There are many methods one can follow to solidify their love for another human. Some people exchange vows, some people exchange rings. And then there are those opt for a permanent statement: the couples tattoo.
Tattoos are supposed to leave an indelible mark on the skin, representing the everlasting element of love. However, lest you need a reminder, they can fade or even be removed, much like a relationship, if necessary. And so, still, in 2019, they continue to get matching celebrity couple tattoos. Some are cute, others are ominous. But they are all representative of something bigger than the ink itself.
Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson only recently confirmed their relationship, but the latter’s latest tattoo on her hip appears to be some sort of tribute to the former. Specifically, it’s a reference to the pet name she calls Delevingne, and just weeks before the “squish” ink, she got the initials “CD” permanently etched on her ribcage. Some also say Delevingne’s red “A” tattoo on her side, which she recently showed off in a cover shoot for Marie Claire, is for Benson, whose first name begins with the same initial but is also most well-known for her role on Pretty Little Liars, a show in which the villain terrorizing a suburban Pennsylvanian town would sign off texts and other messages with a simple “A.”
The recently-betrothed Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have also jumped on the matching couple tattoo bandwagon, first last October with Toy Story-inspired ink, and again this summer to commemorate their dog Waldo, who died in a hit and run accident.
The “Thotiana” rapper Blueface got matching tattoos of Benjamin Franklin’s face with his two girlfriends (each one covered an entire hand with the ink). That is a wild enough story on its own, but what is even more of a rollercoaster is the fact that he subsequently dumped both of them shortly thereafter.
And in the fictional realm of pop culture, everyone rooting for Jules and Rue on Euphoria was pleased to see the couple get matching tattoos on their inner lower lip. (Naturally, they got their couple portmanteau—Rules—inked on the inside.)
Of course, this trend did not just start this year, or even last year. Couples have been getting matching tattoos for probably as long as tattoos have been around. Last summer, Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande showed off their love for one another with some ink, then split before the end of the year. It was reported last month that just before they announced their intent to divorce in 2016, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie received tattoos in Thailand from artist Ajarn Noo Kanpai, who inked them with matching Buddhist symbols that apparently were meant to represent the permanent bond between husband and wife. Kathy Griffin tattooed her ring finger as a wedding ring, only to get divorced four years later (and she confesses to have tried to laser it off five times to no avail). Britney Spears and Kevin Federline got a set of matching dice, and we all know how that relationship turned out.
Are couples tattoos cursed? Well, not exactly. Look at Beyoncé and Jay-Z: they each have a Roman numeral IV tatted on their ring fingers and, troubled as they may have previously been, are still held up in the culture as some sort of “relationship goals” for the masses interested in traditional marriage. And for what it’s worth, Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul are still married as of today, and they got their matching tattoos months ago.
The real winners at the top of the 2019 celebrity couple tattoo scorecard are Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, who opted for matching tattoos this year too, but they had the good sense to make their ink all about their children, Luna and Miles. Spouses come and go, but your kids will always be your kids.