Lena Dunham’s 24 Tattoos & Their Meanings

Lena Dunham is a young American Actress, Writer, and a director in both film and television. Lena became famous through the HBO television series Girls (2012–2017), for which she also received several Emmy Award nominations. Lena is a huge fan of getting inks on her body. Let’s explore all her inks and the meaning that they hold.

Lena Dunham

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At the time, it was like, “My friend Marina has tattoos, and I’m gonna get one.” I sometimes want to make a book of every tattoo I wanted to get before I actually got a tattoo, because there were so many awful ideas and concepts. But once I did it, it got totally addictive. I’d say I had a very active tattooing period from 17 to 21, and since then, I’ve gotten a few tiny things.

1. ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ Tattoo

Lena Dunham Ferdinand Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a Ferdinand inked on her upper arm.

Meaning: Lena got this tattoo for the love of  Children’s book, THE STORY OF FERDINAND, which tells the tale of a bull who prefers to sit and smell the flowers rather than fighting in the wild. The tattoo holds an important lesson for her. She got this ink done at the age of 19 years.

She says, ‘Just be yourself and don’t gore anyone with your horns if you don’t feel like it.”

“I have tattoos from children’s books all over my arms and torso,” she told The New York Times. “The biggest one is of Ferdinand the bull, which Elliott Smith also had, but his was a different page. What a good message that book has! Just be yourself and don’t gore anyone with your horns if you don’t feel like it.”

2. ‘Writing’ Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a writing on her back.

Meaning: She shared her tattoo on her Instagram on Sunday, October 15, 2016, which showed The Odeon written on her left butt cheek. She got this in the honor of the famous restaurant in New York City. The new design piece was inked in an orange color to matched the neon logo of the original restaurant.

3. ‘Skater’ Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a skateboarding girl inked on her stomach. This ink is inspired from the first female skater, Laura Thornhill. She got this ink done to cover the scar she received while the treatment of Endometriosis.

4. ‘Teardrop’ Tattoo

Lena Dunham Teardrop Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a teardrop inked on her index finger of the left hand.

5. ‘Writing on finger’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: She has another ink which reads HOLLYWOOD FOREVER written across her fingers.

6. ‘Portrait’ Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena in her Instagram post had revealed this tattoo which shows a little lady.

7. ‘Rose’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena has a huge rose inked on her upper left thigh. In an Instagram revelation post, she had said that all these inks give her sense of control and ownership of her body, which is otherwise beyond her control.

8. ‘Kewpie Dolls’ Tattoo

Lena Dunham Hip Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has Lena Dunham has a tattoo on her right hip of two mermaid-tailed Kewpie dolls who are scooping a bucket of tears. She got this ink done from by Robert Bonhomme in June 2017. It is inspired from the drawings Kewpie illustrator Rose O’Neill.

9. ‘Love Me Heart’ Tattoo

10. ‘Ornamental Cross’ Tattoo

Lena-Dunham-Cross Tattoo

Tattoo: In the year 2017, Lena Dunham decided to cover up the old “Staunch” tattoo on her right wrist and got this done with the ornamental cross-shaped design.

11. ‘Diamond’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena Dunham has a drawing of a diamond on the inside of her middle finger.

12. ‘SICK’ Tattoo

Tattoo: In order to embrace the illness that she has been suffering, Lena got SICK permanently inked on the back of her neck.

13. ‘Writing on Elbow’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: She has another ink on inside of her left elbow which reads, “Be Yourself”.

14. ‘Dollar Sign’ Tattoo

Lena Dunham Dollar Tattoo

Tattoo: On her left middle finger, Lena has a dollar sign inked.

15. ‘Too Beautiful to live, Too Wild To Die’ Tattoo

Lena-Dunham-Quote Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena Dunham has a handwritten tattoo on her right upper arm which reads “Too beautiful to die, Too wild to live. This quote is an inspiration from the 1998 HBO movie Gia which was about the rise and fall of supermodel Gia Carangi, who had died due to AIDS and drug addiction.

16. ‘Rosary’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena has a rosary inked on her right ankle along with pills inked on her foot.

17. ‘Cat’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena has the portrait of her Sphynx cat inked on her left shoulder.

18. ‘Dog’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena has a tiny dog face inked on the left side of her body.

19. ‘Staunch’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena has a staunch inked on the right side of her bikini line on her right upper thigh.

20. ‘Symbols’ Tattoo

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Tattoo: Lena’s left forearm consists of five tiny symbols inked all together.

21. ‘Jewelry’ Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a jewelry Warrior piece inked under the chest which was done by a female tattoo artist

22.  ‘RIP JUDY’ Tattoo

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Today is National Leathercraft Day, National Relaxation Day and National Lemon Merengue Pie Day. It’s also the 9 month anniversary of my hysterectomy. I’ve never celebrated the 9 month anniversary of anything and I realized last night why that number feels so funny- I won’t ever do it the way I planned to. My body is mostly healed and every day I find a new bruise on my heart, but today I offer myself gratitude: from the most pained place, I somehow knew to choose myself. The purest glint of who we are and know we can be is always available to us, calm and true at our center. My friend Paul named my uterus Judy, and when she was being uppity we called her out, hence the tattoo on my ribs, which hurt like fuck even through the pain meds: #RIPJudy. Today I give thanks for Judy, for her graceful exit and for this body, which is stronger than I’ve ever given it credit for. Happy Giving Birth To Myself Day.

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Tattoo: Lena has RIP JUDY inked on her right rib cage.

Meaning: Lena after her decade long struggle with endometriosis, she got a hysterectomy done.

24. ‘Pair of Houses’ Tattoo

Lena-Dunham-Houses Tattoo

Tattoo: Lena has a pair of houses inked on her back.

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