Dance the night: Exploring Dua Lipa’s tattoos

A movie is nothing without its soundtrack. When Greta Gerwig’s explosion-in-pink Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling hits screens all over the world towards the end of the month, one of the key anthems will be the track “Dance the Night,” with Dua Lipa. In the music video, the English singer-songwriter of Kosovar Albanian descent dances around a crashed giant disco ball in what will surely become the go-to club outfit of the summer. 

Computer generated image of a woman who resembles thee singer Dua Lipa in a tattoo studio
This image is not of the actual Dua Lipa, but we think it makes for good tattoo inspiration anyway.

Her clothes inspired by the iconic doll are just one of the things about her that are incredibly on-trend. Dua Lipa has an eclectic collection of smaller tattoos that she has been quietly accumulating during her rise to stardom. They have been seen on stages and red carpets across the world, as well as on the Versace runway during Milan Fashion Week.

Dua Lipa’s collection of tiny tattoos

But what exactly are they? While listing all 18 (according to the last reports) would be information overload, let’s stick to a few choice pieces of ink. Let’s start at the beginning. We all remember our first tattoo, right? Dua’s first tattoo is the phrase “sunny hill” on the inside of her lower right arm, right below her elbow. It is the English translation of the “Bregu i Diellit” district in Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, from where her parents arrived in the UK in 1992. 

In the same spot on her left arm is what is probably her most well-known piece of ink in the form of a barbed-wire heart. One could, of course, read all kinds of meanings into a tattoo like that. We don’t know its exact significance, but we do know that it was done by a Los Angeles tattoo artist called “Sean from Texas” in 2018. 

She has plenty of smaller tattoos with phrases and words (angel, patience, mum+dad, the Arabic translation for love, and the sentence “this means nothing”) favouring capital, printed style letters. 

screenshot 2023 07 09 at 15.19.29
Credit: @dualipa

Dua also has the number 245 inked on the back of her left arm, which represents the number of shows she did on her first tour in 2018, the same year she won two Brit Awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. Other members of the tour got the exact same tattoo at the same time. 

The singer’s approach to tattoos is a really fun way to get some pieces of body art in without it seeming as if you are covered in ink. This makes it accessible to most people, both went it comes to budget and occupation.

You don’t have to save up for months to start a collection like Dua Lipa’s — you can start with what feels meaningful to you, right now, telling your own story on your skin. This is, after all, what the art of tattooing is all about, right?


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