When we see our favorite celebs gracing the red carpet in all of their immaculate glory, it’s easy to forget that they’re people who, much like the rest of us, make grand gestures in the name of love. Unfortunately, relationships aren’t always built to last, and celebrities with tattoos dedicated to their exes know first hand that having the ink altered or otherwise removed is a great way to move on.
Stars who removed tattoos dedicated to their exes decided that a clean slate was the best medicine for their heartbreak, while some celebs creatively transformed their ink to change the message of the tat. Either way, we’re sure they felt a whole lot better once their bodies became truly ex-free.
It’s been over two decades since Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder broke off their engagement in 1993, yet the story of “Winona Forever” remains the number one example of why someone should think twice before getting a tattoo in honor of their lover. Despite being the butt of more than a few jokes, Depp kept the tat for a full year before removing the last two letters of the actress’s name as a clever play on words. History has repeated itself for the thespian in recent months as a result of his messy separation from actress Amber Heard. Where his knuckles once read “Slim,” a nickname for Heard, is now the phrase “scum,” leading some to deduce that it’s a pointed message toward his latest ex.
- Age: 58
- Birthplace: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States of America
It wouldn’t be a proper telling of the ballad of Angelina Jolie without mentioning her brief, whirlwind marriage with Hollywood bad boy Billy Bob Thornton. In addition to the pair carrying a vial of each other’s blood around their necks during their three year relationship, Jolie had a pretty sizable Chinese dragon stamped onto her left arm along with her then-husband’s name just below. These days, the former site of Billy’s dragon now contains a set of coordinates representing the birth places of Jolie’s six children, as well as the birthplace coordinates of her recent ex, Brad Pitt.
- Age: 46
- Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
It’s pretty hard to move past a break up when your heart or your tattoo heart has the guy’s name written all over it. Such was the dilemma when actress Melanie Griffith split up with her third husband Antonio Banderas in 2015. Her solution was a slow but steady process of laser treatments to remove the homage from her arm entirely. Despite ending their marriage of nearly 20 years, the two appear to be amicably coparenting their daughter Stella, and have shared nothing but warm wishes with one another post-split.
- Age: 64
- Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
Ankle tats are notorious for being particularly painful, so teenage cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner must have really meant business when she decided to change her lower case “t” to “LA” as a way to solidify her split from rapper Tyga in April of 2017. The change came about a month after Jenner and current beaux Travis Scott got matching butterfly tattoos.
- Age: 24
- Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA