When she turned 18, Katy Perry got a tattoo on the inside of her left wrist that reads simply “Jesus” in an elegant script font, which is probably pretty surprising if the image you have in your head of Katy Perry is the wild pop star sporting a neon blue ‘do and kissing a girl…and liking it. Growing up though, the Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) that we know and love today was an obedient little Christian girl who sang in church and pretty much anywhere else she could, which eventually led her to releasing a gospel album under her real name, Katy Hudson, in 2001. It’s fitting that Katy Perry’s very first tattoo speaks to her religious upbringing and the very beginning of her experience in the music industry. The pop star’s Jesus tattoo is obviously very important to her, and even though she was gradually moving away from her parents’ religious views at 18 when she got the tat, it helps remind her of her roots today.
Katy’s Wrist Tat a Tribute to Christian Upbringing
As a child, Katy Perry was heavily influenced by her parents’ strict religious views, and describes their ministry as “evangelical with a heavy Pentecostal flavor.” Her mother forbade her from listening to “secular music” growing up, and the singer compares her youth to living on an island. “We spoke in tongues,” she said during an interview in 2008. “We knew there was this one way, and all the other ways were wrong.” Eventually, as Katy came into her own as an adolescent, she started forging her own path, and says she did “lots of bad things” as a teenager and wasn’t “a typical Christian.” She spent a lot of her time partying and a lot of her time being hungover and crying, which is when her father stepped in and gave her a little insight into his own life. Katy Perry’s dad – who actually has four “Jesus” tattoos of his own – helped her set her life straight, and she is now very protective of their beliefs, even though she doesn’t share them anymore.
Katy Perry’s Jesus Tattoo Meaning
In order to understand the meaning of Katy Perry’s Jesus tattoo, it’s important to get a glimpse of the life she lived before donning neon-colored wigs, singing about kissing girls and marrying (and divorcing) British actor Russell Brand. In honor of the way her parents raised her, Katy got “Jesus” inked on her wrist at 18, in the very beginning of her transformation from Christian gospel singer to international pop star and party girl. Speaking of her religious wrist tattoo Katy Perry says, “I see it every time I’m playing guitar. It’s looking back up at me. That’s where I come from, and probably where I’m going back to.” Katy got her wrist tat on the Sunset Strip, and said during an interview in April 2009, “I was with my boyfriend, and I just wanted to get something so I would always remember where I came from.” That was in 2002, and it still holds true today.
No Jesus Tattoo Removal for Katy Perry
Besides getting tattoos, it seems like another hot trend for celebrities right now is tattoo removal. Not for Katy Perry though. Her Jesus wrist tattoo is meant to be a reminder of her upbringing, which she says will always be a part of her, and how who she is today has been shaped by her past. “I knew I wanted this on me because no matter how much changes around me or how much I change, there’s not really an eraser for this,” Katy said about her Jesus tat in 2009. “I think I’m not exactly what I was born into, but I still have my roots,” the pop star said. “I appreciate it, and I respect it to the fullest.” Obviously Katy has clashed with her religious parents, who aren’t exactly pleased with Katy’s partying and kissing girls, but the singer says her mom and dad remain generally supportive of her career. And we’re sure they love her “Jesus” tattoo, too.