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Ariana Grande tried to fix her misspelled Japanese 'barbecue' tattoo — but failed again

Ariana Grande tried to fix her misspelled Japanese 'barbecue' tattoo — but failed again

From bad to worse

Text: Aravin Sandran


Ariana Grande has been having one helluva start to the year. She followed up last year's zeitgeist-defining "thank u, next", with another killer single "7 Rings" this January. The hit single was hot on everyone's lips for its throwback reference to Tina Fey's cultish 2004 youth melodrama Mean Girls, as well as for an unexpected cameo by the mother of all Kardashians, Kris Jenner. Boasting rich girl vibes, the track quickly soared in the charts, and Grande thought it would be a brilliant idea to celebrate with a tattoo — of all the places on her body that she could possibly choose — on the palm of her doll-like hand. Little did she know, the measly tattoo would become such a hot piece of tabloid fodder that it will rival the dramatics of her short-lived romance with that gangly dude from SNL last year. 

For some unknown (read: foolish) reason, Grande decided to get a Japanese translation of "7 Rings" tattooed by artist Kane Navasard, who previously inked an image of Pokémon's Eevee on Grande's bicep after she played the mobile game for 15 hours. As so many foreign language tattoos on caucasian folk turn out to be, the translation was screwed up. Instead of "7 Rings", it translated to "shichirin", which is a small charcoal barbecue grill used in Japan. Sounds delicious if you'd ask us, but it was a major flop for Grande. After some of her Japanese fans commented about the error on her IG post — which she has since deleted — she tried to wiggle her way out of it by attributing the misspelling to the excruciating pain of getting a tattoo on the palm. A palm tattoo is notoriously difficult because the ink has to be harder, thicker and deeper for it to last, making it so much for painful because of the large amounts of nerve endings in the area. Some of her fans also criticised the lack of relevance of getting a Japanese tattoo, considering the song did not have any cultural reference in its lyrics. Some were even perplexed that her hand looked lifeless and plastic. 

Finally realising that she's got a botched tattoo on her hand, Grande decided to head back to Navasard to fix the tattoo this week. She consulted a true-blue Japanese tutor this time, a mysterious "Ayumi" who suggested that she get an additional Japanese character between or above her existing tattoo to rectify the mistake. She then resorted to getting lidocaine shots, a type of local anaesthetic used to numb a targeted area, to get over the pain. While Grande might have dealt easily with the pain, her tattoo game needs work. The new fixed tattoo wasn't what her Jap tutor suggested and things have gotten so much more embarrassing for her. 

Instead of getting the additional character above her existing ones — since Japanese is read from top to bottom — the new character was inked below. To make matters worse, she threw in a heart in there as well. Now, the tattoo translates as "Japanese barbecue finger". What a hot mess.

The only positive takeaway is that she's managed to garner some pretty decent column inches out of this hullabaloo. This wouldn't be the first time she's tried to cover up a tattoo though; she covered up her Pete Davidson ink after the breakup with a tribute to her ex Mac Miller. Covering up this one is going to hurt so much more than any boy who broke her heart though.

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