Vanessa Bryant honored her late daughter Gianna with a fresh batch of new ink!
The proud mom went under the needle on Tuesday night, March 23. Bryant revealed that she got a beautiful tattoo of the word “Mambacita” on her wrist as a tribute to Gianna, who passed away in the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna, and several others. Vanessa also got three other tattoos in honor of her other children before the night was done. However, she only fully revealed the Gianna tribute piece.
It took Vanessa and the tattoo artist a long time to chose a custom font for the “Mambacita” tattoo. Of course, fans know that Kobe’s nickname was Black Mamba, and Mambacita was a nickname for Gianna because she inherited her dad’s ball-handling skills. The new ink included a cute heart to dot the “i” and a butterfly at the word’s tail.
Bryant joked that all her tattoos were done in “vato style,” which the artist said was a more traditional, single-needle process. “(All my tatts are single needle to keep the lines clean)…jokingly referred to as ‘vato style’ in this video since I’m still using this older historical process,” she wrote on Instagram. “8 hours to decide on the font ??,” she said. “Tatt took 5 mins. ❤️”
Vanessa went on to get three other tattoos last night, including a small piece on the middle finger of her right hand. “Thx @nikkohurtado Tatt #4 @nataliabryant #Muse,” she captioned a video of the process. Bryant also appeared to get some sort of a tree on the inside of her left wrist. Despite the small size of all her new ink, four tattoos are a lot for anyone to get in one sitting.
Bryant remembered her late husband and daughter on January 26, the first anniversary of their death. “I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings,” she wrote on social media at the time. “It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!”
In the days leading up to the anniversary, Vanessa opened up about how grief has affected her. “Let me be real — grief is a messed up cluster of emotions,” she said via her IG stories. “One day, you’re in the moment laughing and the next day you don’t feel like being alive. I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it’s hard. I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason.”
Kobe, Gianna, and seven others perished in the tragic helicopter crash. Bryant would have turned 43 this year, and Gianna would have celebrated her 15th birthday. RIP Mamba and Mambacita!