Each of Lady Gaga’s multiple pieces of body art represents a significant, unforgettable chapter in her life. She permanently adorned her left wrist with the words "Artpop" months before releasing her fourth studio album of the same name. And she took inspiration from her recording sessions and concerts with jazz legend Tony Bennett to mark her right upper arm with a tattoo of a trumpet. Her body is also colored with a peace sign, a Born This Way-colored unicorn, an anchor, and floral graphics, among other designs.
So it’s fitting that for her latest visit to the parlor, Gaga turned to her 88th Academy Awards performance and its powerful message for inspiration. On Thursday, the Lady tapped tattoo artist David Allen to create a symbol of “unity” that connects the singer to the 50 survivors of sexual assault she brought onstage at this year’s Oscars. “Honored to tattoo a symbol of ‘unity’ on @ladygaga today. An image of solidarity for survivors of sexual assault,” Allen wrote in an Instagram of himself with the star.
And this was no spur of the moment decision. It appears that Gaga’s decision was days in the making. She took to Snapchat to document the process and wrote, “at rehearsals the survivors and I made a pact,” alongside a clip of the tattoo process.
Though her performance of “Til It Happens to You" at the Academy Awards was lauded all around. It was no simple feat.
“The first day of rehearsal with all the survivors I could barely get myself together. My body was wrecked with inflammation and pain, crying and shaking the whole walk to the stage,” she revealed on Instagram (below), explaining that the survivors who joined her made her feel empowered. “They accepted me for me, at my lowest and that was good enough for them, so somehow through the magic of their courage they made it good enough for me too," she shared.
The first day of rehearsal with all the survivors I could barely get myself together. My body was wrecked with inflammation and pain, crying and shaking the whole walk to the stage. The whole night before I did not sleep. The fear of knowing I would finally face that I belonged in that group. I told them I was so sorry I couldn't be Lady Gaga for them, that I couldn't even get dressed. I could barely get through the song, couldn't hit any of the high notes. Hair wet, sloppy tee shirt jeans uggs, tissues. They all hugged me and told me that it was okay because it was more real this way, that they understood that they were in pain too. They told me they were there for me to support me because they believed this message needed to be heard. Without them I never could have felt strong. They accepted me for me, at my lowest and that was good enough for them, so somehow through the magic of their courage they made it good enough for me too.
Gaga’s moving new piece of body art isn’t the only reason everyone's buzzing her name. Friday morning, the Golden Globe-winning actress confirmed her return to American Horror Story and also revealed that new music (finally!) is on the horizon. Looks like 2016 is already shaping up to be a standout year for the talented actress-singer.