecisive.” One of her chief worries is that no matter which tattoo she has done, she would “probably loathe it the next day.”
However, if Jepsen was to get a tattoo it might say, as she jokingly suggested in a 2019 interview for Interview Magazine with Cyndi Lauper, “dare to suck” – a reminder to allow herself creative freedom, even at the expense of failure.
Jepsen suffers from a needle phobia, which is sometimes referred to as trypanophobia and is the fear of needles or injections. Sufferers’ reactions to needles can include dizziness, panic attacks, racing heart rate, and high blood pressure from facing a single injection. A tattoo gun can puncture the skin between 50 and 3000 times per second – a daunting prospect for someone with trypanophobia considering any kind of body art.
Some trypanophobics are more afraid of the pain of injection than the needle itself, which could be argued of Jepsen, as in an interview with PopBuzz in February 2020, Jepsen told the anecdote of her bizarre encounter with tattooed professional boxer, Mike Tyson, at Justin Beiber’s birthday party. She claimed that during their interaction she had no idea who he was, instead asking him about his tribal face tattoos and whether they had hurt, only learning who he was after the fact.
The incident inspired a song with the lyrics: “I was fighting against Mike Tyson / And do you believe in pain? You said, with that tattoo on his head”. The track didn’t quite make it into Jepsen’s 2015 album Emotion (stylized as E•MO•TION).
After the success of “Call Me Maybe”, Jepsen fell into relative obscurity. Few of her subsequent releases managed to crack the top 10 of the Billboard 100. But rather than fade as yet another one-hit wonder, Jepsen has built a wide, deeply loyal fanbase, particularly among emo and punk subcultures and LGBT fans.
While Carly Rae Jepsen has no tattoos of her own, her work has inspired many of her hugely devoted fans to go under the needle themselves. Jepsen’s most dedicated fans have taken to tattooing their favorite lyrics, quotes, and album imagery onto their bodies, earning Jepsen the nickname “queen of tattoo inspiration” as part of a wider “queen of” meme on her social media accounts.
Among the most popular tattoo designs is the logo of Jepsen’s third studio album, Emotion, often accompanied by the dictionary definition of the word “emotion” taken from the album’s cover art.
Others include daggers, swords, and knives, inspired by Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” track from the 2017 album, Emotion: Side B+.
Though Carly Rae Jepsen’s needle phobia and fear of tattoo-regret may prevent her from decorating her own skin, she has inspired a legion of fans to commemorate her work and the impact of her music on their own.
In the meantime, Jepsen seems to have hit upon a far less painful alternative to traditional tattoos: