Selena Gomez added a massive new piece of artwork to her tattoo collection, and there are multiple meanings behind the cryptic ink. Unlike the subtle “4” she has on her inner arm or the word “sunshine” delicately scrawled on her right foot, her back tattoo is difficult to miss. On Dec. 15, Bang Bang Tattoo in NYC shared a black-and-white photo of Gomez looking away from the camera with a black coat draped backward across her body and her hair parted over her shoulders, revealing the new ink. Blurred and slightly too far away to be anything concrete, the photo had fans flooding the comments section with one crucial question: what is it?
Initial fan theories included a face, a hanging succulent, and a dripping rose or heart, which would tie in nicely with the uneven lines of ink trailing down her back. The tattoo, which begins at the base of Gomez’s neck and trails almost halfway down her back, is the 16th addition to her collection that we know of. It wasn’t until Dec. 28, when Bang Bang Tattoo uploaded another photo of the ink — this time a close-up — that our guessing was put to an end. The singer’s latest piece of ink is a rose with watercolor dripping down her back, as many fans hypothesized.
“It’s a nickname, and I’ve always wanted a rose. Now I got one and I love it.”
“It means a couple of different things,” Gomez explained during an interview on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Jan. 10. “Me and Cara [Delevingne], one of my best friends that I’ve known for — I was maybe 16 when I met her — she calls me ‘Rosebud.’ So it’s a nickname, and I’ve always wanted a rose. Now I got one and I love it.” To add to the sweetness, Delevingne, aka one of Gomez’s best friends for the last 13 years, got a matching tattoo to celebrate their friendship. “I had so much fun making these tattoos — thanks for always trusting me Cara🖤,” Bang Bang Tattoo captioned a photo of Delevingne’s tattoo. “fyi I didn’t tell them til the end that these were my first watercolor tattoos ever 🙊.”
Gomez’s previous tattoos include a pair of praying hands and rosary beads on her upper thigh and a biblical verse from Philippians 4:13 on her right hip, while Delevingne’s tattoos include a pair of eyes at the base of her neck, a diamond in her ear, and a tiger on her forearm. Take a closer look at their watercolor rose tattoos for yourself here.