Unless Janet Jackson expands her tattoo collection to the extensiveness of Denis Rodman, or gets a facial tattoo like Mike Tyson, her body art will always be remembered for the infamous “nipple seen round the world.” However there is more to her body art collection than that one piercing.
As far as body piercings go, Janet has both her ears pierced, one nipple pierced, her septum, her navel, her tongue and a genital piercing. She no longer wears jewelry in either her septum or tongue piercings. What sort of genital piercing she wears she has not specified, but many internet bulletin boards and fan sites claim that it is a clitoral piercing.
When it came to the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” what the world got to see on national US television was a pierced nipple with a barbell and a piece of jewelry called a nipple shield, which slips on and is held by the pierced bar. Fans of her music got their first look at her pierced nipple with the release of her 1997 album “Velvet Rope” which featured close-ups of her nipple piercing as part of the album artwork.
Jackson also has several tattoos. Glimpses and flashes of them can be seen in magazine photo shoots and her music videos. Most of her skin art has been done by Los Angeles tattooist Ronnie Zulu. He is a very unique artist and gives a very high respect and regard to spiritual tattooing. Janet has gotten at least three of her four tattoos by Zulu. Zulu has also tattooed a Borneo-style scorpion design on the small of her back. The Japanese kanji he tattooed on the back of her neck is sometimes described as symbolizing balance and continuity and sometimes as friendship. She shares this kanji tattoo with two of her best friends who work with her as dancers.
The one on the inside of her right wrist is a “Sankofa.” This is a concept, supposedly derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people from West Africa. The literal translation means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” The idea being expressed is one of learning from the past so that you can move forward with knowledge. The design is an abstract symbolization of a bird flying forward while looking backwards, carrying an egg in it’s mouth (the symbol of the future), but can also be represented as a heart-like symbol, which is the variation Janet sports.
She also has a tattoo in the crease of her right thigh of Mickey and Minnie Mouse engaging in sex, with Minnie giving oral sex to Mickey. Some fan sites claim that this was also tattooed by Ronnie Zulu, however it is not mentioned anywhere on his web site, although he does state he did the other three. Jackson has admitted to having done a lot of sexual experimentation in her 20s and 30s, and that the tattoo of the Disney characters “doing the nasty” as she phrases it, is humorous to her as well as being symbolic that she feels sex is good and should be fun.
If you want to emulate Ms. Jackson or get a tattoo in homage to her, don’t worry, you are far from alone. Her official fan site includes a gallery of pictures of fans who have either gotten designs that she herself wears or who wear tattoos that depict Janet herself.
To see more celebrity tattoos, you might like
Tattoo Nation: Portraits of Celebrity Body Art by Rolling Stone, David Ritz or you might like
Celebrity Skin: Tattoos, Brands, and Body Adornments of the Stars by Jim Gerard