"These are permanent and I won't regret these ones. These are my babies," says Alba.
Some moms wear rings with their child's birthstone. Some moms sport nameplate necklaces with their baby's carefully chosen name. And some moms get inked in honor of their little ones.
Honest Company founder Jessica Alba showed off three new tattoos on Instagram this week, one for each of her three children, Honor, Haven and Hayes.
The tattoo design is based on her children's astrological signs and the corresponding constellations. Fans questioned whether the ink was real, but Alba made it clear in an Instagram live, telling her followers: "These are permanent and I won't regret these ones. These are my babies."
Many Instagram commenters were less enthusiastic about Alba's new ink than she was, with many remarking that the tattoos do not appeal to them.
But that's okay, because they're not for anybody but Alba (and her kids). It's her arm, after all. Tattoos may not be for everyone, but they are for a lot of mamas.
It's estimated that almost 50% of millennials have at least one tattoo, and more than a million American millennials are becoming moms every year, so there are a lot of tattooed moms out there, and many of them did what Alba did and got ink specifically to mark their relationship with their children. Names, meaningful symbols and art representing the beauty of birth or breastfeeding are all becoming more popular.
Psychologist Sharon Draper told Australia's Essential Baby tattoos like these can remind women of the strength they find in motherhood. "They can [also] be a form of self-expression to show the world how proud they are of something they believe in," she explains.
Alba is clearly very proud of her three children and expressing that through tattoo ink, and she obviously thought about these tattoos a lot before getting them. Back in 2016 she offered some advice for younger women thinking about tattoos in an interview with Allure. "Think twice before getting a tattoo. You're never going to be in the same place emotionally and mentally at 18 that you are at 20 or 25 or 30," she said. "Something that's meaningful to you when you're younger is not going to be meaningful to you five years later. Understand that tattoos are forever."
It's wise advice, but it's clear that Alba took her own advice in this circumstance. Just like tattoos, our love for our children is forever.