Ariana Grande is no stranger to tattoos. In fact, she has several. From a Breakfast at Tiffany's quote to an ink homage to her late ex Mac Miller's dog Myron, she loves the tiny works of art. However, Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" tattoo clearly didn't go as she'd originally planned, and now the singer has attempted to fix her translation mistake. The problem, though, is that she didn't actually fix it. In fact, the tattoo may be worse now.
According to BuzzFeed, Grande took to her social media last night to showcase her fixing the original "7 Rings" tattoo she debuted on Instagram and Twitter a few days ago. The "Thank U, Next" singer had to fix the original ink because instead of reading "7 rings," as she intended, it actually read "shichirin" — a traditional Japanese grill. In its reporting, BuzzFeed cites a screenshot Grande posted of a conversation she had with her "Japanese tutor" where she's told how to fix the mistaken tattoo. The tutor advised Grande to add a new kanji above and between the original symbols which would change their meaning to "7 finger circle," a more accurate translation for "7 rings."
The problem? Grande didn't do that.
Instead of adding the new kanji in the place where her tutor told her to insert it, Grande had the new character inked below the kanji for 7. This is an issue because, as the BuzzFeed article explains, Japanese is read vertically starting at the top and unlike English, is read right to left. Therefore, by not placing the symbol in the correct position, Grande changed the meaning yet again. Now, her tiny hand tattoo translates to "Japanese BBQ Finger." Whoops.
Bustle's Mika Doyle confirmed the new translation, saying Grande's tattoo is basically gibberish now given it's confusing configuration. Doyle explains that Japanese is made up of hiragana, katana, and kanji — or intentionally placed syllabary and characters. Simply placing Chinese characters together, she explains, doesn't make something meaningful in Japanese. In a previous story for Bustle, Doyle wrote Grande's misuse of kanji, particularly the singer's reaction to the mistranslation, was appropriation.
In alleged screenshots taken by Twitter users, Grande originally seemed to want to keep the first tattoo citing that it "still looked tight" in now deleted tweets. The singer's seeming acceptance of the misuse of the kanji calls even more attention to instances of appropriation of Japanese culture, according to Doyle.
"But her lack of regard for the accuracy of her tattoo makes the visuals in her video come off as more a fetishization of Japanese culture than true appreciation," Doyle writes. "And that's what cultural appropriation really looks like: someone sees something from another culture they looks exotic and pretty, so they want to surround themselves with it, without really understanding it."
Will Grande attempt to fix the tattoo again, or will she get rid of it? Fans can only wait, but the singer's use of another language as an aesthetic is a lesson in why you must learn to honor a culture properly, not jut aesthetically.