Justin Bieber practically flew up the ranks in the music business, going from a 'tween YouTube star to one of the world's most recognizable pop names in just a few short years. That could explain his newest tattoo: an owl on his left arm.
"Befo the paps get me," Bieber wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of his eighth tattoo on Sunday.
The 18-year-old pop star hasn't revealed any explicit reason for the large tattoo, or where he got it. But he did provide a hint in his Twitter feed by retweeting a message from a fan:
"OWL symbolizes: Wise, Magestic and Powerful. Best tattoo ever @justinbieber" wrote Twitter user @letmakeitdotnl.
Maybe the bird is to help Bieber get over his fear of flying, or perhaps it's a meaningful symbol of his Indian heritage. It's one of the biggest and most detailed tattoos he's gotten yet, so whatever it is, the reason behind it must be pretty important to the "Beauty and a Beat" singer.
Also visible in the Instagram photo is another tattoo he got this year: the word "Believe," which celebrated the release of his sophomore album of the same name. Most recently, Bieber also got a small crown inked on his chest, and right before that, the Japanese symbol for music on the inside of his right elbow.
The pop prince got his first tattoo at the age of 16 also with an avian theme: the outline of a seagull, in reference to the novel "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," to resemble his father's. When Bieber was 17, he and his dad Jeremy got another matching pair of tats, inking the Hebrew word for Jesus down their ribcages. That's one of three Christianity-themed tattoos on Bieber's body, including the face of Jesus and a pair of praying hands.
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Bieber's girlfriend, 20-year-old Selena Gomez, also got inked this year, with the roman numeral for 76 on the back of her neck. It seems that with Bieber, tattoos are not only addictive, but contagious.
While Bieber's latest tat remains mostly a mystery, maybe he'll shed some light during his high-profile interview with Oprah, which will air around the world on Nov. 25.