The Real Meaning Behind Pink’s Tattoos

Pink is an artist who has a reputation for being true to herself and telling it like it is, whether she’s taking on “Stupid Girls” in the entertainment industry, the president of the United States, or her sometimes-tumultuous relationship with her musical muse, Carey Hart. She’s used her body to create awe-inspiring art by spinning and tumbling while suspended from silks high in the air, and she’s also used it as a canvas that paints a colorful picture of her life.

Pink has over 20 tattoos, according to Ranker. Much like her songs, the pieces serve as reminders of times both good and bad, and many of them have meaningful connections to her family, friends, and music career. They also helped Pink stand out from her pop star peers back when she was first trying to find her place among the likes of Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson. “I don’t know why I started getting tattooed,” she told Pepsi Smash in 2006. “I don’t know. I’ve always been attracted to tattoos. … I’m not the type of person who walks in drunk to a tattoo shop with no idea what to do.” But what’s the story behind her body art? Read on to find out!

Pink's first ink was an act of rebellion

Pink’s birth name is Alecia Beth Moore (via Biography). She was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and it didn’t take long at all for tattoos to become a part of her life. 

Pink’s parents, Jim and Judy Moore, divorced when she was 3, and she credits their split for sparking her rebellious streak. One of her earliest acts of rebellion was to get a tattoo. In 2009, she told Inked magazine that she got her first tat on her left ankle when she was just 12 years old. It was a Japanese kanji symbol for “good luck and happiness.” The singer revealed that her mom was unaware that she was getting inked and she “freaked out” when she found out about it (via The Independent). “I think part of me did it because it was illegal and it would piss my parents off,” she confessed.

Pink explained the inspiration behind the ink by saying that her parents owned a lot of Japanese artwork when she was growing up. “It’s the most beautiful culture,” she said. She later added the kanji characters for “the will to live” and “strength” to the same area. To make sure that she wasn’t unknowingly rocking a symbol that meant something snicker-worthy, she had the meaning of her tattoos checked multiple times. Her fear of the ink being inaccurate seemed to stem from a friend who was informed that her “cleansing” tattoo actually meant “tampon.”

A guardian angel and a wake-up call

Pink got her next tattoo when she was 15 years old, and she chose her left shoulder as the location for the significantly larger piece. It depicts a guardian angel chasing a shooting star, which is meant to represent the singer (via The Independent). She got it during a time when she felt like she needed someone watching over her.

In 1995, Pink found herself lucky to be alive after she came close to overdosing at a club in Philadelphia. She’d been drinking alcohol and taking a dangerous cocktail of different drugs, including crystal meth, angel dust, ketamine, and cocaine, per The Independent. The close call inspired the singer to stop using drugs. “It wasn’t to the point of going to the hospital, but I remember getting up off the floor in the morning — and that was the last time I ever touched a drug again,” Pink told Shape magazine in 2012 (via Digital Spy).

Pink references her guardian angel tattoo in her 2001 confessional song “Dear Diary.” “I learned my lessons / I turned myself around / I’ve got a guardian angel tattooed on my shoulder / She’s been watching over me,” she sings. And in the music video for her 2021 single “All I Know So Far,” music icon Cher plays a guardian angel who comes to her aid when she’s barely hanging on.

This body art was inspired by a movie

Pink actually got her pithy and vibrant stage name before she became a rock star and started rocking the neon hair dye that would serve as part of her early signature look. Her unique moniker appears on her inner left thigh, along with the honorific “Mr.” according to PopSugar. The “Mr. Pink” ink is a reference to a character from a Quentin Tarantino movie that was popular with the crew Pink used to hang with in North Philly. “We loved ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ and Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi’s character, was a total smart-a**,” the singer told Philadelphia magazine in 2009. “I was the only girl, the token white girl. I got a tattoo on my thigh that says ‘Mr. Pink,’ and it just stuck.”

Pink has offered a few other explanations for her stage name over the years, including one suggesting that it was inspired by a part of the female anatomy. “My best friend had never seen a white girl’s vagina before so he asked me if I could see it, so I showed it to him and he said ‘It’s pink!'” she recalled, per IOL. “Then my friends started calling me Mr. Pink.” She’s also told a somewhat toned-down version of her moniker’s origin story that begins with some cruel kids pulling her pants down while she was attending camp. According to Pink, her blush was so deep that its hue became her nickname (via Hollywood.com).

Pink's tattoo tributes to her beloved pets

Some of Pink’s body art memorializes her deceased dogs. According to Body Art Guru, a tattoo on the side of her left forearm reads, “Sir Corky Moore 89-03.” Sir Corky was a West Highland Terrier who died at age 14. The singer called her late canine companion an “angel on this earth” during a 2006 interview with The Guardian. She got the ink one day before he tragically died. “He was starving to death. He didn’t have the strength to move,” she recollected. “I got the tattoo and he just looked at me, crawled over into my arms. It was the most exceptional thing. It meant the world to me.”

Pink’s other pet tattoo is located on her inner left forearm. She got it at her husband’s tattoo shop, Hart and Huntington Tattoo, according to Inked. It depicts her pet bulldog Elvis, who was likely named after the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll since he was gifted to Pink by Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie (via Songfacts). Underneath the dog tattoo is a Bible verse that reads, “A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance, sleep in peace my darling, I release you.” Pink told The Independent that Elvis drowned in the pool when she wasn’t home. A wooden cross bearing his name and date of death, December 31, 2006, can be seen beside a pool at the beginning of Pink’s “Funhouse” music video.

The singer and her mom have matching ink

Pink’s relationship with her mother, Judy Moore, wasn’t great when the singer was growing up. During a 2021 appearance on “The Project,” Pink revealed that her mom worked full-time as an ER nurse and attended school at night, so she wasn’t around much. However, their relationship hit rock bottom when Pink became a teenager. “My mother couldn’t handle me. We’ve come a long way but it’s been a long track. We have an incredible friendship now after years of honesty, pain, unconditional love and a long break from each other,” she told The Guardian. “She threw me out when I was 13 but I was ready to go long before that.”

Pink eventually came to realize just how much her mom had done for her when she was younger, and they did something special together after they mended their relationship. While Pink’s mom initially was not a fan of her daughter’s decision to go under the needle, she actually got inked herself for the first time at age 55. Pink told Inked that she and her mom got matching kanji symbols meaning “mother.” According to Body Art Guru, Pink’s is located on her left ankle with her other kanji characters. The musician said that her mom likes flaunting her dainty tattoo. “She didn’t really take that much convincing. Anything sentimental with my mom, she’s in,” she stated. “Now, she wears these little cocktail dresses and makes sure that in pictures it’s showing.”

Pink's cool way of honoring her father and brother

Pink has also dedicated space on her body to her father and brother. An inked-on chain with two dog tags wraps around her right ankle, serving as a reminder of their military service. Her father, James Moore, was a Vietnam veteran who penned a song inspired by his time in the military titled “I Have Seen the Rain.”

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Pink was 8 years old when she began performing the song at rallies. Now, her father can be heard singing it with her on her album “I’m Not Dead.” She told The Guardian that the recording was the fulfillment of a promise. “I told him I’m going to be rich and famous, you’re going to record this song on one of my albums and I’m going to buy you a motor home,” she said. She recalled her dad thinking she was “insane” at the time.

Unlike their father, Pink’s brother, Lieutenant Colonel Jason Moore, never saw combat, but he did become a trainer for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds (via The Independent). In 2018, Carey Hart shared a moving Instagram photo of Jason saluting the American flag while his sister performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. 

How the singer celebrated her relationship with Carey Hart

Pink’s collection of body art wouldn’t be complete without at least one tattoo celebrating her relationship with Carey Hart — after all, the former professional motocross competitor does own a tattoo company. Pink and Hart wed in 2006 and split for the second time in 2008 before reconciling in 2009 (via People). While the couple’s future together seemed uncertain for a while, Pink got a lasting tribute to Hart during their second date.

After the couple went bowling in Tampa, Pink got a banner reading “TRU LUV” tattooed on her right wrist. She voided it with temporary ink in her “So What” music video during their break, but added “CAREY” to the banner when they reconciled and began trying for their first child. Pink got pregnant with their daughter Willow that same weekend. “And I was like, ‘Well, I guess if I’m gonna have his baby, I should get his name.’ Cos he has my name three places,” she told The Independent. One of those places is under Hart’s chin, which he described as “the most painful spot I’ve been tattooed” during a 2019 interview with Inked.

Hart loves his wife so much that he allowed her to tattoo the logo of the band Social Distortions on his butt. “He said I was very heavy-handed,” Pink told The Guardian. She revealed that the experience made her laugh, while it had her husband screaming. “I did enjoy it. Am I sick?” she said.

The one tattoo Pink tried to get rid of

In 2012, Pink told the Mirror that she’s accepted that she’s “going to be 80 with all these tattoos,” but she did make an attempt to get rid of one. According to PopSugar, the swirly tattoo behind her left ear is a “tribal music note.” It looks faded in some photos because she underwent one laser treatment to get it removed. The experience was so painful that she never went back. “Those lasers hurt like a b***h,” she said. “I did one session and walked out. It was ten times worse than the actual tattoo.”

Pink has regrets about the rest of her body art as well. She admits that she doesn’t really “love tattoos,” but, luckily, she’s grown so accustomed to her ink that she forgets that it’s there most of the time. “Then I see a picture of me and think, yes, I do look kinda trashy,” she confessed. However, if her body were a blank slate, she wouldn’t leave it completely bare. “But if I could start over, I’d do just one big back piece and have a clean [front]. I’m into balance,” she told The Independent.

Still, Pink doesn’t like the idea of covering up her tattoos. While she and Carey Hart were on a break, she was asked if she’d thought about covering her “TRU LUV” piece. “We don’t do that,” she told Inked. “That’s the most disrespectful thing in the entire world.”

One of Pink's pieces took a long time to complete

Pink might not cover up the ink that she already has with new tattoos, but she did use one piece to hide something else. Her largest tattoo is the serpentine dragon slithering over her left thigh. It was the work of Australian artist Giovanni Di Mizio, who spent seven hours perfecting the piece. Pink explained the tattoo’s placement to Inked. “When I was in my mom’s stomach I sat cross-legged, so I have dimples in my leg and I hate them. So I covered them with my tattoo,” she said.

As for why she chose a dragon, it wasn’t just because she’s obsessed with Japanese art. “I think dragons are good luck. And it looks hot. I think!” she told The Independent. The singer showed the ink off in a 2020 Instagram photo of herself expertly riding a wave while wakesurfing, and she shared a body-positive message with her followers. “I always wondered why God gave me thunder thighs. It’s cause he knew I’d use them,” she wrote.

How Pink's body art serves as a reminder of an important friendship

On her left forearm, Pink has a broken heart tattoo. However, it has nothing to do with heartbreak — it reads “BE FRI,” making it evident that it’s meant to resemble half of a “Best Friends” charm. Pink’s close friend and former assistant, Laura Jeanne Wilson, has the rest of the words and the other half of the heart inked on her body (via Ranker). Wilson is a lesbian, and, during a 2003 Blender magazine interview, Pink joked that she and her other gay friends were trying to “convert” her.

Wilson has made a huge impact on the musician’s life. In 2019, Pink told USA Today that she suffered a miscarriage at age 17, and it wasn’t the only time that she experienced the pain of losing a pregnancy. In 2001, Wilson encouraged her to go to therapy to help her heal from the heartbreak, and she’s continued to see the same therapist ever since. “What I love about therapy is that they’ll tell you what your blind spots are,” Pink said. “Although that’s uncomfortable and painful, it gives you something to work with.” Her introduction to therapy probably made it easier for her to begin marriage counseling with Carey Hart, which she credits for saving their relationship. “It’s the only reason that we’re still together,” she said in an Instagram Live video. Good looking out, Laura!

Pink and another beloved female singer have matching ink

Pink’s best friend, Laura Wilson, used to date someone close to Pink: former 4 Non Blondes frontwoman Linda Perry, as noted by Blender. Perry and Pink even have matching tattoos of the outline of a red star, per Ranker. Pink’s tiny ink is located on her left hand. 

Perry was integral to the success of Pink’s second album, “Missundaztood.” She’d already penned “Get the Party Started,” and she sent it to Pink after receiving what she described as a “really crazy message how she would come find me if I didn’t call her back,” per Rolling Stone. To Billboard, Pink explained that she’d discovered Perry’s number in her makeup artist’s phonebook, noting, “I called her and left her a 10-minute-long message about how I think she rocks and if I can find her phone number, I can find out where she lives.”

Perry co-wrote many of the songs on “Missundaztood,” but her relationship with Pink soured when she began working with Christina Aguilera (via BuzzFeed). Perry told Rolling Stone that she vaguely recalls telling Pink that her song “Beautiful” was wrong for her before giving it to Aguilera. “I took it really personally when she [Perry] started working with other artists, particularly artists I didn’t like,” Pink confessed on “Behind The Music” (via Showbiz CheatSheet). “I don’t think imitation is the highest form of flattery. I think it’s annoying.”

Pink gave herself a button to push

In 2006, Pink told The Sydney Morning Herald that she wanted to “break down boundaries and push buttons,” so it’s fitting that she gave herself her own button to push on her right arm. She and music producer Butch Walker got the same round tat with the word “help” underneath it after they’d finished working in the studio one night. “We had been drinking. Obviously,” Pink told The Independent. She explained the meaning of the ink to TV Hits magazine. “I can press it when things aren’t going so well. It hasn’t worked yet though, I gotta get it activated!” she quipped (via Female First).

Walker played an important role in Pink’s life when she and Carey Hart were drifting apart. He helped her pen the song “Mean,” which was included on her 2008 album “Funhouse.” In a video about the record, Pink revealed that they wrote the song while picnicking with Hart and a group of their friends who could all tell that she and Hart “were unraveling.” She took Walker aside to tell him that she wanted to write a song titled “How Did We Get So Mean?” They began working on it then and there, an experience Pink described as “awkward and beautiful and amazing.” She added, “I sat there and cried through the rest of the song with Butch.”

The meaning of Pink's barcode tattoo

The barcode tattoo on Pink’s neck isn’t meant to serve as a statement about consumerism. Rather, it’s a celebratory piece she got to commemorate the release of her second album. She described it as her “Missundaztood present” while speaking to The Independent.

According to PopStarTats, the numbers in the barcode, which are “1 9879-11200-1 3,” have a special meaning. Pink’s birthday is September 8, 1979, which is represented by the “9879.” The second set of numbers is another significant date, November 20, 2001. This is when Pink dropped her sophomore record. The last two digits form the number 13. While many superstitious people try to avoid the number at all costs, Pink has embraced it. “It’s my lucky number. I had my first kiss on Friday the 13th in a graveyard,” she explained during an interview with Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP (via Digital Spy).

The 13 on Pink’s neck certainly didn’t seem to have a negative effect on her luck — “Missundaztood” ended up being a smash hit. According to Variety, it was the sixth-best-selling album of 2002. It also earned Pink nominations for the Billboard 200 Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys.

What's the singer's favorite piece of body art?

Pink got her favorite tattoo from a friend in Philadelphia: the words “What goes around comes around” wrapped around her right wrist. While she did once tour with Justin Timberlake, the ink was not inspired by her pal’s 2006 song. During a 2004 interview with The Guardian, Pink revealed that she found her “spirituality” at age 15, and she told Inked that she became a true believer in karma. This is why the mantra on her wrist is so meaningful to her. “I believe that it comes around in both ways. I’ve watched really good people have really hard times and then all of a sudden something beautiful happens,” she said. “I’ve seen instant karma and I’ve seen karma that I think takes lifetimes and I’ve felt a lot of it.”

Pink cited Kesha’s allegations that she was sexually assaulted by producer Dr. Luke as an example of karma in action. “I don’t know what happened,” she told The New York Times in 2017. “But I know that regardless of whether or not Dr. Luke did that, this is his karma and he earned it because he’s not a good person.”

Pink's cautionary tattoo

Pink’s most shocking tattoo is arguably located on her left wrist. It depicts a razorblade over a series of gash marks. The word “Insecurity” is inked underneath it in French. “And that means to me that insecurity will kill you,” she told The Independent.

Underneath her tough exterior, Pink is vulnerable to the same nagging insecurities that plague all women, and she doesn’t shy away from talking about them. In her song “Happy,” she sings about hating her body. She told USA Today that it was inspired by how she felt after having a miscarriage. “You feel like your body hates you and like your body is broken,” she said. 

Pink told Redbook that she’s been called “not pretty enough” to appear on magazine covers, and she’s also noticed how she gets judged at events. “I love wearing a classy gown with tattoos,” she told the Mirror. “People on the red carpet are funny because you can see them thinking: ‘Wow, that WAS a pretty gown.'”

However, Pink’s tattoo seems to be doing its job. Instead of allowing her haters to make her feel insecure, she fights back. In 2018, she responded to a Twitter troll who said that she looked “old” by writing that she has “earned every f***ing minute of my 38 years.” She’s also learned to focus on what she likes about herself, telling Redbook, “I know my strong points: I work hard, I have talent, I’m funny, and I’m a good person.”

Pink has some pink ink

Pink told Inked that her skin doesn’t “take color well,” but this didn’t stop her from getting two pink bows tattooed on the backs of her thighs when she was drunk. They’re a surprising choice for someone who doesn’t usually embrace things that are cutesy and frilly, and they seem more like the style of body art that one of the celebs she parodies in the “Stupid Girls” music video would be drawn to. However, Pink has a raunchy explanation for getting them. “In my head I’m a really talented stripper,” she told The Independent.

The singer has a few other pieces, including a heart on her stomach, tiny red hearts on her big toes, and a life-size frog on her right foot. She said that she got the antithesis of the bows on her thighs simply because she’s a fan of the amphibians.

While Pink has joked that she would use an “eraser” to get rid of all of her ink if she could, she also told Faze Teen that she wouldn’t alter anything about her past, so the reminders of it will most likely stay on her skin. “To change that would change who I am,” she pointed out.

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