Vanessa Bryant is adding to her body art to pay tribute to her daughter Gianna. On Tuesday, March 23, Vanessa shared a series of Instagram posts showing off the new tattoo on her upper right arm that reads, “Mambacita.”
The artwork features a heart to dot the “i” and a butterfly at the end of the final “a.” This was Gianna’s nickname and a play on dad Kobe Bryant’s “Black Mamba” moniker.
Gianna, herself an avid basketball player, was 13 when she and Kobe were among the nine individuals who perished in a tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.
“Mambacita,” Vanessa, 38, simply captioned the photo, adding heart and butterfly emojis. Among the supporters praising the piece was La La Anthony, who commented, “This is sooooo goood!!!” She included a number of heart-eyes emojis.
Prior to the final reveal, Vanessa shared several videos of herself getting the ink done by her regular tattoo artist, Nikko Hurtado.
“Nikko makes fun of me because he uses a single needle on me, vato-style,” Vanessa quipped in one video, referencing her Mexican-American heritage.
Vanessa later said she “jokingly referred” to the term vato-style in her video, writing on Instagram in part, “…All my tatts are single needle to keep the lines clean… I’m still using this older historical process.”
She also shared footage of 18-year-old daughter Natalia Bryant getting her own tattoo, captioning it, “If you’re going to get a tattoo, get it with me and with one of the best.”
This is not her first tattoo tribute following the devastating crash. In June 2020, Vanessa posted video of Nikko tattooing a message from Kobe on her right shoulder, along with throwback footage filmed in February 2020 of Nikko inking a message from Gianna on her left wrist.