Eulogy for Julia Fox’s Back Tat

Gone but not forgotten

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Julia Fox is seen on June 21, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Rachpoot/Bau...
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, and here’s significantly less on this recent photo of Julia Fox in Milan for their fashion week (it’s always fashion week somewhere). While this new photo of her in a “bralaclava” is no doubt clever and full of the actor and downtown icon’s signature (read: insane) style, what’s most notable about the photo is what’s not there. Fox’s back tattoo of violin f-holes (that’s literally what they’re called) has faded significantly. RIP to a legend.

It was reported earlier this year that Fox was in the process of removing a handful of her tattoos, and later the ever-reliable twitter account called “julia fox updates” more or less confirmed that one of the tattoos getting the laser treatment was her back tattoo. What a bummer!

It’s Fox’s body and Fox’s choice as to what to do with her tattoos, but of all of her ink, her f-holes were her most distinctive physical traits. Back tattoos, specifically lower back tattoos, have always been a point of contention on women — even if no one’s calling them “tramp stamps” much anymore, we remember — but Fox’s were at best a beautiful reminder that the body is an instrument and at worst a cheeky joke. Maybe they were also a tribute to Man Ray? Now we’ll never know.

Celebs are riddled with tattoos these days, from giant back tattoos to a bajillion little ones, but Fox’s were distinctive and unique. These were not tattoos that could be found on just anyone, nor were they tattoos that overshadowed her work as an actress or model or front-facing camera TikTok star. They spoke to her rebellious personality, her devil-may-care aesthetics. They were authentic, truly, in an industry that doesn’t value that, the f-holes chief among them. There was something of a relief to Fox’s back tattoo specifically in that you may not ever know what she’s going to turn up wearing or what she was going to say, but you knew if you looked closely, there would be those perfectly placed f-holes, reminding you that she was a beautiful human woman and not a violin.