Drew Barrymore is getting her tattoos lasered off for her man: too extreme?

If your man asked you to do something incredibly painful for him, would you do it? Would it depend on how pressing an issue it was? I have a couple of tattoos I’m not that fond of, and my husband doesn’t particularly like them. There’s no way I’d get them lasered off for him though, as I’ve heard that’s even more painful, and takes longer, than getting the tattoos themselves – and that hurt like a bitch, let me tell you.

Drew Barrymore does not have this same attitude when it comes to getting her skin burned off to appease her man. Her new husband, Will Kopelmann, is Jewish, and Drew is converting for him. She’s also having her tattoos lasered off, because there’s a rule that you can’t be buried in a Jewish ceremony if you have tattoos. (More on that in a moment.)

Drew Barrymore is deciding to ditch her varied and plentiful body ink because of her husband’s religion, Star magazine is exclusively reporting.

The 38-year-old Charlie’s Angels star is converting to her other half, Will Kopelman’s Jewish faith, but in order for her to be buried in a traditional Jewish cemetery she has to be tattoo-free.

According to Star, Drew recently started undergoing painful laser surgery to erase the six tattoos she got during her wild child years.

They include a bouquet of flowers on her hip, a butterfly on her stomach, a crescent moon on her toe, a cross on her leg and two angels on her lower back.

“Drew also wants to be a Santa Barbara mom, and tattoos clash with that wardrobe,” her pal tells Star.

“She’s growing up and turning conservative.”

[From Radar]

Is this part of the “infinite percent” thing that Drew was going on about in Bazaar this month? She’ll convert to Judiasm, endure infinite pain to make her body a clean slate, take care of the baby on her own, develop a wine brand and mix up her own organic blush in the kitchen sink.

Many years ago I dated a heavily tattooed guy who was raised Jewish. The guy would take out his (visible) piercings and wear long sleeve t-shirts when he saw his dad, because his dad would have freaked out over his son’s body modification due to Jewish laws against tattoos. That’s my only experience with this issue, and I always assumed that it was true that you can’t be buried in a Jewish ceremony if you have tattoos. According to Chabad.org, it’s not universally forbidden for people with tattoos to be buried in Jewish cemeteries, it just depends on the cemetery and how strict they are about it. The Torah forbids tattooing, though, so it sounds like it’s really frowned upon in Judaism.

Getting back to the original question: would you get your tattoos lasered off for your beloved? I’m leaning toward “no,” probably because I’ve never really taken religion seriously. (Former Catholic here. I doubt I would convert for anyone either.)

These photos of Drew in the black and white dress are from Fashion Week last week in NY. Credit: Enrique RC, PacificCoastNews.com. She’s also shown with Will on 1-20-13 in NY. Credit: JD/FameFlynet

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78 Responses to “Drew Barrymore is getting her tattoos lasered off for her man: too extreme?”

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  1. HotPockets says:

    Anything you do, you should do it on your own terms, not for someone else. I don’t think she should because her husband wants it, but if it is something Drew feels necessary, then go for it. Would we be asking this question if her husband insisted she loose weight?

    I want to laser my only tattoo off, it is just lettering and very small. I am going to start looking into it.

  2. Lucy says:

    I’m only skeptical because her other marriages didn’t last, so who knows about this one

  3. aims says:

    I also have two little tattoos. I got them when i was young and dumb. I don’t see them because one’s on my back and the other is somewhere else that hasn’t seen the day of light since I’ve had my first kid. I digress, husband is indifferent about them. But he loves me warts and all, and her husband should too.

  4. Nashwa says:

    I am not that surprised that she is doing it, to me she always seemed willing to please her man (past and present). I personally would never convert to a religion for a dude, nor would I ever date a dude that is too religious (being atheist and all). It is very much a personal decision that comes from strong belief, and if you are doing it to please someone it might not be the bestest of reason. Also applies to tattoo removal. I modified my old tattoo and am quite happy with it now.

    • krat says:

      Like you, I don’t really have a horse in this race, being an atheist and all. I consider religion,organized religion, a deal breaker in my relationships. Also, whether it’s self-respect or just my contrary nature, anyone who wanted me to make unnecessary cosmetic changes to myself after we got together is just pissing in the wind.

  5. gee says:

    I know she converted, so this might be for her. Maybe she wants to be buried in a cemetery, she wants to set a good example for her Jewish daughter?

    • ol cranky says:

      The belief that you can’t get married in a Jewish cemetery if you have a tattoo is incorrect. While getting a tattoo is considered verboten according to halacha, they don’t refuse to bury people if they have them regardless of how, when or why the person got them (people were tattooed during the holocaust, people get tattooed to identify margins during cancer treatment, people get tattooed and regret it, gentiles get tattooed and then convert to Judaism and they can still be buried in a Jewish cemetery – even an Orthodox one). Heck, my Aunt was Catholic, had a tattoo she got long before she married into my family and she is buried right between my mom and my Uncle (come to think of it, I think my Uncle got some tattoos when he was in the Navy).

      An ex of mine always thought my aversion to his tattoos was because I’m Jewish (and that may be part of it) but, since he was really fair and had a family history of melanoma, I was really just paranoid that the more tatted up he got, the less likely we’d be able to find notice any signs to point out to his doc.

  6. That Girl says:

    Shouldn’t this have been discussed before they got married? I mean she’s had tats since she was a teenager, it’s not like he didn’t know about them when they met.

  7. bea says:

    I hope they’re removing them simultaneously bc it HURTS like crazy – even with the numbing gel.

  8. aud says:

    i don’t have any.

    but can’t see myself getting them lazered off or converting religions. i’m not a religious person, pretending to believe to make my partner happy would not be okay with me.

    we would need to accept that we have differing beliefs or accept that we’re not compatible. just not willing to fake it, gotta stay true to my own beliefs(or lack of belief, in my case).

  9. Hoya_chick says:

    That seems a bit extreme no? We all have a past and come with some form of baggage. He knew who she was before they married no? She went to rehab at age 13 for crying out loud! I just hope it’s her trying to be the perfect Jewish spouse and overcompensating and not him pressuring her.

    Why would you marry someone who then has to change everything about themselves to meet your standards? Wow. Seems twisted.

    Lol. She is going to feel dumb when they get divorced in 3-5 years.

  10. lucy2 says:

    If it’s something she wants to do for herself, great. If she’s doing all that just for him…
    I think (hope) this marriage will stick for her. She seems different, more grown up and ready for family and all now.

  11. Mabs says:

    I’m leaning toward “no,” probably because I’ve never really taken religion seriously.

    I think I love you.

  12. Sam says:

    Hold up – I’m not an expert on Judaism (my husband used to be). But isn’t it Jewish law that a child born to a non-Jewish mother is automatically not Jewish and would need to convert? So baby Olive is considered to be not Jewish, technically? It seems a little odd that Drew seems dead set on becoming Jewish herself and raising her daughter in the faith but she missed that whole little rule.

    As for the tattoos, I actually once asked my husband about that. He said that only the Orthodox cemetaries really enforce it now and that lots of Jews have tats. I don’t know if she’s converting for her husband – it does seem quick. My husband converted to my denomination’s form of Christianity, and I tried really hard to stop him at first, because I didn’t know if he felt obligated to or not. But he really enjoyed the church and my congregation and wanted to be a part of it, so eventually I came around to supporting him. If she’s doing it because she believes in the faith and loves it, I say good on her.

    • That Girl says:

      So, I could be wrong but I believe that the way it works in Judaism is that if the mother is not Jewish the child is raised in the faith of her upbringing or choice. That may actually be why she’s converting so that they raise their daughter in the Jewish faith.

    • Pop! says:

      I think she already converted before the wedding, so she’s Jewish now and so is her baby.

    • Cazzie says:

      Hmmm…good point. I know of Jewish couples who were careful to get an egg donor who was Jewish in order to ensure that their child would be considered a Jew.

      It may be that in Reform, a mother’s conversion retroactively makes all her babies Jewish too. But yeah, I think you’re right – little Olive is going to have to convert.

      Also that tattoo stuff is way overblown: there are tons of Jewish people with tattoos and the NYTimes had a big article about the cemetary issue a few years ago, saying that it was one of the most common pieces of misinformation about the religion and Jews with tattoos can get buried in a Jewish cemetary no problem.

      Maybe she’s just using the conversion as an excuse for what she wants to do anyways?

      • ol cranky says:

        Reform allows for patrilineal descent, if the father is Jewish they child doesn’t have to convert to be considered Jewish

        Other sects go by matrilineal descent so, technically, Olive wouldn’t be considered Jewish without conversion. Usually in cases when the mother converts after giving birth, she and the baby take mikvah and convert together. Jews who adopt a child when the birth mother wasn’t Jewish also have to have the child converted to be considered Jewish (this has always kind of pissed me off but I know people who went through a conversion as a child/infant who said they considered it to be a beautiful family bonding experience and have it on video and stuff). I really haven’t read any rabbi debate over donated embryo’s/ova – my guess is that the view is split between streams of Judaism (and probably split within the conservative and reconstructionist streams)

  13. annaloo. says:

    I have a question for those of Jewish faith– if Drew is in the process of converting, will Olive have to as well? I thought that for a child to be born Jewish, his or her mother must be as well. What happens if it is post birth?

  14. BooBooLaRue says:

    Well with that frumpy black and white outfit she has one, she has the conservative part down pat. Whatever.

  15. Chicagogurl17 says:

    My whole back is covered in ink and my hubby has sleeve tats. Thank goodness he’s ex-catholic. He covers his arms every time we see his parents – about every 6-8 weeks “out of respect” because they don’t care for tattoos. I am modest by nature and so most are covered but occasionally they will see a wall of tats if I’m in a tank top or sundress. It’s part of who we are at this point and while there are some I would change/cover-up, there’s none I would remove completely. Regardless of how poignant or good they are (which some are completely not) they are still mile-markers in my life.

  16. Maria says:

    im staying away from dudes that try to enforce religious rules, that just scares me.
    if my husband would hate tattoos (i dont have any) i would consider it if i wasnt 100% sure of them. But because of a religion?
    Because some old ass book tells you something? no, never.
    you cant be buried with other people because you look different? seriously?

    • amy says:

      Im not Jewish but I found your comment offensive. Have some respect.

      • Rachel says:

        If anything’s offensive, it’s most (if not all) religions. Instead of teaching people to love and care for each other the way they should, these religions teach people to build walls and ostracize anyone who isn’t the same or doesn’t abide by the same rules. Personally, I was raised to believe that a good person is a good person regardless of race or religion and I find it hard to respect any religion that tries to take away from the quality of a person’s character with inconsequential bull (i.e., tattoos). I’d rather be in the company of a person with a good heart that’s covered from head to toe in tattoos than someone of strict faith who practices discrimination.

      • Maria says:

        i dont have respect for people who are intolerant. its always “us vs them”, “the only true belief”. you need to do things and wear things and say things to belong. conformity or hell.

        also its ridiculous to think feeling offended means you are right, even more so when you are offended for other people. moreover “being offended” means you are offended, using the word “offensive” is a try to claim that everyone is upset by it.

    • Trillion says:

      Go Rachel!! And Amy, why the obligation to respect people’s beliefs? There are so many effed up beliefs out there. I can see respecting someone’s right to believe what they want, but not the beliefs themselves. And we should definitely all be free to express our opinions and not just give religion the kid glove treatment, IMO.

    • ol cranky says:

      Maria – despite the fact we’ll never live down the whole “chosen people” thing, the whole “one true faith” bs is not a part of Jewish dogma. Additionally, people are not condemned as sinning or being immoral by default for not being Jewish/not adhering to Jewish law (that said, the haredim/most chasids are a bunch of right wing religious zealots who go on the offensive against Jews who don’t follow the ultra orthodox understanding of halacha). You did seem to insinuate that intolerant Judaism deems to relegate non-Jews to Hell (we don’t share the Christian view of heaven and hell) for not being Jewish and a wholesale belief that the husband is forcing his religious belief’s on Barrymore. People who convert because they truly feel a personal need to convert are often more observant than many of us raised in a faith so it’s possible that the reasoning for the Jewish proscription of tattoos resonated with her and that’s why she’s having her tats removed. Chances are she probably had some buyers remorse with man of her tats and the story that her husband is forcing her to remove them because he’s Jewish and she’s converting is total bs

    • Cecada says:

      Who says it was his idea or his insistence that she convert? Whose to say it even matters to him at all?

      I’m thinking this is her own pet obsession. Maybe she thinks that the more she ‘becomes’ like him the better chance this time around the relationship will work. I know quite a lot of women who would take it upon themselves to do that kind of thing.

  17. bns says:

    She completely changes her lifestyle according to each relationship. She went vegetarian for a guy she was dating and then started eating meat again for this one. She seems happy though, so whatever.

    • lettylynton says:

      Maybe it’s an actress thing? Drew always needs to be playing a role and Jewish wife and mother is the one she has now? I get the same feeling from Angelina Jolie, who always seems to adopt some of whatever character she’s playing as her own characteristic. It’s kind of like what the rest of us do in junior high and high school by trying different looks, listening to different types of music etc. Always wish the best for Drew! She’s got one hell of a bloodline.

  18. marie says:

    I personally wouldn’t do it but if it’s something she wants to do then have at it..

  19. lola lola says:

    While I wouldn’t do it solely for a man, for a man + a lifetime of Chanel clothes & accessories? Probably. I think that’s a fair trade :-)

  20. Isa says:

    Her tattoos are ugly so I don’t blame her.
    My husband hates tattoos on women (well now just me he doesn’t care what other women do.) I’d remove one on my back but not the one on my wrist because I share it with my siblings. I’d like to get a tattoo for my children but since he doesn’t like them I won’t. That money would be better spent in their college fund.

  21. MonicaQ says:

    I have tattoos but my husband doesn’t. I get more as we go along (stuff I’ve drawn and nothing like his name or anything like that). We talk about ‘em and I hold off for a year with each one. I always take what he things into consideration–he’s the only one besides me who would see them considering I’m in suits or t-shirt/jeans all the time–but in the end it’s something I want. I’m not a fan of people dictating terms to me on things like that.

  22. ycnan says:

    Sorry, but reading all these stupid rule that different religions have just makes me roll my eyes. So so stupid.

  23. Cecada says:

    You just KNOW that somewhere Goopy is smiling…

  24. WOM says:

    “Drew also wants to be a Santa Barbara mom, and tattoos clash with that wardrobe”

    What does this even mean? I’m a mom and I’m one of the very few moms in my circle who doesn’t have a tattoo. Ditto for fathers. I don’t think Santa Barbara is some bastion of conservativeness where popular fashion trends (because that’s what tattoos are) are scorned.

    They’re so popular now it’s more an act of rebellion to be tatt free — times have changed. Good for Drew for de-inking.

    • Irishae says:

      I’m from Santa Barbara, so let me explain. On the surface, it is a progressive and culturally rich little beach town. However, this Socal casual, hippie-lite lifestyle is superficially embraced by the conservative, entitled, and over-plasticized Women of the Frog (a term we use to describe our tweaked housewives). It’s all very hypocritical. These are the Santa Barbara moms the “pal” is referring to and they basically run the place. No surprise that Drew would follow in their footsteps.

  25. ramie says:

    I would tell him to suck it. The tats are staying!

  26. marjiscott says:

    It was different for me. I had over 30 medical tattoos covering my neck down to my waist, also my entire back from having radiation treatments for cancer when I was young. When I met my husband, who happened to be Jewish, he like all the others before him he was initally shocked when he saw me. When he insisted I get lasered, Boy, I was ready, and yes, the pain was worth it to look normal again. Good for Drew, I think it’s her way of being a grown up, Mother, and to get a fresh start…

  27. Moore says:

    It sounds like see is doing it for Judaism. Maybe she is getting into the laws.
    Or perhaps she is doing it to try to erase her own painful past.
    It certainly doesn’t sound like she is just doing it for him.

  28. KJ says:

    This seems extreme. Tattoos do not prevent you from having a traditional Jewish burial, not anymore at least.

  29. Angel L says:

    I had mine lasered off (my choice-it was ugly and I was young when I chose it). I actually didn’t think it hurt that much getting it removed. I didn’t use the numbing cream or anything. felt kind of like a mild rubber band snap. The most painful part was the cost.

  30. Emma says:

    My question is, did the husband ask her to or hint at in any way that she should? I don’t know if I skipped over it or not. If he doesn’t personally care then I don’t see the big deal because she isn’t just doing it for him, she’s doing it because she wants to.

  31. Miss Jupitero says:

    Hard for me to second guess her motives, but here is my take:

    If she is doing this to please someone else, big mistake.

    If she is doing this *truly* to please herself, go for it.

    I personally have my doubts about the whole “She’s growing up and becoming conservative” thing. I know plenty of conservatives who have tattoos, and plenty of “grown ups” who are not conservative at all and are *getting* tattoos at advanced ages. Sounds like self-hatred to me.

  32. Miss Jupitero says:

    This btw, is a reason why I would never get a tattoo– too permanent! That which is cool and rad when you are 20, may look thoroughly ridiculous when you are 65. Just my thoughts.

  33. Kim says:

    Drew just told Gloss magazine that Will has tattoos last month

  34. magda says:

    former catholic. I removed one of my two tattoos for myself. it really hurts like hell and never again (but I love my second)

    ps. Drew remind me about one film – french comedy with Audrey Tatou – girl want to marry a guy and she becoming very serious about his religion (more than him)

  35. Claire says:

    I wouldn’t even contemplate seeing someone who was religious. I have no interest whatsoever

  36. Kosmos says:

    I think if the request is reasonable and she is okay with doing it, no problem. Personally, I am not a tattoo fan, so I dislike them for the most part, so in that vein, I say, get those babies removed! Also, a tattoo might feel right at the time, but years later, not into it as much, so…I wouldn’t add anything onto my body that I could not easily change up. Tattoos are not that easy to get rid of.

  37. Annie says:

    Not a comment on tattoos but she looks really pretty in the second pic down. Her looks have improved since her younger days. Now she just needs to whiten those butterteefs.

  38. emma says:

    I think Drew’s doing this as much for herself as for her man.
    Plus, according to the story- what about this is conservative? Just because she’s getting rid of tattoos she got when she was a teenager?!