No Tears Left to Cry? Ariana Grande's New Tattoo Is, Er ... Smoking Hot (Literally) [Updated]

Ariana Grande attends Billboard Women In Music 2018 on December 6, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Mike Coppola (Getty Images for Billboard)

In the ongoing discussion about cultural appropriation, perhaps the most ubiquitous (and therefore, somehow generally acceptable) is the Kanji tattoo. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s one of the countless Japanese language tattoos long sported by people of other cultures, often to indicate some sort of Eastern-inspired spiritual depth. (Or because people just think it looks cool; after all, Japanese characters are beautiful.)

But as has been proven by far too many cautionary tales, getting a tattoo in a foreign language requires due diligence. In other words, it’s important to understand not only the characters, but the context of the language you’re using. Otherwise, you’re liable to end up with something inaccurate—or worse, utterly ridiculous—permanently etched into your skin.

Advertisement

Entertainer (and multiply-accused appropriator) Ariana Grande recently found this out the hard way when she attempted to commemorate the success of her latest single, “7 Rings,” with a Kanji palm tattoo of the song’s title, using what we’re sure she believed was a direct translation.

As it turns out, it wasn’t the translation she’d hoped. As our sister site Kotaku’s Asian satellite Kotaku East reports:

The kanji character 七 means “seven,” while 輪 means “hoop,” “circle,” “ring,” or “wheel.” However, when you put them together, the meaning is different! 七輪 (shichirin) is a “small charcoal grill” and not “seven rings,” which is written differently in Japanese.

Advertisement

That’s right, y’all. Your girl Grande basically got “hibachi” tattooed on her hand. And yes, we laughed. Heartily.

Japanese speakers on social media were quick to point out Grande’s mistake, not only posting pics of exactly what her Kanji really means, but noting that her ignorance had basically rendered her a cliché. Not her “Best Mistake,” as it turns out.

Advertisement
Advertisement

As for us, we’ve got nothing—except the satisfaction that the punishment fits the appropriative crime—or crimes, in Grande’s case. Now, she has a permanent reminder of just how wrong it can go, and will hopefully pause before she proceeds in the future. Then again, they say big grills don’t cry. (We couldn’t help ourselves.)

Advertisement

But whew, was this good for a midweek chuckle. Ariana, thank you. Next.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2019, 9:40 a.m., ET: According to Cosmopolitan, Grande finally had the genius idea to consult with her Japanese tutor, simply known as “Ayumi,” who helped her find an amendment to her incorrect ink.

Advertisement
Screenshot: Ariana Grande (Instagram)

Grande unveiled her “slightly better” new additions later in the evening, jokingly adding the caption, “RIP tiny charcoal grill. Miss you man. I actually really liked you.” Frankly, we think she should’ve taken the L and kept it.

Advertisement
Screenshot: Ariana Grande (Instagram)

Updated: Jan. 31, 2019, 12:24 p.m., ET: But wait. Hilariously, there’s more. According to Page Six, Grande’s revised tattoo is still incorrect. In fact, it may be even more so, as pointed out by several people on social media.

Advertisement

Japan-based Buzzfeed reporter Eimi Yamamitsu tweeted, “Why… how… now Ariana’s tattoo reads ‘Japanese BBQ finger.’

Advertisement

Another writer, Jen Frederick, outlined exactly where Grande’s attempt to correct her ill-advised ink went wrong, tweeting, “If she’s learning Japanese, she should fire her tutor.”

Advertisement

See? Ariana should’ve just sat there and eaten her BBQ.

Share This Story

About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.