Discovering the Art on Skin: A Comprehensive Guide to Harry Styles’ 55 Tattoos and Their Meanings

His super-toned physique on display as he partied aboard a yacht with friends on the Italian Riviera last week delighted his millions of fans.

But it was singer Harry Styles’ vast array of tattoos, each with a fascinating back story, that caused the most tremendous excitement.

Now, The Mail on Sunday can reveal the clues behind each inking and how they show what is going on in the former One Direction star’s life.

Friends of the singer say he has fallen in love with body art and has, so far, notched up 55 tattoos since having the first one drawn up months after he found fame on the ITV show The X Factor.

From the large butterfly design emblazoned on his torso to the two swallows and a black heart on his upper arm, some are tributes to his beloved family members.

Others were inked after he lost bets, while others signify his stance on political issues or to show his spiritual side.

Here, we tour the Sign Of The Times singer’s body art…

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The Mail on Sunday has revealed the clues behind each of Harry Styles' inkings
The Mail on Sunday has revealed the clues behind Harry Styles’ inkings.

1 Letter G – for his beloved older sister Gemma. They have been close ever since they were toddlers.

2 Swallows facing each other – used by sailors, swallows symbolize love and travel. Harry certainly does a lot of that.

3 17 Black – Harry is a massive fan of James Bond and got this to reference his lucky roulette bet, ’17 Black’.

4 Black heart – signifies his grief at his stepfather Robin Twist’s death in 2017.

5 Three Nails – a holy symbol that demonstrates Harry’s belief in religion and spirituality.

6 Butterfly – represents the star’s transformation through life’s different stages.

7 Eagle – symbolizes courage and freedom. He got this to cover a previous tattoo with the words ‘Things I can.’

8 Two fern leaves – to show his growth, endurance, and strength – covered up previous tattoos that read ‘Might as well.’

9 Anchor – a reminder for him to remain grounded, despite his global fame and fortune.

10 Large Tiger – a sign of determination. When asked what it meant, Harry replied: ‘Tiger, Roar!’

11 Skeleton in a suit — he got this for Halloween in 2013 to show his fondness for the October celebration.

12 Handshake – a symbol of equality that Harry staunchly believes in.

13 ‘Silver Spoon’ words – a reminder that he was not born with privilege and needed to be grounded despite his success.

14 Anatomical Heart – Harry did this in 2012 to signify that he wears his heart on his sleeve.

15 ‘You Booze, You Lose’ with a picture of a bottle – Harry did this in 2014 after a raucous period.

16 Holy Bible – a sign inked to demonstrate the star’s spiritual and religious beliefs despite his wild lifestyle.

17 The name Olivia: A tribute to his ex-girlfriend Olivia Wilde, though some fans have speculated that it is after the One Direction song of the same name.

18 The word ‘Colazione’ – which means breakfast in Italian – is Harry’s favorite meal.

Harry's vast array of tattoos have been a cause of much excitement among fans
Harry’s vast array of tattoos has been a cause of much excitement among fans.

From a rose to 99p… the ones you can’t see

Star – Harry’s first marking, done on his 18th birthday.

Mermaid – a tribute to his father, Desmond Styles, an avid fisherman. It also symbolizes the zodiac sign Pisces and is a nod to his late grandfather.

‘R’ – to remember his stepfather Robin Twist, who died of cancer in 2017.

Coat hanger – a symbol of the reproductive rights movement. Shows Harry’s support for abortion rights and feminism.

Ship – a reminder that he’s always homeward-bound.

Late – One Direction played a game of Tattoo Roulette on The Late Late Show with James Corden; when Harry lost, he had to get this inked on his arm on the show.

Green Bay Packers – Harry is a fan of the NFL team.

Iced Gem Cookie – another tribute to his sister Gemma.

Hebrew letters – meaning Gemma, more love for his sister.

The second set of Hebrew letters translates as ‘Can I stay?’ – a joke among Harry’s friends who think women are always trying to find ways to stay at his place.

The mermaid tattoo is a tribute to his father, Desmond Styles, an avid fisherman
The mermaid tattoo is a tribute to his father, Desmond Styles, an avid fisherman.

Pingu – Harry and Ed Sheeran had the same inking done in 2013 after a drinking session when they discussed how much they love the cartoon.

Small guitar – represents his passion for music.

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon – a tribute to a rock group.

Arlo and Jackson – recognition for his godchildren.

The word ‘Hi’ is a private joke with One Direction bandmate Louis Tomlinson, who has the word ‘Oops.’

Rose – symbolizes Harry’s hopes of enjoying romance.

Cross – shows Harry’s ambition to live his life spiritually.

Fly/insect tattoo – done in 2017, it signifies upcoming change.

LA + NY + LON – abbreviations for the three cities where he spends most of his time.

The letter ‘A’ – a tribute to his mum, Anne Twist.

Key – former bandmate Tomlinson has the same emblem in the same place to signify their close bond.

Padlock – inked by Ed Sheeran in 2013.

Shamrock is a tribute to LA’s Shamrock Social Club’s tattoo parlor, where Harry is said to have had most of his tattoos done.

99p – a private joke Harry enjoys with his US friends who say everything costs 99p in the UK.

Aquarius zodiac sign – representing his birth sign.

Birdcage – he had this done in 2012 at the time One Direction was pursued so much by fans that they felt like caged animals.

Two theatre masks – represent his love of live performance.

‘1967’ – the birth year of his mum, Anne Twist.

‘1957’ – the birth year of his dad, Desmond Styles.

‘SMCL’ – stands for Smile Now Cry Later – one of his mantras.

Half a broken heart – is believed to be a friendship symbol with Kings Of Leon’s drummer Nathan Followill.

Cross with letter B – his maternal grandfather was Brian, and his paternal grandmother was Beryl. The B references them both.

‘Mary’ – his grandmother Beryl’s middle name.

Palm tree – another nod to his sister Gemma who has the same tattoo in the same spot on her arm. Symbolizes eternity.

‘California’ – a tribute to the state.

The word ‘Brasil’: Harry revealed this during a concert in Rio De Janeiro in 2014.

Words ‘Never Gonna Dance Again’ – a lyric from Wham’s song Careless Whisper.

Words – ‘Dance Again’: Harry never likes a concert to end.

Crown tattoo: is said to be a reminder to believe in himself.

Screw – all members of 1D except for Niall Horan have this. They had it done to remind them to stay grounded.

The French and Spanish words ‘Oui,’ ‘Non,’ ‘Si,’ and ‘No’: A joke to reference Harry’s difficulty making decisions.

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