Athlete Tattoo of the Day (Olympic Ultimate Fighter Edition): Sara McMann

saramcmann_pic01     Olympians and MMA fighters are two groups of athletes who are regulars at tattoo parlors.  When you combine both types of into one person, you are just about 100% guaranteed to find them sporting body art.  UFC Woman’s Champion, Ronda Rousey, is one such athlete (she won a Bronze Medal in Judo at the 2008 Games in Beijing).  Sara McMann, Rousey’s opponent in the February 22nd, 2014 title match at UFC 170, is another such athlete.

SaraMcMann_Pic07    McMann was born in Maryland (in 1980), but has spent most of her life in the South.  She attended high school in North Carolina and currently lives in South Carolina.  She like to grapple from early on, becoming a wrestler in high school and went on to battle on the mat in college at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.  Scholastically, she went on to earn a Masters in Education (focusing on mental health counseling) from Gardner-Webb University.

SaraMcMann_Pic03     Sara’s wrestling days didn’t end when she graduated.  In 2004, she traveled to Greece to wrestle on the U.S. women’s freestyle wrestling team in the Athens Olympic Games.  She represented the U.S. well as she earned a Silver Medal, losing to Japan’s Kaori Icho by a single point the Gold Medal match.

SaraMcMann_Pic02   Graduation from college, and the conclusion of the Olympics, did not mean the end of wrestling for McMann.  Given the growing appeal of women’s mixed martial arts, she found promotions eager to sign her.  In 2010, Sara originally planned to sign with Strikeforce, but contractual and logistical issues derailed that effort.  She eventually got into the ring for promotions such as Universal Cage Combat, Blackeye Promotions and Titan Fighting Championships.

SaraMcMann_Pic08    After getting her face bloodied in those lower-tiered promotions, she started moving up in the ranks.  She fought for Invicta Fighting Championships before another attempt to fight for Strikeforce fell through.  Finally, in 2013, Sara reached the pinnacle of her sport by signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (due, in no small part, Ronda Rousey’s pioneering breakthrough [UFC President, and founder, Dana White, had previously stated that women would never be signed to UFC]).

saramcmann_pic05    Once in UFC, Sara was able to get a bout in one of the promotion’s major events, UFC 159.  There, she defeated Sheila Gaff by TKO in the first round.  This subsequently opened the door to Sara getting a major opportunity when White made the Rousey vs. McMann the Main Event at UFC 170.  McMann’s first shot at a title ended in disappointment, however, as a stunning punch by Rousey near McMann’s liver debilitated Sara just long enough for the referee to end the fight by TKO just a minute into the match.  No doubt, Sara will be gunning for a rematch.

SaraMcMann_Pic04     Outside of the octagon, McMann enjoys another strenuous role in her life; that of mother.  She has a daughter with Trent Goodale, the wrestling coach at Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina.   Sara is also very active in Habitat for Humanity, including helping rebuild homes in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.

SaraMcMann_Pic06     With all the good background on Sara, it’s now time for the fun body art.  It should come as no surprise that she has quite a few tattoos.  Among them in a very colorful collage of images that run from the middle of her back up to her shoulders.

SaraMcMann_Tat03      Before adding that elaborate design to her back, Sara previously got a design on her lower back that looks like a set of wings with Kanji symbols in the middle.

SaraMcMann_Tat01SaraMcMann_Tat02Sara also has tattoos on each wrist (although, I cannot identify what they are)

SaraMcMann_Tat04SaraMcMann_Tat05You can find out more about Sara on her official website:

You can also follow her on Twitter at:


Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Nikki Reed

NikkiReed_Pic01    Actress Nikki Reed sure knew how to make a stunning first impression when she made her big screen debut (her first acting performance ever) at the age of 15 in the shocking drama about teens gone bad, “Thirteen” (starring with Evan Rachel Wood).

nikkireed_pic04     Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, “Thirteen” is the story of a relatively well-adjusted (but socially awkward) young teen girl, Tracy (played by Wood), whose life gets thrown all out of whack when she crosses paths with the wild and promiscuous Evie (played by Reed).  It’s sobering look at the terrible influences that may be beyond a parent’s control.  What is stunning about the film is not Reed’s powerful performance (which earned deserved raves), it was the fact that Reed wrote the movie, herself.  It was based on her own similar experience at that age (she says the ‘Tracy’ character is who she was in real life).  Nikki had served notice that she was a new powerhouse talent.

nikkireed_pic05     The critical success of “Thirteen” immediately opened many doors for Nikki.  Soon, she got cast in the skateboard film “Lords of Dogtown”, which was a fictionalized version of the documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys”.  She followed that up with a role in “American Gun”, a poignant independent film about the impact of guns and gun violence on different segments of one community.

NikkiReed_Pic03     Nikki then got her hands on some saucier roles.  First, she landed a gig on the mid-2000’s guilty pleasure “The O.C.”.   Then, she had her next major lead performance in “Mini’s First Time”, an odd film about where she plays a painfully bored teen who tries to spice up her life with acts such as becoming a call girl and trying to have her mom committed to an insane asylum.

Twilight    In 2008, Nikki went into full blockbuster mode when she took the role of Rosalie Hale in the ‘tween film epic “Twilight” (a film series that is the bane of anyone beyond the ‘tween years in age).  [Thankfully, it also had another “New 2 Tats” beauty in it, in addition to Nikki.  That was Ashley Greene].  Nikki played Rosalie in all the sequels, as well.

© Vince Flores / AFF-USA.COM

© Vince Flores / AFF-USA.COM

Lest you think Nikki was an ‘all-work, no-play’ kind of girl, she also recently made some major moves in her personal life.  In 2011, she married her “American Idol” beau, Paul McDonald.  They met while Paul was in the middle the finals of “Idol”, where he finished 8th.  They soon became engaged and then walked down the aisle that October.  Staying in the family vein, Nikki also became godmother to the son of “Twilight” co-star, Jackson Rathbone, and was maid of honor at the wedding of “Spy Kids” Alexa Vega.

NikkiReed_Pic07     Nikki has been a fan of tattoos almost from the start of her acting career and has never been shy about showing them off.  The vast majority of her tattoos are in the Russian Cyrillic script.  I have been able to identify the meaning of some of them, but not the others.  Starting with the tattoos whose meaning I have not been able to discern, there is a Cyrillic script design on her inner left thigh (visible only when she’s wearing a bathing suit)

NikkiReed_Tat06     The other one I cannot identify is a cute design on the back of her neck.

NikkiReed_Tat04NikkiReed_Tat05    She also has Cyrillic script designs on her left wrist and her right rib cage.  The translation of design on the left wrist means ‘proper’.

NikkiReed_Tat02    On her rib cage, the tattoo translates to ‘must be something more’.

NikkiReed_Tat03NikkiReed_Tat01     Nikki rounds out her body art with a gesture to her husband.  She got his name, ‘Paul’ inked on her finger.  Paul reportedly had Nikki’s name inked on his finger.

NikkiReed_Tat07You can find Nikki’s official website here:

You can follow her on Twitter at:

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Nicole Gale Anderson

NicoleAnderson_Pic01     The ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars” has already been responsible for some great “New 2 Tats” features courtesy of Janel Parrish and Lucy Hale (Ashley Benson has started showing off her ink and could be featured soon).  Being featured now is the stunning Nicole Gale Anderson, who portrays Miranda Collins on “PLL”, and its spin-off series “Ravenswood”.


     Nicole has been acting since she was 14 years old.  However, before she was bitten by the acting bug, she had other primary interests.  In her youth, she was a competitive gymnast before injuries forced an early retirement.  Modeling soon came calling, though.  After getting a modeling scholarship to the Barbizon modeling school, she began appearing in print ads for Mary Kate & Ashley’s clothing line, as well as Bratz and Stand Up clothing.

NicoleAnderson_Pic04    Naturally, Nicole’s modeling gigs eventually paved the way to her becoming an actress.  She paid her dues on the requisite Nickelodeon shows like “Unfabulous” and “Zoey 101” (both with Britney Spears’ younger sister, Jamie Lynn).  She also continued rack up acting credits on other series like “Hannah Montana” and “iCarly”.


Nicole with Chelsea Staub

    Many guest and cameo roles eventually led to Nicole obtaining a more substantial acting gig (still on Nickelodeon) in the show “Jonas” which, shockingly, starred the Jonas Brothers band.  Nicole originally tried out for the lead female role of Stella.  However, she lost out to Chelsea Staub. The producers liked Nicole enough to create a role for her as Stella’s best friend, Macy.  After two seasons, “Jonas” was canceled.


    Nicole quickly landed on her feet with two new roles.  One was the gymnastics drama “Make It or Break It” (with Cassie Scerbo), and the other was “Beauty and the Beast”, alongside Kristin Kreuk.  Eventually, she landed a single episode guest spot on “Pretty Little Liars”, as the aforementioned Miranda Collins.  She has managed to parlay Miranda into the lead role on the “PLL” spin-off “Ravenswood” (which just completed its first season).  Nicole’s star is rising.  It should be interesting to see how far she goes.


The stunning Nicole with the stunning Selena Gomez.

    Nicole has been quite open about her love of tattoos.  She frequently makes a point of showing off a script tattoo she has on her right wrist, which reads ‘Belle Laide’.  This literally means ‘beautiful ugly woman’ in French.  However, the spirit of the term is more directly linked to meaning ‘unconventionally beautiful’.

NicoleAnderson_Tat03NicoleAnderson_Tat02On her left wrist, Nicole has the phrase ‘stay true’ (which you can slightly see in this photo)

NicoleAnderson_Pic05     Finally, there is the very elaborate, fascinating tattoo she has on her left rib cage.  Is combination of 2 doves, 5 gladiolus flowers and the phrase ‘mahal kita’ (which means “I love you” in Tagalog, the native language of Philippines, which is where her mother is from).

NicoleAnderson_Tat01 You can get more info about Nicole on her website:

You can follow Nicole on Twitter at:

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Step Up Edition): Briana Evigan

BEvigan_Pic07    In the summer of the 2006, Touchstone Pictures decided to capitalize on the growing popularity of the dance crew movement.  Dance crews, which typically involve groups of friends facing off against one another in elaborately choreographed dance battles, had begun to be promoted in mainstream media through movies like “You Got Served” and competition shows, such as “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “So You Think You Can Dance?”.  Touchstone released “Step Up”, a film centered around the interactions between the worlds of street dance and classical dance (It also brought future husband and wife, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, together).

bevigan_pic01    The enormous success of “Step Up” (It made over $110 million at the box office on just a $12 million budget) all but guaranteed a sequel.  That sequel, “Step Up 2:  The Streets” was the first big role for actress and dancer Briana Evigan.  If her last name sounds familiar, it should.  She is the youngest daughter of Greg Evigan, a popular actor from the 80’s and 90’s, known for such television series as “My Two Dads” and “TekWar”.

BEvigan_Pic06    Born in 1986, this L.A. girl had been immersed in dancing since she was 9 years old, no doubt inspired by her mother, who was also a dancer.  Her love of dancing eventually landed her roles in music videos for artists such as T-Pain, Linkin Park and Flo-Rida.  This was a prelude to her natural first real acting gig as Andie West in the “Step Up” series.

BEvigan_Pic02     While not well received among film critics (achieving just a 25% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Of course, the original “Step Up” only scored 19%), it was another box office smash, raking in over $150 million at the box office, on just a $23 million budget.  The movie also launched rapper Flo-Rida into super-stardom with his song from the soundtrack, “Low” (which included a music video starring Briana).

BEvigan_Pic03     Briana’s success in “Step Up 2:  The Streets” got her numerous other acting roles.  Alas, most of them were in the teen horror film genre, in which so many young stars get pigeon-holed.  So, she hasn’t had a chance to really build upon that initial success.  However, to obtain inspiration, 2014 is showing Briana returning to her roots by reprising her role as Andie in the upcoming “Step Up:  All In” film.

BEvigan_Pic05    In addition to acting and dancing, Briana is also heavily involved in charitable organizations.  She has been working with JVB Project Asia in recent months, tweeting photos from overseas of her experiences with that group.  She also promotes the Somaly Mam Foundation on her official website.  Somaly Mam is dedicated to ending human trafficking and modern slavery.

BEvigan_Pic04     The spunky Evigan is also a huge fan of tattoos.  One of her earliest tattoos is a set of three dots just below on the wrist on her left forearm.  She got them with Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) and their friend, Samantha, to represent their friendship.

BEvigan_Tat10    On that same arm, placed on the wrist, is an elegant script design of the initials B and J, which stand for her first and middle name, Briana Jane.

BEvigan_Tat06BEvigan_Tat08     Briana’s most recent tattoo is script design on her left shoulder (although, I cannot make out what it says).

BEvigan_Tat07BEvigan_Tat05   Briana’s most prominent tattoo sits along her torso on the right side of her rib cage.  It is three script words that read “Butterfly, Protector, Strength”.  These represent her and her siblings, Vanessa Lee and Jason.  Each word is the meaning of one another’s name.  Butterfly is the meaning of Vanessa; Protector is the meaning of Jason; and Strength is the meaning of Briana.

BEvigan_Tat03BEvigan_Tat02BEvigan_Tat01BEvigan_Tat04BEvigan_Tat09You can find out more about Briana on her official website:

You can follow her on Twitter at:

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Drive Angry Edition): Amber Heard

A_Heard_Pic02    In 2004, actress/model, Amber Heard, first came to the attention of audiences when she made her big screen acting debut in one of the better football movies ever filmed, “Friday Night Lights”.  It was a critical success (obtaining an 81% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes), spawned an enormously successful spin-off television series and helped boost the careers of the actors who starred in it.

A_Heard_Pic04    It seems fitting that this Texas-born beauty would star in a film about the biggest obsession in her home state.  That same year, Heard, whose only previous acting credits included a few country music videos, also made her television debut on the short-lived WB series, “Jack & Bobby”.

A_Heard_Pic06     This early success helped Amber obtain new acting gigs.  She had guest roles on the mid-decade ‘epic’ teen drama, “The O.C”, and on the crime procedural, “Criminal Minds”.  In 2006, her next big film role came about.  She was in the Nick Cassavetes film, “Alpha Dog”, a surprise hit based on a real life murder scandal.  She played Alma, one of the party girls who got intimate with Zack Mazursky (Anton Yelchin), who was the doomed protagonist.

A_Heard_Pic03     The next year, Amber’s career continued to grow.  She had a single episode role in the very fun David Duchovny hedonism-fest, “Californication”, before getting a regular gig on television in the CW teen soap opera, “Hidden Palms” (created by “Dawson’s Creek” mastermind, Kevin Williamson).  She soon became a regular in the ‘hot girl’ roles in Frat Pack films like “Pineapple Express” and the hilarious “Zombieland”.

A_Heard_Pic05     High profile roles would soon present themselves for Amber.  She got a lead role in the action thriller, “Drive Angry”, alongside the manic Nicolas Cage.  She also got another small screen acting gig in 2011’s “The Playboy Club”, a show that seemed to have strong potential, but its underwhelming writing and production doomed it to a short run.

A_Heard_Pic07     In the 2011, Amber starred in “Rum Diary” alongside the legendary Johnny Depp.  The bisexual Heard (she came out, publicly, at a GLAAD event in 2010) had just recently broken up with long-time girlfriend, photographer Tasya van Ree.  “Rum Diary” was the salve she needed for a broken heart.  She and Depp fell in love and became engaged over Christmas 2013.  In the acting realm, Amber has an action-thriller, “3 Days to Kill” about to open.


    While following Amber’s career, I heard talk of her having a tattoo.  The location and description of it, however, we always very vague.  As a result, I was not able to locate any definitive pictures of her ink.  Fortunately, in some recent photo shoots, Amber has been much more revealing about her body art.   On her left rib cage, is a script tattoo (in red ink) that reads “Te amo como se aman ciertas cosa oscuras, secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma”, a quote from Chilean author, Pablo Neruda, that means, in English, “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul”.

A_Heard_Tat01A_Heard_Tat04A_Heard_Tat03A_Heard_Tat05A_Heard_Tat02You can find out more about Amber at her official website:

She does not have any officially verified Twitter account.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Canadian V-J Edition): Lauren Toyota

LToyota_Pic07    For well over a year I have been wanting to do a “New 2 Tats” feature on the impossibly adorable Canadian music reporter, Lauren Toyota.  Lauren frequently displays her beautiful avian tattoo on her right bicep when wearing any number of sleeveless tops.  However, Lauren, in interviews, mentioned having many other tattoos.  So, I opted to wait until I could find decent photos showing her other ink.  I was successful, and now I can finally feature Lauren.

LToyota_Pic04    I found out about Lauren Toyota, pretty much, by accident when I was researching to finding out if another Canadian musical cutie, Carly Rae Jepsen, had any tattoos.  There was a photo at an awards show with Justin Bieber receiving an award from someone who looked a lot like Jepsen.  Since she had been touring with Bieber that summer, I thought this was her and she was showing off some new ink.

LToyota_Pic05    I quickly learned it was not Carly Rae, but Lauren Toyota, a music V-J who was already quite well known in her native Canada, and was starting to get noticed in the U.S.


Here are Carly and Lauren together, proving they are not the same person.

   Lauren is one of the main music personalities in Canada, sort of a Carson Daly of the North.  For years, she has been working as a V-J on two of Canada’s most popular music networks, MuchMusic and MTV Canada.  She has hosted a number of shows on each of those networks and, currently, she is the lead on MuchMusic’s flagship show “New.Music.Live”.  She covers all the latest music news, top songs and videos, as well as getting high profile interviews with big names in the industry.


Lauren clowning around with her tattooed partner-in-crime from MTV Canada and MuchMusic, Phoebe Dykstra

   Lauren has grown up as a huge fan of iconic Canadian teen drama “Degrassi” (a show which counts Kevin Smith as an ardent supporter and was responsible for launching the careers of actress Nina Dobrev and rapper Drake).  She gets to do what every fan of a favorite show would dream of, cover it and be a guest star on it.  In 2012, she portrayed herself in an episode of “Degrassi”, and she has been hosting MTV Canada’s recap show “After Degrassi” (which is much like “Talking Dead” and “Talking Bad” are on AMC)


    In addition to being a mover-and-shaker in the music reporting world, Lauren also happens to be quite the fashionista.  If you follow any of her social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram), she is frequently modeling her latest outfits.  She really has an eye for fashion, as she has crafted a style that is sexy, hip and smart, all at the same time.


   Lauren is also a huge pet lover.  She is especially fond of her cat Snicklefritz.  She has even created a Twitter account for this loving feline (  As MuchMusic and the shows on MTV Canada continue to get more attention in the U.S., Lauren’s star personality will continue to gain her more fans.


Lauren looking fierce at cardio boxing

    Lauren’s most famous tattoo is the bird (looks like an eagle) that is emblazoned on her upper right arm.  Unless she is in a freezing cold location, Lauren is always wearing tops that proudly shows this body art off.







While she has admitted to a love of tattoos, it has taken awhile to find good photos of some of her other ink.  Recently, some of her travel photos have her showing off a gorgeous lower back design.  It appears to be a dragon, or some other type of mythical creature.  You can also see another design just below her neck, though it is tough to make out what it is.



Lauren is right in the middle. You can see the telltale bird on her upper right arm


Recently, she has also added a cute arrow design to lower part of her right forearm.


You can find out more about Lauren on her official website:

You can follow her on Twitter at:

You can follow Snicklefritz the Cat on Twitter, too:

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (200th Tattoo Feature!): Leona Lewis


LeonaLewis_Pic01   I am kicking off my 200th feature on “New 2 Tats” with exotic British chanteuse, Leona Lewis.  Late in 2007, American audiences were treated to Leona’s first big hit on stateside radio: “Bleeding Love”, a very emotionally powerful ballad about a love that is going bad and the pleading of one lover to the other over how distraught she is that this is where they are.  It clearly struck a chord with listeners in this country as it had three separate stints at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2008 (It was even ranked #2 on the year end Billboard chart for 2008).

LeonaLewis_Pic02     Leona Lewis’ exotic beauty comes from a mix of Afro-Guyanese ancestry on her father’s side and Welsh, Italian and Irish on her mother’s side.  Born in Islington, London, she has had the arts in her blood from her earliest days.  As a child, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School before she moved on to the Italia Conti Academy (coincidentally, that is where ‘New 2 Tats’ beauty, Martine McCutcheon also studied)

LeonaLewis_Pic04        Leona’s vocal education included opera, jazz and blues.  When you listen to her sing, you can feel the range, power and flexibility in her voice that allows her to ‘own’ each of those styles.  Early on, she tried the independent artist route and cut some demos with a couple different labels.  Unfortunately, these demos did not generate any kind of sustainable interest.  When she was considering putting her musical ambitions on hold for awhile, her longtime boyfriend suggested that she try out for “The X Factor”, the British talent show that “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell ran simultaneously with “Idol”.

LeonaLewis_Pic05     Well, “The X Factor” was absolutely the right call.  Leona completely dominated the competition in Series 3.  She never finished worse than third place in any week, and she finished in first place in 8 of the 10 weeks of the show, including the finale where she won the series.  Drawing inspiration from the first “American Idol” champion, Kelly Clarkson, Leona’s first post-victory single was “A Moment Like This”.  British audiences loved it and the song ended up winning the coveted UK ‘Christmas #1 Single’ title for 2006.

LeonaLewis_Pic06     This initial success led to her signing with music mogul, Clive Davis, in the United States.  The connections in the States got her hooked up with power producers like Dallas Austin, Ne-Yo and Walter Afanasieff.  Not long after this, she began work on her major-label debut album, “Spirit”.  She lucked into her epic hit song “Bleeding Love”.  The song, written by Ryan Tedder (of One Republic), was original supposed to be sung by teen heartthrob, Jesse McCartney.  Jesse’s label said ‘no’.  So, he became a co-writer and the song went to Leona.  The rest, they say, is history.

LeonaLewis_Pic07      Leona’s follow-up single, “Better in Time”, a softer love ballad, didn’t achieve near the success of “Bleeding Love”, reaching only #53 on the Billboard Hot 100.  However, despite having yet to ascend to the top of the charts again, Leona has regularly released new albums and achieved the kind of following that has allowed her to continue living her dream.  She also supports the non-profit group Little Kids Rock, which is dedicated to preserving music education for children across the United States, especially in financially disadvantaged districts where music programs would be the first to be canceled.

LeonaLewis_Pic03     Of course, being beautiful and having a gifted voice is not all there is to Leona.  She also has some wonderful body art.  Leona’s most noticeable tattoo also shows committed she is to the art form.  Running down the length of her spine is a poem she wrote about horses, which are her favorite animals.  It reads:

“Their beauty captures every eye, a gift from God for all mankind, they lend us wings so we may fly, to ride a horse is to ride the sky”

LeonaLewis_Tat01LeonaLewis_Tat08    In addition to that amazing ink piece, she has another adorable horse-related tattoo.  On the outside of her left wrist, she has a little horseshoe design.

LeonaLewis_Tat02LeonaLewis_Tat03    Another very cute design of Leona’s is a peace symbol just underneath her left ear.

LeonaLewis_Tat04LeonaLewis_Tat05Above her bikini line, she has a very nice floral tattoo.


Leona’s most recent tattoo is an elegant feather she has running down the front of her right shoulder.


    Her one other tattoo is an Arabic script design on her left wrist.  It was a message she shared with her long-time boyfriend, the one who encouraged her to try out for “The X Factor”.  They have since gone their separate ways, and Leona has chosen to keep the tattoo’s meaning to herself.

LeonaLewis_Tat07LeonaLewis_Tat09You can track Leona’s career on her official website:

And, you can follow her on Twitter at: