Damn mess this is. Ed Sheeran irks me to my core and always has. But the other day my irritation was taken to its absolute peak level when a photograph of the horrendous collection of ink he proudly sports fell into my lap:
In his video for recent single “Shape of You”, Sheeran croons about loving a female specifically because she has a rockin’ bod, and, interspersed with shots of the couple eating lunch at a diner where he orders a heaping plate of fried chicken, and she settles on just a simple salad, the singer shows off his tats shirtless as he cradles his head in his hands (if there’s a message to be gotten from this video, I did not receive it).
After that, Sheeran had the audacity, the gall– to conduct a series of interviews where he “unveiled” the tattoos, which, apparently, have all been collected just over the course of the past two years.
The singer really milked the shit out of this: he travelled all over the world like a fancy king revealing his pasty, lily white arms and chest, in what he claimed were “exclusives” on his body art:
We know that all of Sheeran’s tattoos suck, but which ones suck the most?
Let’s take a look:
#12- A semi-off-kilter lion:
This lion is nice looking, but the placement is peculiar. Sheeran was asked about this piece in an article for Rolling Stone. Of it, he immediately went on the defense:
The England crest is three lions, so I was going to get three lions, but instead I got one.
I don’t really know why people make such a big fuss out of it. I know so many people with shit tattoos in fucking Greek and Latin that say slogans like “Times change, people don’t,” or something bullshit like that.
I’m sure David Beckham has some shit on him, some sort of Chinese art that no one would find that strange. But they find me putting something that symbolizes me playing the biggest venue in England weird.
Pro tip: if your explanation of one of your tats involves your promptly having to defend it and also several insults made in the direction of other tattoos you may or may not have seen on other people? That’s a mess.
#11- Puss and Boots from the movie Shrek:
Puss is cute, so I’ll let this one slide just a little. Sheeran conducted yet another interview, this time for MTV where he said:
Puss in Boots relates to a song called Wake Me Up where I talk about Shrek. Plus I like cats.
Talking about how you’ve watched Shrek 12 times in a song unironically, makes me itch. And I don’t like it. The lyrics of the song say “I know you love Shrek ’cause we’ve watched it 12 times/But maybe you’re hoping for a fairytale too.”
#10- A Lego Guy’s Head:
There is just something sinister and self-absorbed about someone having to etch hundreds of permanent, colorful reminders of every song they’ve ever sung and every performance they’ve ever had on their bodies for the world to see and for them to drone on and on and on about to any interviewer who will listen to them. Sheeran got this little guy to commemorate his song “Lego House”.
If Barbra Streisand doesn’t have a tattoo to commemorate her Oscar, her Tony, her Grammy, or her Emmy, you don’t need one for “Lego House”.
#9- A Japanese symbol (he doesn’t even know exactly what it means):
After previously having stated that “some people have shit tattoos in fucking Greek or Latin” and that “they don’t even know what they mean”, Sheeran opened up about this tat in an interview for GQ, where he said:
This was the first time I played in Japan. So I got a Japanese symbol. I think I know what it means, but it might mean Yo Sushi or something.
#8- A Pair of Eyeglasses:
Sheeran got this pair of eyeglasses tattooed on his arm in order to signify the fact that he wears eyeglasses. I think the act of wearing eyeglasses is enough of a reminder that you wear eyeglasses, but I guess everybody’s different. Still, one thing is clear:
#7- The Words “Your Name”:
Ed has the words “your name” etched onto his arm because one time he had a song where he sang the lyrics “I should ink my skin with your name”. If you haven’t gotten the point already, everything Ed has ever done in his life is the greatest thing that has ever happened to anyone and he constantly needs to be reminded that he did it and that he is great and also that the thing he did was great too.
#6- A Street Sign:
Mm-mm. No doubt about it, this is a shitty tattoo. But the reasoning behind his getting it? Much worse. Sheeran got this piece to commemorate his song “Photograph”, because he thought he had written it on 6th Street in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately for Sheeran, he later found out he had written it on 6th Avenue.
#5- Little Puzzle Pieces:
Each puzzle piece on Ed Sheeran’s left arm signifies a different close friendship of his, but sly dog he is he left one puzzle piece unshaded until the day when he meets the love of his life, and then he will colour it in. Grab me a bucket.
#4- A Goat:
Not only does this tattoo have absolutely nothing to do with the style of any of the other work on his body, but his only explanation for it is that it’s “for sentimental reasons”.
#3- The Gingerbread Man from “Shrek” With The Word “Meow” Written Beneath It:
# 2- Penguin With Rucksack:
Yes, this character from children’s penguin animation show, Pingu, is as depressing as it gets. But then you find out that he got the tat spontaneously as part of a matching set with One Direction’s Harry Styles?
Styles, who got the word “Pingu” tatted under his arm has described it as “a bro tat”.
# 1- Heinz Tomato Ketchup logo:
No. I am not here for this. Ed doesn’t even have much of an explanation for why he would do this, other than that he loves ketchup. When asked about it, he said:
I went to a steak restaurant and they didn’t do ketchup. I found that quite odd and they got offended when I asked for ketchup. And I’ve got a ketchup tattoo on my arm! So like, that’s how into it I am.
I like ranch dressing, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to head out and get a Hidden Valley bottle emblazoned inside my armpit or anywhere else on my body. This Heinz disaster is definitely the worst junky atrocity marking up Sheeran’s bod.
Honorable mentions go to:
- The word “Red”; a nod to Taylor Swift’s album
- A snowflake in honor of the band Snow Patrol, who I forgot existed around the time when my parents stopped buying me Now That’s What I Call Music CD’s
- The words “Ladz On Tour”, which he got “as a joke” with some “lads he went on tour” with
- English breakfast tea
- His high school’s logo above his belly button
- The baby dinosaur from The Land Before Time
- The word “Prince” from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air logo, which is apparently part of a matching set with yet another group of guys he chills with
- A Grammy award, because, you guessed it: he won a Grammy award, and he constantly needs to remind everyone of it because he is a child