Tattoos have now made their way into health and beauty and gossip columns and are making an ever-greater impression on popular culture. Celebrities and the rich and famous, like many of us, have at least one tattoo. They include rock stars, actors, TV personalities, sports stars and now even supermodels, who are getting more and more daring. Although tattoos have started to make an appearance at fashion shows and on the cover of the odd women’s magazine, in the world of haute couture they are still seen as something unsightly, to be kept hidden if possible.
So what do models get tattoos of? Discreet designs, like for many women who don’t strut their stuff on the catwalk, the most popular ones are small tribals, stars, hearts, the sun and the moon. The position is preferably discreet too. The models Raica Oliveira and Ana Beatriz Barros have a sacred heart on their lower backs, while glamour model Katie Price (Jordan)’s features a more trivial pink bow. Adriana Lima has a Maori tribal design on her foot and ankle and next to it a small black star. Barbed wire is a typical armband tattoo but another Brazilian beauty, Isabeli Fontana, has it around her ankle.
Another favourite ‘hidden’ area among models is the shoulder, both front and back. Lisa Seiffert preferred the front for her tribal sun design and she has three more small tattoos to one side of her bust. Greta Cavazzoni chose her shoulder blade as the position for her crown tattoo, while Kate Moss‘ is on her upper arm (this tattoo is exhibited in an advertising campaign for Rimmel brand). The latter also has a tiny heart, just a few millimetres across, on the back of her hand.
Gisele Bündchen is also known as «The Body», a particularly fitting pseudonym seeing as she is the most “tattooed” supermodel in the world, even though the tattoos covering her are actually only virtual, computer generated ones for Ipanema by Grendene, a Brazilian brand of sandals. In real life Gisele only has a couple of itsy-bitsy tattoos: a star (in fact just the outline) on her wrist and a waxing moon with two stars on her ankle.
The Vip Tattoo section in Idea Tattoo 115 features a small but perfectly formed special dedicated to model tattoos, where the designs have been reinterpreted as always by the artist Davide Zannoni. Our selection of beautiful women also includes an alternative model, Tila Tequila. The former playmate, who is now better known as a showgirl and musician, has several tattoos, more than you will see drawn here, ranging from classic designs such as the nautical star (but she has lots of kanji symbols too) to more original ones like her winged heart with a musical note on it.
Photos: Gisele “The Body” Bündchen, with virtual tattoos on the Ipanema website campaign 2006 but in real life she actually has very small tattoos. In the third photo you can see the little star on her wrist.