Back on June 23rd of this year, I began this little endeavor I called “New 2 Tats”. It was a way to share my thoughts on tattoos as a person who had made the giant leap from hating body ink for the first 35 years of his life to evolving his thoughts on the subject and getting tattoos himself. I saw it as a way to share the tattoos I see and real life as well as providing a forum to their prevalance among public figures such as athletes and celebrities. My goal is to make the concept of tattoos more accessible to everyone and possibly help some people make the same transition I made, while allowing others just to enjoy the discussions and pictures of body art.
Those who know me, a guy who ranted against tattoos for so long, it is amusing for them to see how completely I have embraced body art. So, it seems only appropriate that I publish the “New 2 Tats” major milestone, its 100th post, on 12/21/2012. I’m sure many of my friends thought they would see the world end before they saw me do something like this.
After a lot of consideration, it also became clear to me that there was only one person who could be featured for the “New 2 Tats” 100th post. That is “Glee’s” own Rachel Berry, Ms. Lea Michelle.
There couldn’t be anyone else chosen for this honor because Lea is the perfect representation of what this blog is about. She has numerous tattoos that she proudly displays and talks about, yet she does not look like the ‘tattoo type’. She is the poster girl for how mainstream body art has become. She is an elegant, glamorous woman who hapens to have a lot of body art and makes it seem complimentary to her rather than shocking.
She is also a perfect choice because she is the focal point of my own struggle to evolve my opinion on tattoos. When “Glee” first hit the airwaves, it wasn’t long before Lea got noticed for her tattoos as much as for her singing voice. And, it wasn’t that she just had one or two. Based on the articles I have read, at the time the show started, Lea had around NINE tattoos! That was shocking to me. Then, I began to notice that almost every other cast member on “Glee” had tattoos and I read an interview where she jokingly confessed to ‘cajoling’ some of her castmates into getting inked. Since I was still in my ‘I hate tattoos’ mindset, I found this outrageous.
While this did not endear Lea to me at all, it started forcing me to look at tattoos more broadly (no matter how much I did not want to). Despite having all those tattoos, Lea didn’t look like a heavily-inked ‘hot mess’, a la Kat Von D. I still considered her quite attractive and, as my own views on tattoos began to evolve, I came to see her body art for what it truly is: gorgeous accessories to her own beauty (well, most of her tattoos 😉 ).
Now, it is time for the fun part: Lea’s tattoos. At the time of this posting, Lea is believed to have 14 tattoos! (This had her as a ‘dressing room’ leader in body art for awhile, but she was recently surpassed by castmate, Jenna Ushkowitz, who appears to have jumped from 3 tattoos to 16 in less than two years). Lea admits that some of her ink is in ‘personal’ locations. However, I was able to find pictures of 11 out of those 14 tattoos (some could be considered to be 1 tattoo or multiple. So, it is possible I may have more than 11 shown here). Here is the list (the pictures with captions to follow):
- Music Note (Left Shoulder)
- Butterfly (Lower Right Back)
- Butterfly (Right Foot)
- Script “Our City.. Our Love” (Right Foot)
- Script “Imagine” (Left Foot)
- Green script and design that reads “Believe” (Right Wrist)
- Script [unknown] (Left Torso)
- Bird (Left Bikini Line)
- Red Heart (Left Middle Finger)
- Gold Star (Left Wrist)
- Script [unknown] (Left Bicep)
Now, without further ado, here are Lea’s fascinating tattoos
Music Note (Left Shoulder): Adorable and meaningful, given her passion for singing (as Rachel Berry in “Glee” and also in her extensive stage career with such notable productions as “Spring Awakening”)
Butterfly (Lower Right Back): I don’t know if there is any meaning to this, but this is a very cute tattoo; and, she seems to like the them because she has other butterflies and birds on her body
Butterfly (Right Foot): Another cute butterfly tattoo
Script “Our City… Our Love” (Right Foot): On the same foot, she has this phrase etched on her
Script “Imagine” (Left Foot): Lea has this companion script tattoo on her other foot
Green script and design that reads “Believe” (Right Wrist): No doubt this was one of Lea’s earlier tattoos. The design is a little blurry and probably in need of touchup (or enhancement), but it has a very personal connection to her time performing “Spring Awakening” [The second of the photos also shows the music note on her shoulder]
Script [unknown phrase] (Left Torso): Recent paparazzi photos of Lea on a few different beach vacations reveal some tattoo work on her torso just beneath her bikini top. I could not find a clear photo that showed what the script said, but it appears to be a nice tattoo
Bird (Left Bikini Line): Lea seems to love getting these small, cute, and very feminine designs. I strongly encourage her to continue 🙂
Red Heart (Left Middle Finger): A recent awards show revealed that she had a discrete red heart inscribed on her finger
Gold Star (Left Wrist): This is another hard to locate tattoo because it blends in with her skin tone. Cute.
Script [unknown] (Left Bicep): This is the final tattoo of Lea’s I was able to locate. The picture is blurry and hard to find. It is even rumored that she has had this tattoo removed. But, here it is.
Whether it is on a Broadway stage or in a television and movie musical, we will be seeing Lea Michelle for a long time to come. I, personally, appreciate her for helping me see body art for what it has become, rather than for what it use to be thought of. While she says she may be done with tattoos as this point, I still look forward to more (after all, she has to catch up to Jenna 😉 )
You can find out more about Lea at her fan site: http://leamicheleweb.org/
And, of course, catch her in the Twitterverse at: https://twitter.com/msleamichele