From Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande to Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, superstar couples love to cement their bond with matching tattoos. But what happens when a high-profile relationship crumbles, rendering that ink obsolete?
“It’s almost considered a curse in our industry,” Bang Bang NYC owner Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy told Page Six Style. The tattoo pro and his team have created coordinating body art for some of Hollywood’s most talked-about duos, including Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner and Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin.
“I don’t know if more couples are doing it now, but I do think the media’s taking more notice,” McCurdy said of the matching-ink phenomenon. “Now they’ll get these tattoos, and there’ll be 1,000 articles about them. It’s a way to get to know celebs more, so people are really curious about these tattoos and their meanings.”
The issues arise when some of these star couples inevitably split. For example now-exes Davidson and Grande, who wasted no time in amassing collections of body art dedicated to one another, but are now embarking on the emotionally and physically painful process of covering them up.
To that end, McCurdy and his Bang Bang artists always give couples “the dad talk” before whipping out the needles. “We don’t try to talk people out of it — we just want to make sure it’s what they really want,” he said. “Because that tattoo’s not going anywhere!”
If clients are fully committed to the idea, McCurdy continued, “We try to be mindful in the design — like, if things don’t work out, how would we cover it? Is it removable? Early in my career, I’d tattoo names on people, and they’d come back before it had even healed to ask about having it removed. So I’ve seen it all.”
Added the Bang Bang owner, “In any kind of business relationship — in fact, any relationship, period — often people forget to think about the exit strategy. You’ve got to have an exit strategy.”
Should an ink-official relationship go south, stars might choose to laser off their sentimental body art (as Angelina Jolie and Eva Longoria did after their divorces) or cover it up (à la Grande and Davidson).
They may also decide to simply keep the tattoo (or alter it slightly, as Johnny Depp memorably did with his “Winona Forever” banner), which is easier done when it’s something abstract and not so obviously linked to a former partner.
“I’ve seen really creative ones where people get these large, linear works that connect when the two people hug each other. That’s more symbolic than getting, like, ‘BOB’ on your neck,” McCurdy explained. “The meaning is going to come from the client — our job is to make sure the visuals are there.”
McCurdy points to Bieber and Baldwin as a star couple who selected their art wisely. “Justin and Hailey got tattoos just before they got married. They’re pretty tiny — just little words that don’t match, so they’re still individual,” McCurdy revealed. “Justin’s is right next to his eyebrow. I’m not even sure anyone can see it, it’s so damn small. But they got them at the same time.”
“There are ways to complete the process together while still getting something for yourself — something that isn’t going to change, should a relationship change,” McCurdy concluded. “It should be something you’d get anyway.”
Source: Read Full Article