Part of what makes Selena Gomez so successful in what feels like every arena is her ability to constantly surprise. Who else could have juggled their own makeup line, a Spanish-language album, a cooking series, and an hour-long, top-rated dramedy all in the same year? Gomez is endlessly versatile — and it comes through in her eclectic style and beauty taste, too. Just a few weeks ago, shocked fans discovered that legendary tattoo artist Keith Scott "Bang Bang" McCurdy had revealed Selena Gomez’s new tattoo, a large pink rose dripping down to her upper back, on Instagram — A matching tattoo with friend Cara Delevingne (both have kept mum about the rose’s meaning until now).
The tattoo itself is large, intricate, and designed in a watercolor style — only underscoring what a work of art it really is. Bang Bang is a boldfaced name in the celebrity tattoo world, personally inking A-listers like Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Justin Bieber. In fact, this isn’t even Gomez’s first tattoo by Bang Bang, either. The star already has Roman numerals across the back of her neck and some Arabic writing on her back, and a cross just off her collarbone, all courtesy of Bang Bang.
“Mostly we did her work at whichever shop I was working at, but the night she got the tattoo across her right hip that reads, ‘God who strengthens me,’ she actually came to my house,” Bang Bang told Marie Claire in 2015. “That was the night Bieber called me to say ‘Keep your eyes off my girl, bro!’ [laughs]”
As for this new rose tattoo with Delevingne, Gomez finally revealed its meaning on Live With Kelly and Ryan. “[Delevingne] calls me Rosebud,” she explained, “so it’s a nickname. And I’ve always wanted a rose, and now I got one and I love it!” Gomez also said she has multiple other tattoos with friends and family that share special meanings, though she didn’t mention any other names.
On Instagram, Bang Bang revealed a secret from the session, too: Delevingne and Gomez’s watercolor roses were actually the first watercolor tattoos he’s ever done, and thanked them for trusting his process.
Tattoos aside, it’s already been a busy year (albeit a two-week-old one) for Gomez, who’s been steadily teasing new music, television, and Rare Beauty projects with every viral selfie. Speaking for all of Gomez’s 288 million Instagram followers, it all can’t come soon enough.