What Does Selena Gomez's New Tattoo Mean?

Back in the day, when she was first coming up alongside similarly squeaky-clean Disney stars like the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez's image appeared devoutly religious. In fact, when the singer and actress took off her purity ring, it led to much pearl clutching even if, as Gomez reasoned to The Sunday Times, "I got it when I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone" (via TeenVogue). Although the Wizards of Waverly Place star initially wanted the ring, she admitted to taking the endless criticism to heart. Referencing the outcry when Gomez ditched it, she opined sagely, "There's such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it's good press." 

Nowadays, the singer and actress is more comfortable with who she is and proud of what she believes in. Speaking to Vogue in March 2021, Gomez described herself as "very, very spiritual." Although she clarified it's not necessarily about religion, the "Rare" hit-maker confirmed she is Christian, noting, "I don't talk about it too much — I want to, but it's gotten a bad rep. I just want to make it clear that I love being able to have my faith, and believe in what I believe in, and that truly is what gets me through." With her latest tattoo, Gomez is making that dedication to her faith permanent.

The singer and actress is dedicated to her spirituality

The singer and actress stopped by celebrity fave Bang Bang's (real name: Keith Scott McCurdy) studio to get her new ink, with the shop's account sharing a video of the tattoo on Instagram, writing simply, "We [heart] @selenagomez" alongside it. The dainty little cross design, which sits just below her collarbone, is a clear nod to Gomez's faith and marks the 15th piece she's had done overall, as per Page Six. One of her biggest to date was also done at Bang Bang and it, too, nodded to the former Disney star's unshakable conviction. 

Gomez revealed a large design of praying hands inked on her thigh on Instagram, while sharing shots of her preparing for the AMAs in 2019. The hands are holding rosary beads. At the time, Bang Bang told E! News the tattoo was done in her home, surrounded by friends, noting, "She didn't talk about the meaning or why she wanted the tattoo, but she has wanted the piece for a while and they finally made it happen." Evidently, the cross follows along the same trajectory and is emblematic of the pop star's well-established spirituality.