Why is Selena’s tattoo in Arabic?

Selena Gomez has been spotted multiple times with a tattoo on her upper back written in Arabic script. This has sparked much curiosity among her fans who are wondering about the meaning and significance behind Selena’s Arabic tattoo.

What does Selena’s Arabic tattoo say?

Selena’s tattoo written in Arabic reads “Love yourself first”. The tattoo is written in a flowing Arabic script font. Selena got this tattoo inked in Arabic on her upper back below her neck in 2017. The Arabic script reads from right to left.

Why did Selena choose to get the tattoo in Arabic?

There are a few reasons why Selena may have chosen to get this inspirational message tattooed on her in Arabic:

  • Arabic is read right to left, so Selena can read the tattoo message by looking in the mirror, reminding herself to self-love.
  • The flowing Arabic script fonts are artistic and beautiful.
  • Arabic has a mystical and exotic allure to many in the West. Selena may have chosen it for the unique look.
  • Selena has Arabic heritage from her father Ricardo Gomez who is of Mexican and Arabic descent.
  • She may have been inspired by other celebrities like Angelina Jolie who have Arabic tattoos.

Overall, the Arabic script elevates the inspirational meaning of Selena’s tattoo and gives it a unique look and feel.

What is the meaning and significance of Selena’s tattoo?

The phrase “Love yourself first” inked in Arabic has both personal and universal significance for Selena:

  • Self-love: After going through health issues like lupus, a kidney transplant, and an emotional breakdown, Selena realized how important self-care is.
  • Empowerment: The tattoo encourages self-acceptance, confidence, and inner strength – qualities Selena wants to embody.
  • Inspiration: It reminds Selena and her fans to take care of mental health, practice self-kindness, and tune out negativity.
  • Hope: It symbolizes learning to love yourself after hardship and heartbreak.
  • Gratitude: Selena got this tattoo after recovering from life-saving surgery so it represents her second chance at life.

The Arabic tattoo serves as an uplifting mantra for Selena to love and believe in herself every day.

Where is Selena’s Arabic tattoo located?

Selena has her Arabic tattoo etched prominently in black ink across her upper back below her neck. The tattoo runs horizontally starting below her right shoulder to just below her left shoulder blade. She usually has it uncovered when wearing backless dresses or tops.

The upper back location allows Selena to easily see and read the meaningful message in the mirror. It is a private spot only visible when she chooses. The location near her neck symbolizes keeping the self-love reminder close to her heart.

When did Selena get the Arabic tattoo?

Selena is reported to have gotten the Arabic tattoo inked in late December 2017. This timing holds significance for Selena Gomez:

  • In September 2017, Selena revealed she had undergone a kidney transplant due to her lupus.
  • After recovery, she wanted a reminder to move forward loving herself and her life.
  • She got the tattoo at the end of 2017 as inspiration going into the new year 2018.
  • In 2018, Selena released new music, moved past emotional struggles, and entered a positive new phase in her life and career.

The Arabic tattoo marked a transformative new chapter as Selena left behind her health battles and heartbreaks and began loving herself.

How did Selena reveal the tattoo?

Selena first unveiled her Arabic tattoo to the world in June 2018 when she walked the red carpet at the InStyle Awards. She wore a gold backless dress that exposed the self-love message inked attractively between her shoulders.

Selena did not publicly share the meaning behind the tattoo at first. It was a private reminder seen only when she chose to reveal it. Her fans were immediately curious about the Arabic script tattoo spotting it in her Instagram photos and appearances over the coming months.

Who was the artist that inked Selena’s tattoo?

Selena’s delicate Arabic tattoo was done by celebrity tattoo artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy at his NYC tattoo parlor. Keith has inked many Hollywood stars and done several of Selena’s tattoos including her small cross and “4” on her fingers.

As an expert in delicate and detailed designs, Bang Bang specializes in intricate script tattoos. He carefully inked Selena’s meaningful message in his signature Arabic calligraphy inspired style.

How did people react to Selena’s tattoo?

Selena’s Arabic tattoo made big waves in pop culture and was one of her most buzzed about tattoos. Here are some key reactions it received:

  • Supportive messages from fans who loved seeing Selena embrace Arabic and found it inspiring.
  • Racist, anti-Muslim hate comments from online trolls that Selena shut down gracefully.
  • Discussion about cultural appropriation and whether she was glamorizing Arabic.
  • Appreciation for the flowing script font from calligraphy enthusiasts.
  • Curiosity about getting words tattooed in languages you don’t know.

While some did criticize Selena, most reactions were positive about the tattoo’s beauty and meaning. Selena took it all in stride focusing on the self-love message.

Does Selena have any other tattoos in other languages?

The Arabic script tattoo on her upper back seems to be Selena’s only tattoo in a foreign language so far. All her other known tattoos contain English words and phrases:

  • A tattoo on her hip that says “God who strengthens me”
  • Tiny music note tattoos on her wrist
  • A small cross on her collarbone
  • The number “4” on her wrist for family
  • “Sunshine” inked on her foot
  • The date “1976” on her elbow for her mom’s birth year
  • A small “G” behind her left ear

Selena’s Arabic tattoo stands out as her most unique and artistic tat thanks to the exotic script and flowing font.

Does Selena Gomez speak or understand Arabic?

There is no evidence that Selena Gomez speaks or understands the Arabic language. Selena studied Spanish in school and is fluent in it due to her Mexican heritage. She appears to have gotten her Arabic tattoo primarily for the visual look of the script.

Some critics have accused her of cultural appropriation for getting an Arabic tattoo without knowing the language. However, Selena has not claimed to speak Arabic nor was the tattoo done in mockery. Her tattoo pays respect to the beauty of the flowing script.

How difficult is Arabic script for tattoos?

Arabic script presents some challenges for tattooing:

  • The cursive flowing shapes make consistency difficult.
  • Small grammatical marks are hard to ink legibly.
  • It requires an expert tattooist experienced in Arabic calligraphy.
  • The artist must ink the letters correctly right to left.
  • The tattoo must heal properly to avoid blurring the delicate shapes.
  • Corrected errors could be visible under the skin for Arabic script tattoos.

However, in the hands of a skilled artist like Bang Bang, Arabic script can create a beautiful flowing tattoo, like on Selena.

What are some tips for getting an Arabic tattoo?

Here are some top tips for getting a correct, high-quality Arabic tattoo:

  • Research your phrase thoroughly to pick an impactful meaningful message.
  • Consult a fluent Arabic speaker or translator to check the spelling and grammar.
  • Find a tattooist experienced specifically in Arabic calligraphy and script.
  • Ask to see examples of the artist’s Arabic tattoos.
  • Use a clean, simple font that will translate well on skin.
  • Make sure you can read and understand your phrase before inking.
  • Consider spacing between letters and words carefully.
  • Give proper aftercare to let the delicate shapes heal cleanly.

Taking your time to find the right tattoo artist will ensure correct Arabic placement and elegant results.

What other celebrities have Arabic tattoos?

Selena joins other famous stars who have inked up with Arabic script tattoos:

  • Angelina Jolie has Arabic on her right arm meaning “determination”.
  • Zayn Malik has Arabic chest tattoos including “be true to who you are”.
  • Justin Bieber has the Arabic for “BELIEVE” near his waistband.
  • Amber Rose‘s back piece says “Bash” for her son’s name in Arabic.
  • Lea Michele chose a saying meaning “let’s love today” in Arabic on her ribcage.
  • Lady Gaga‘s inner arm has Arabic lyrics from a Rumi poem.

These stars seem drawn to the flowing script and deeper meaning of Arabic tattoos, just like Selena.

Does Selena have any other tattoos in foreign languages?

So far, Selena only has one confirmed tattoo in a foreign language – the Arabic script on her upper back. Her other tattoos contain English words and phrases.

Selena does have Hispanic heritage and a deep connection to the Spanish language. She could potentially get a Spanish language tattoo in the future with a phrase that resonates with her Latina roots.

For now, her Arabic tattoo remains her boldest in its use of foreign script and unique flowing shapes. It shows Selena’s appreciation for languages and cultures beyond English.

What mistakes are common with foreign language tattoos?

Some common mistakes seen in foreign language tattoos include:

  • Using inaccurate or mistranslated text
  • Weak grammar and misspellings
  • Getting script facing the wrong direction
  • Picking a poor location on the body to display script
  • Not researching the artist’s experience with a language
  • Inking errors and blurring of delicate letters
  • Relying too much on online translators
  • Using overly ornate fonts that cause clutter

Doing thorough research and consulting native speakers can help avoid embarrassing and meaningless foreign tattoos. The quality of the tattoo artist is also key.

What are some best practices for foreign language tattoos?

Some best practices for getting quality foreign language tattoos include:

  • Translating through multiple human sources, not just apps
  • Back-translating to ensure accurate meaning
  • Reviewing each foreign symbol and letter form
  • Having a native speaker triple-check spelling/grammar
  • Choosing clean fonts optimized for tattoos
  • Researching an artist experienced in the language script
  • Considering how languages read for tattoo placement
  • Healing properly to avoid blurring delicate characters

Foreign language tattoos require meticulous care, research, and high artistic skill to execute beautifully.

Why do foreign language tattoos continue to grow in popularity?

There are several reasons foreign language tattoos are gaining popularity:

  • People are more globally connected now and exposed to other languages/cultures.
  • Foreign scripts like Arabic, Chinese, and Sanskrit appear very artistic and exotic.
  • Tattoo artistry has improved to handle delicate foreign characters well.
  • Traveling abroad inspires tattoos in languages encountered.
  • Foreign words/phrases sometimes express meanings more profoundly.
  • They represent multicultural roots, interests, and heritage.
  • A desire for unique self-expression drives exotic lettering tattoos.

Done respectfully, foreign language tattoos allow meaningful tributes to cultures beyond one’s own.


Selena Gomez’s elegant Arabic tattoo shows both her personal growth and the rising popularity of foreign language tattoos. Carefully researched words in languages connected to someone’s interests or background can create meaningful and beautiful tattoos. With expert artistic skills and proper care, scripts from Arabic to Sanskrit can make inspiring permanent tributes.

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