Tattoos News (Touching Tribute Edition): Zelda Williams

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What makes tattoos such an important social construct is that they go well beyond being just a fun body accessory for showing off.  In many cases, they end up truly having a deep personal meaning for the person who wears the ink.  ‘Deep personal meaning’ is not some trite cliche people use to justify their tattoos.  Rather, if you ask people about their ink, they can tell some fascinating and touching stories about what inspired them to get the work done.

ZeldaWilliams_Pic02     One of the most poignant modern examples of this is the tribute that actress, Zelda Williams, paid to her father, the legendary Robin Williams, through the medium of tattooing.  In August 2014, Robin Williams’ legions of fans felt the shock and pain of losing such a great (and beloved) talent, whose iconic roles deeply touched so many people.  Roles in films and tv shows like “Mork & Mindy”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Dead Poets Society”, and “Good Will Hunting” (a role his that is a personal favorite of mine).  As much as the fans felt their own pain, they felt tremendous empathy for Zelda’s devastating personal loss.

Robin Williams and Zelda Williams Walt Disney's World Premiere of 'Old Dogs' held at El Capitan Theatre Hollywood, California - 09.11.09 Featuring: Robin Williams and Zelda Williams Where: California When: 09 Nov 2009 Credit: WENN

Robin Williams and Zelda Williams
Credit: WENN

The unfortunate thing is that, despite all the touching tributes to her father and people expressing their condolences to her, there was still that ugly, ugly segment of internet society that posted awful, horrific comments to her on her social media accounts.  Reflecting a poise and grace that may not be evident in other people, Zelda did not give in to that awful treatment.  She rightfully took time away from her social media accounts to cope with her father’s passing and to begin the healing process.

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A few months later, she returned with a heartbreaking and moving tribute to her father.  On her right hand, just beneath her thumb, she got a tattoo of a hummingbird, which serves as a touching reminder of her father (to always put her hand out and shake with a smile).  Lower on her right forearm, she added the date, “7-21-51”, which is the day Robin Williams was born.  This stunning artwork was crafted by the incomparable Dr. Woo of the famous LA Shamrock Social Club tattoo studio.

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

On her left wrist, Zelda has what appears to be an interpretation of the female gender symbol.  She has had this one for several years.

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

Since returning to social media, Zelda has used it as a forum to advocate for many worth social causes (animal rescue, marriage equality, etc.)  She has also been showing that she is living life with zest, just like her father (as witnessed by some of her recent fun at the San Diego Comic-Con).

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

Zelda is an inspiring person whose grace in the face of tragedy, as well as awful behavior by others, can serve as an example to us all.

If you wish to follow Zelda on social media (and please be respectful if you do), you can find her here:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/zeldawilliams

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/zeldawilliams/

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Hottie Ink Update (Big Mama Stef Edition): Stefanie Dolson

StefDolsonUpdate_Pic01   2014 has been a big year for ‘Big Mama Stef’ (Stefanie Dolson’s alias).  When I wrote my first feature on Stefanie, she had just led the Connecticut Huskies to their second straight National Championship in basketball over Notre Dame.  Less than a week later, she was selected #6 overall in the WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics (and joined a little later by her teammate, Seattle Storm #7 pick, Bria Hartley, who was immediately traded to Washington).

StefDolsonUpdate_Pic02    A little later that summer, she joined her teammates from both UConn Men’s and Women’s championship squads at the White House to be honored by President Barack Obama.  Visits to the White House seem to always be an adventure for Stefanie.  After the 2013 title, she humorously gave President Obama a set of bunny ears.  In 2014, she found the stand behind the President a little too crowded and fell off.  She quickly recovered and, while turning bright red, had a good laugh about it with Obama.

StefDolsonUpdate_Pic03     Once the WNBA season started, Stefanie proved to be a strong player off the bench, averaging 6 points per game and helping lead the Mystics to the playoffs.  The highlight of her season is was a triple-overtime game against Los Angeles Sparks, where she recorded her first career double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds).  After the Mystics were eliminated, Stefanie began extensively traveling as part of USA Basketball, gaining many new friends and chronicling the experience on social media.

StefDolsonUpdate_Pic04    2014 also showed off Stefanie’s growing love of body art, as she added two more to her collection.  No one can ever say that Stefanie does not put a lot of thought and consideration into her tattoos.  Her first two, which I covered in her first feature, were stars on her foot that she got along with her sisters and a Fleur-de-lis on her ankle to commemorate the 2013 National Championship, which UConn won in New Orleans.

Not wanting to play favorites with her National Championships, Stefanie got the Roman Numerals ‘IV-VIII-MMXIV’ etched on her left forearm.  This is for April 8th, 2014, the day UConn defeated Notre Dame to win the 2014 National Championship.

StefDolsonUpdate_Tat01    Sadly, Stefanie experienced the loss of her grandma over the summer.  Stefanie used tattoos as a touching way to express how important she was to her.

StefDolsonUpdate_Tat02   It is really refreshing to have a such a fun-loving (and ink-loving) person like Big Mama Stef as a part of the D.C. sports scene.  Hopefully, she will be here for a long time and help bring the Mystics the same kind of glory as the Huskies.

Follow Stefanie and her adventures on social media:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/bigmamastef

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/bigmamastef

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Vanessa Ferlito

VFerlito_Pic02    My first introduction to actress Vanessa Ferlito occurred during the third season of Keifer Sutherland’s magnum opus, “24”.  Vanessa portrayed Claudia Hernandez, the reluctant girlfriend of Hector Salazar (Vincent Laresca), a Mexican drug lord with access to deadly virus that Jack Bauer (Sutherland) has gone undercover to stop.  She was very good in this role and she displayed her real life love of body art.

VFerlito_Pic01   Vanessa (who is of Italian descent, but known mostly for playing Latina roles) had a difficult early childhood.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, she suffered the loss of her father to a heroin overdose when she was just two years old.  Fortunately, she had a strong support system with her mother and, when her mother remarried, her stepfather, who raised her while also running a Brooklyn hair salon.

VFerlito_Pic06    Vanessa made her acting debut in 2002, staring in the sexual comedy “On_Line”, where she portrayed one of the stars of an adult webcam site.  It received viewings at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.  Vanessa soon got other small roles in shows like “Third Watch”, “Law & Order” and the Edward Norton film “25th Hour”.

VFerlito_Pic03    2003-2004 was Vanessa’s breakthrough period.  She had her major role in “24”.  She also had a cameo on the “Sopranos” and “CSI: Miami”, while also being in the summer blockbuster “Spiderman 2”.

VFerlito_Pic07    The next years saw her as one of the stars in the murder-comedy (yes, you read that right), “Man of the House” (starring Tommy Lee Jones).  She also parlayed her guest spot on “CSI: Miami” into a regular role on its spinoff “CSI: NY”.  Most notable during this time was her performance as Arlene in Quentin Tarantino’s ode to 70’s pulp films, “Grindhouse” (She was in the segment “Death Proof”).

VFerlito_Pic05   She scored roles in some more major theatrical releases, such as “Julie and Julia” and “Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps” before making a move back to the small screen for a significant lead role.  She stars in the USA drama “Graceland”.  In it, she portrays FBI agent ‘Charlie’ DeMarco, one of several undercover law enforcement officers lodging together while they work major cases.  Already in its second season, we should be seeing more of Vanessa for the foreseeable future.

VFerlito_Pic04    Vanessa’s role in “24” showed she has an appreciation of body art.  A dream catcher could be seen on her left shoulder.  This was not for the role.  It was her real life tattoo.

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On her left wrist, she has a tribute to her late father with ‘Dad’ and a star inscribed.

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Vanessa also appears to have a design of a spade or an apple on her right wrist.

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On the back of her left bicep, she has an unknown design.

VFerlito_Tat05    Finally, on her right bicep, she has the date ‘9-21-07’ inscribed, for the birth date of her son, Vince.

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I could not locate any official, or fan, websites for Vanessa.  I was not able to find a verified Twitter account for her either.

However, Vanessa seems to have a presence on Instagram:  http://instagram.com/vanessaferlito

Athlete Tattoo of the Day (Distance Runner Edition): Jessica Augusto

jessaugusto_pic05    Not every Olympic-caliber athlete chooses to get tattoos that commemorate the Olympic experience.  Some are just big fans of body art and the meaning they have.  Portuguese distance runner, Jessica Augusto, is one such athlete.

JessAugusto_Pic02      Born in 1981, Augusto has had a passion for distance running her whole life.  She has been involved in competitive racing in many disciplines, including cross-country, road running, marathon and even steeplechase.  At 18 years of age, Jessica achieved her first major accomplishment in high-level competition, when she took a silver medal with her team in junior race at the European Cross Country championships (she took 8th overall, individually).

jessaugusto_pic03    The European Cross-Country championships have proven to be an annual rite of medal collection for Jessica.  In 2008, 2009 and 2010, she contributed to the team gold medal for Portugal.  In 2009, she won an individual silver medal and then scored a gold medal in 2010.  Jessica’s success has not been limited just to the cross country.  She also has achieved gold medals in international competition in the 3000m (3 times), as well as the 1500m and 5000m races.

JessAugusto_Pic04    On the largest stage, the Olympics, Jessica has performed well, but has not yet medaled.  At Beijing in 2008, she competed in 5000m and steeplechase, but did not reach the finals in either event.  In 2012, at the London Games, she finished in 7th place, just 2 minutes behind the Olympic record set by the gold medalist Tiki Gelana (of Ethiopia).

JessAugusto_Pic01    Jessica has two very noticeable tattoos.  The first one is her most meaningful.  The inside of her right bicep has a script of her father’s name, Arnaldo Augusto.  Her father was a main inspiration in her life and he passed just 6 weeks after she competed in the London Marathon.  This is her tribute to him.

JessAugusto_Tat02JessAugusto_Tat01    Jessica’s other tattoo appears to be a design of a bird or butterfly on her left wrist.

JessAugusto_Tat04JessAugusto_Tat03You can get more information on Jessica from her website (if you can read Portuguese):

http://www.jessicaaugusto.com/homepage.asp

Jessica does not have an officially recognized Twitter account.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Joss Whedon Muse Edition): Eliza Dushku

E_Dushku_Pic07     It was not too hard to predict that the young actress who played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter in “True Lies”  would go on to play many more strong, butt-kicking female roles in her career.  Eliza Dushku more then held her own against her on-screen parents, Ah-nold and Jamie Lee Curtis, in the spy/comedy film.

E_Dushku_Pic02     Even before she starred in “True Lies”, a pre-teen Dushku had one of her earliest roles in “This Boy’s Life”, starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro.  These earlier roles were followed-up by a couple of forgettable films, “Bye Bye Love” and “Race the Sun”, until she made her major acting breakthrough in 1998.

E_Dushku_Pic05    1998 saw Eliza join the case of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Faith, a fellow slayer whose own damaged background caused her to be more of a villain than ally to Buffy and her friends.  A year earlier, creator Joss Whedon had started “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because he saw potential in the premise of what had been completely a forgettable 1992 Kristy Swanson movie by the same name.

E_Dushku_Pic04     “Buffy” is what helped put networks like the WB and UPN on the map.  It also made Whedon a force to be reckoned with (the awful “Alien Resurrection”, notwithstanding).  It also made Eliza a star.  Her edgy performance as Faith, combined with her increasing sex appeal, certainly made Eliza a favorite of Sci-Fi fanboys everywhere.  She also continued her role as Faith on the spinoff series “Angel”, alongside David Boreanaz.

E_Dushku_Pic08    The success of “Buffy” and “Angel” helped Eliza get higher profile film roles.  In 2000, she starred as the rebellious cheerleader, Missy Pantone, in the hit high school cheer film, “Bring It On” (the original… not any of the atrocious direct-to-DVD clones that followed).  The next year, she was one of a group of sexy cat-burglers in Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”.

E_Dushku_Pic03    Eliza continued in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy vein after “Buffy” and “Angel” went off the air.  In 2003, she starred as the lead character in “Tru Calling”.  She played Tru Davies, a medical student currently working in a city morgue who possesses a supernatural ability to go back to the start of the day and stop the deaths of the people brought into the morgue.  In 2009, she reunited with Whedon in the sci-fi series, “Dollhouse”.

E_Dushku_Pic06    Eliza followed that work up with roles on television shows like “Torchwood” and “Leap Year”.  Currently, she is providing the voice for She-Hulk in the animated series “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”.

E_Dushku_Pic01    In recent years, it has become clear that Eliza is a fan body art, as she has several small, sexy, feminine tattoos on her body.  One of her most noticeable tattoos is an Albanian eagle on the back of her neck.  She is Albanian decent and has recently embraced her home country (even getting dual U.S./Albanian citizenship).

E_Dushku_Tat02E_Dushku_Tat06    She has another tattoo on her neck, just above the eagle.  It is the word ‘grace’ in honor of her late grandmother.

E_Dushku_Tat04    On the outside of her left ankle, she has a tiny cross inked on her.

E_Dushku_Tat07     She has a symbol on her left wrist.  It looks like the astrological symbol for Leo, although she was not born under that sign.  It could also be an interpretation of the symbol for Capricorn, which would be her sign since she was born on December 30th.

E_Dushku_Tat05E_Dushku_Tat08    In some of Eliza’s sexy photo shoots, you can see a script tattoo along her left hip.  It reads “Lead, Kindly Light”, a 19th century hymn written by John Henry Newman.

E_Dushku_Tat03E_Dushku_Tat01You can find out more about Eliza on her official website:

http://www.elizapatriciadushku.com/

You can also follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/elizadushku

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Starbuck Edition): Katee Sackhoff

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   I will be the first to admit that my first impression to actress Katee Sackhoff was not a positive one.  As I was late to the game when it came to watching “Battlestar Galactica”, the first time I saw Katee was in the final season of “24”, as Dana Walsh.  Even though the series ended on a relatively strong note, Katee’s portrayal of a, yet another, mole in the agency, was incredibly irritating.  There were times when Kim Bauer was less annoying.

KateeS_Pic07    That being said, when I finally took a chance on the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” in 2011 (nearly 2 years after the show went off the air), I began to see Katee in a completely different light.  Her fierce, yet nuanced, portrayal of Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace, the incredibly gifted, but profoundly self-destructive, Viper pilot was quite impressive.  Thrace had a level of emotional depth not usually seen in a science fiction series (of course, much of “Battlestar Galactica” was like that).

KateeS_Pic01   Now, while I remember the original, campy late 70’s version of “Battlestar Galactica”, I can’t say it held any special place in my heart.  I just remember it being the typical cheese-fest show that was endemic in the late 70’s and through much of the 80’s.  Having recently attempted to watch to the old series again, I know my original impression was correct.  Since I didn’t have that kind of attachment to the original series, I had no problem with the character of Starbuck, which was male (played by Dirk Benedict) in the first show, now being portrayed as a female by Sackhoff.

KateeS_Pic06    Katee’s performance as Starbuck is one of a million different elements of the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” that have stayed with me long after I watch the final episode (which I have done three times now, after marathoning the entire series each time).  To have earned such iconic status for her groundbreaking role is not too shabby for this former young star swimmer who took up acting when a knee injury derailed her amphibious dreams.

KateeS_Pic04    Of course, Katee’s acting resume isn’t all about being Starbuck and kicking those frakkin’ Cylons across the galaxy.  Her first regular acting job was on MTV’s hormone-driven, guilty pleasure dramedy, “Undressed”, back in 2000 (when Katee was just 19).  She followed that with her first major film role in “My First Mister” (with Leelee Sobieski and Albert Brooks) and then got to play Richard Dreyfuss’ daughter in the short-live series “The Education of Max Bickford”.

KateeS_Pic03    In addition to “24”, Katee’s post-“Battlestar” resume has included doing voice work on “Robot Chicken” and “Star Wars:  The Clone Wars”.  She has also recently taken the role of Victoria ‘Vic’ Moretti on the A&E western drama “Longmire”.  On the big screen, she recently starred in “Riddick”, Vin Diesel’s second sequel to the surprise sci-fi hit “Pitch Black”.  With “24” a distant memory that has long been replaced by the awesomeness of Katee as Starbuck, her future acting endeavors will be worth watching.  So Say We All!

KateeS_Pic05    Of course, some of the fun-loving attitude that Katee brings can be found in her ink.  I have been able to identify three real tattoos that Katee has, as well as her famous ‘fictional’ tattoo from “Battlestar Galactica”.   On her right forearm, just below the elbow, she has the Latin phrase ‘bona fiscalia’, which can mean ‘good year’, ‘good property’ or ‘public property’.

KateeS_Tat06KateeS_Tat02    On her neck, Katee has the Chinese symbol for ‘choice’.

katees_tat03     The back of her left shoulder, Katee has a cross (some additional temporary ink was added to in during “Battlestar”.)

KateeS_Tat04KateeS_Tat01    Finally, here is her famous, fictional, tattoo that Kara Thrace got with husband Sam Anders (Michael Trucco) in “Battlestar Galactica”.  When they embraced, their separate tattoos formed a unified circle with wings.  A symbol for the colony of Caprica is also present.

KateeS_Tat05KateeS_Tat07 You can get more of your Katee fix at her official website:

http://kateesackhoff.com/

You can also follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/kateesackhoff

Athlete Tattoo(s) of the Day: Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh

Misty and Kerri are synonymous with one another.  So, it only makes sense that these Olympic volleyball legends also have their ink featured together.

They first spiked and dug their way to the Gold in Athens in 2004 (picture above).  They followed up again in Beijing and are now taking a run at a three-peat in London.

With the very scant uniforms they wear, Misty’s and Kerri’s tattoos are always very prominent.  (Note:  they also frequently wear temporary tattoos during matches for their sponsors)

Misty has three tattoos.  The first, and most noticeable one, is the Roman Numeral for 5 on her lower back, with initials intermixed:

The urban legend is that the 5 represents her friend, NBA star Jason Kidd’s, jersey number.  Interesting tale, but inaccurate.  She has commented that is does amuse her.  However, the tattoo actually of her own uniform number from college.  The initials are in memory of her grandmother.

Her second tattoo is her most touching one:

On her left shoulder is an angel with the initials inscribed in honor of Misty’s mother, who passed away from cancer in 2002 before she could see Misty achieve Olympic glory.

Misty’s final tattoo is a fun one she and her husband, baseball player Matt Treanor, both have:

On her right wrist, you can see a design.  It is M-squared (M^2) that has many representations:  Misty and Matt, Misty May, and M-squared (which is her volleyball skills clinic for young girls).

You can find out more about Misty here:

http://mistymay.com/

Kerri Walsh has two tattoos of her own.  One is an obscured design on her lower back above her right cheek that could either be a flower or butterfly:

Her much more notable tattoo is an infinity symbol above the bikini line on her right side.  Here are a handful of photos of that design, which she is proud to show both on and off the sand:

More about Kerri can be found on her Twitter page:

http://twitter.com/kerrileewalsh