Ben Affleck Defends His Massive Back Tattoo

Ben Affleck - Triple Frontier

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Ben Affleck's massive back tattoo has faced many adversities in its tortured existence. It was once meant to be a sign of healing during a point of great pain, and to prove to its wayward owner that he could prevail against the afflictions that torture and torment him. But the ink was the subject of mockery when it made its first public appearance. And it became a sour source of shame for the actor/director during a particularly dark period of his life. Meant to show strength and stability, the misunderstood mark was seen as strange and insecure. Even its famous owner lost trust in its cause, trying to disown the permanently-etched emblem as nothing more than a fraud. Behind shirts was it often hidden.

But much like the aforementioned phoenix escaping the flames, it rises again. Neither hellfire nor snide will keep the ink down. The prominent back tattoo with a widely-encompassing terrain wasn't meant to quiver; it was made to soar. And soar it shall-- snickers be damned. While this tat faced a laborious journey in its troubled, hard-won life, it means to prevail — as it was meant to from the beginning. Back when it was first drawn onto Ben Affleck's spine and breathed its first flames of life upon the canvas of the Oscar-winner's body.

As it was revealed in a recent interview, Ben Affleck still stands behind his ink, despite what the naysayers might proclaim. The Triple Frontier actor admits it was meant to be private in nature, but he wasn't afraid to support it. As he was quoted:

I like it. It's something I sort of kept private. It wasn't like I was sort of doing photo shoots or whatever. We were two hours north of the city on some island in Hawaii and we didn't know paparazzi was there. So they got a picture of my tattoo and yeah the sentiment ran, you know, against.

Ben Affleck's rousing remarks were made to the dismissive public during his recent appearance on Ellen. Though the actor was there to promote his new Netflix film, it was ultimately his supportive statements regarding the back tattoo — the very one which once brightly glimmered inside flashing paparazzi cameras only a year or two earlier — that caught the public's notice.

Ben Affleck did not boast, but he was certainly supportive of the artistic spread, which has now been seen around the world by questionable eyes. Once, he expressed remorse about the decision. He tried to sidestep the gigantic tattoo by claiming it was simply for a movie and not the real deal. Now, it comes as a point of pride." And if nobody else liked it, well, it wasn't meant for them anyway. And why should they care? It's not on their bodies.

I was like, I love my tattoo. I'm very happy with it. Luckily I'm the one who has it.

This is not the first time Ben Affleck has stepped up to defend his tattoo's honor. Once it was making the public rounds and it became the source of giggles and glee for cynical critics, Affleck went on Twitter and wrote this retort to The New Yorker.

Will the public ever come around to appreciating Ben Affleck's back tattoo? Perhaps not. And if they never understand, it wasn't meant for them anyway. But rather than hide in shame, the phoenix will continue to rise, higher and higher — even if it might often be hidden under wool and cloth and typically left unseen.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.