The Secret (But Very Powerful) Meaning of Lady Gaga’s New Tattoo

posted: 03/04/16
by: Courtney Reimer
picture of lady gaga tattoo

Lady Gaga has made it her mission to bring awareness to the issue of sexual abuse -- and she brought attention to that mission in a very high-profile way during her performance at The Oscars. Surrounded by fellow survivors of sexual abuse, she sang "'Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assaults on college campuses.

Not only did she pay tribute to these survivors with her emotional performance, but according to her Snapchat, they all made a pact to observe their unity with matching tattoos.

The design, which resembles a minimalist Celtic knot, is actually a blend of "unity" and a rose, which, according to a survivor who shared the Oscar stage with Gaga, is the singer's favorite flower.

"When I look at it, I feel nothing but pride, triumph, power. I feel my strength and victory. And I feel liberated and free," that survivor, Julie Smolyansky, told Yahoo. "I hope other survivors around the world can think of this symbol whether in thought or any other way that seems right for them as a concrete place to go to when they need to know they can not only survive but thrive."

The tattoo was inked by Chicago tattoo artist David Allen, who has gotten attention for work on survivors of another kind -- particularly a woman who had a double mastectomy and wanted to honor it with beautiful floral designs.

Gaga's final Snap from the tattoo session had the caption "already healed," which could be taken either metaphorically or literally. We'll go with both.