The singer opened up to GQ about the meaning behind his body art

By Emily Kirkpatrick
Updated February 17, 2016 02:25 PM

It seems almost impossible now that there was once an innocent time in Justin Bieber‘s life, a time before he bought and quickly abandoned a pet monkey in Germany and covered his body in tattoos, when his highest aspirations in life were simply to find a girl to love and call his lady. But now he’s all grown up, wondering if it’s too late to say sorry, and is finally ready to explain a few of the stories behind his abundant collection of mysterious body art.

Justin Bieber GQ Cover Story Tattoos


The singer recently took the next logical step in his worldwide apology press tour, doing a cover shoot for GQ magazine in which he ditches his usual harem pants and oversized hoodies in favor of some well-tailored suiting. To promote the new editorial and interview, Bieber also made a video for the magazine in which he goes through his catalog of tattoos, chronicling the story behind each piece of ink in turn.

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As you would expect, a majority of the musician’s tattoos have religious meaning, but there’s also a lot of family-centric art, including his first tattoo, which is also probably his sweetest, a tiny drawing of a seagull on his hip that is based on a book he read as a child, and which he shares with everyone in his family.

And proving there’s no topic too personal for the new and improved grown-up Bieber to tackle, he also ventured to discuss his tattoo of former flame Selena Gomez, pointing at the portrait of her on his wrist and saying, “this is my ex girlfriend, so I tried to cut her face up with some shading, but people still know.”

In the end, even if you aren’t particularly interested in the 21-year-old’s assortment of tattoos, we can all be thankful for some quality, uninterrupted, shirtless time with the Biebz.

What do you think of Justin Bieber’s tattoos? Which one is your favorite?

–Emily Kirkpatrick