Selena Gomez has several tattoos, all meaningful, and with their own backstory. But why does she have an Arabic tattoo, and what does it mean?
Selena Gomez has a short, Arabic tattoo on her back, under her right shoulder. The text in this tattoo translates to “Love yourself first”, a line penned by Gomez herself. Its base meaning is the way she decides to live her life, at least romantically.
Read on to learn more about Selena Gomez and her style of tattoo.
Heart On Your Sleeve
Selena Gomez has explained that all her tattoos have a deeper meaning than what might show on the surface. As of 2020, she boasted a collection of twelve tattoos, but only one of them was ‘traditional’.
The eleven tattoos that remain are (mostly) remarkably small, some of them being almost completely hidden. Her traditional tattoo was an image of praying hands, referencing her lifestyle, culture, and upbringing.
Gomez’ tattoos all have a story behind them, and some are more meaningful than others. For example, a tiny tattoo of the word ‘sunshine’ on her right foot is assumedly a tribute to her grandmother. In 2016, Gomez posted a picture with her grandmother, captioned “Nana is my sunshine.”
In an article in 2012, Gomez revealed a tattoo of Roman numerals on her neck. She explained that this particular tattoo spelled out the number seventy-six. When questioned about the meaning behind the tattoo, she stated that it was a “… tribute to a family member who means a lot to me.”
It would be two years later, in 2014, that Selena Gomez would reveal a cryptic, Arabic tattoo. Those that were able to read the language would have had no issues deciphering it, but it took Selena to explain it to the masses. She stated that the tattoo simply meant, “Love yourself first.”
This formed the basis of how she lived her life. Her romantic life and relationships had been deeply studied in the press and media and aired for all to see. She’s not been without struggle when it comes to her love life, as much of the world knows. She ultimately decided to carve her mantra into her skin: love yourself first.
You’re Not Alone
It’s not uncommon for people to have tattoos in languages other than their mother tongue. There are many other celebrities who also have Arabic tattoos, some of which are very similar to Selena’s.
For example, Angelina Jolie has an Arabic tattoo on her arm that reads ‘determination’. The successful actor Colin Farrell has an Arabic tattoo on his left wrist, bearing the word ‘freedom’. Similarly, Rihanna has Arabic ink on her ribcage, which says ‘freedom in Messiah’.
The English pop star Leona Lewis has a small Arabic tattoo on her wrist that reads, “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me.” This is a different tact to Selena Gomez and her Arabic tattoo, opting to forsake all others and love yourself first.
One tattoo that Selena Gomez has that is by no means unique is the small semicolon on her wrist. This grammatical tool became the symbol for mental health awareness and suicide prevention around 2017.
The theory behind this was that it symbolized a sentence that could end continuing. It was a metaphor for someone beating suicidal tendencies, and continuing their life. This tattoo is worn by millions of people worldwide, including Selena Gomez herself.
Selena Gomez got her first tattoo shortly after her departure from Disney. It was one of the many aspects she employed to symbolize her breakthrough into adulthood. For many people, a tattoo is a rite of passage into adulthood, and they’re meaningful for more than just one reason.
Like many stars and celebrities, Selena Gomez trusts an extremely skilled and prominent artist to tattoo her skin. In New York City, there’s an artist called Bang Bang, and his work has adorned the skin of dozens, if not hundreds of stars.
He’s worked with names like Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Lewis Hamilton, Justin Beiber, and LeBron James. His skills with a tattoo needle are reportedly famous worldwide, and he’s extremely exclusive – and expensive.
There’s a video below that shows Bang Bang talking about ‘micro tattoos’. These are the kinds of tattoos that Selena Gomez actually favors.