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Kelsy Karter
courtesy of Instagram/@kelsykarter

It’s been a bad week in celebrity tattoos

TextAlex Peters

RIP tiny barbeque grill, hello Harry Styles

Yesterday, Ariana Grande shared an image of her new hand tattoo on Instagram. Fans soon noticed, however, that the Japanese characters which she believed said ‘7 rings’ in homage to her new single, actually translated to something very different.

“Ariana Grande’s new tattoo “七輪” means Japanese style bbq grill, not 7 rings,” tweeted @hey__amo. “If you want to know about 七輪, just google “SHICHIRIN.””

After this spelling error had been pointed out, Ariana acknowledged the mistake in a series of now-deleted tweets, writing: “Indeed, I left out ‘つの指’ which should have gone in between. It hurt like fuck n still looks tight. I wouldn’t have lasted one more symbol lmao,” she tweeted. “But this spot also peels a ton and won’t last so if I miss it enough I’ll suffer thru the whole thing next time.”

And then later: “Pls leave me and my tambourine grill alone. thank u.”

The story has a happy ending, however, as Ariana has since had the tattoo fixed. Posting a video of her newly tattooed hand on Instagram stories, the singer captioned it with thanks to various people for helping her fix it and saying farewell to her grill: “rip tiny charcoal grill. miss u man. i actually really liked u.”

Meanwhile, another singer has been making news because of a tattoo. New Zealand-born, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Kelsy Karter has been filling headlines this week after she debuted a large tattoo of Harry Styles’s face across one side of her face. The tattoo coincides with the release of a new single titled “Harry” featuring such lyrics as “Harry/ I'm gonna make you love me/ You're gonna make me breakfast” and “I'll treat you better than the girls you're hangin' out with/ Take you to Heaven and I'll show you all around it.”

When asked about the tattoo on a New Zealand radio station, Kelsy said she wasn’t afraid to express her love of Harry Styles and she doesn’t do anything half-assed. “I just wear my heart on my cheek.”

Kelsy, who has also written a song for Zayn Malik’s album, co-wrote “Harry” – which closely resembles Styles’s current sound and aesthetic – with Anthony Rossomando, who not only was a writer on Oscar-nominated song “Shallow” from A Star is Born but also co-founded the band Dirty Pretty Things with The Libertines’ Carl Barat. Lyrically centred around themes of female inflation and fandom, we suspect the tattoo is something of a stunt. Watch this space.


It turns out Ariana didn't quite correct her tattoo. Japanese is read vertically from top to bottom, but it's also read right to left. Because of this, rather than fixing it, Ariana has merely changed the meaning of it to... 'Japanese barbecue finger.' 

Additionally, as we all suspected, Kelsy Karter has come out to say that her tattoo was, in fact, fake. Posting a video to YouTube, Kelsy admitted that the tattoo was a stunt her team came up with to help the new single "cut through the noise to get noticed." Employing the help of celebrity tattoo artist Romeo Lacoste and an SPX make-up artist for the ruse, which Kelsy says they knew "looked ridiculous," the singer then hid at her manager's house for three days to avoid being exposed. The video ends with the message: "The tattoo is gone. All that's left is the music."

All's well that ends well. 

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