Two years ago—to the day, oddly enough—Ben Affleck sent a wave of relief across the planet. He revealed that the truly petrifying photos of a colorful tattoo of a phoenix rising from the ashes on his back that had surfaced at the end of 2015 were, indeed, fake. According to him, the tattoo had supposedly only been for an upcoming movie role. He made the revelation after a photo of his naked back had been circulating for a few weeks in March 2016, with the general consensus, led by his former fiancé Jennifer Lopez, being that it was "awful," had "too many colors," and needed to be "cooler."
Jennifer Garner, Affleck’s now ex-wife, even brought up the tattoo during a Vanity Fair interview in which she spoke candidly about their split a year prior. The tattoo had been described as a "mid-life crisis" decision, done just after the couple had parted ways after ten years together because Affleck cheated on Garner with the family nanny.
"You know what we would say in my hometown about [the tattoo]? 'Bless his heart.' A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario?" Garner said in 2016. "I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes."
Despite all the tattoo publicity, though, Affleck’s deflection of the tat and his insistence that it was just for a role eventually led the whole discussion to die down. It seems safe to say many of us simply erased the cursed image from our minds—until Affleck was pictured recently on a beach during a training session alongside Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, and Garret Hedlund for their upcoming film, Triple Frontier. The back tattoo is apparently still there and as colorful, large, and easily ridiculed as it's ever been.
Although everyone is certainly entitled to do whatever they want with their body, many have pounced on Affleck for lying about the validity of this particular tattoo. It’s also just not a very good piece of art, and it’s not like the dude doesn’t have money to go to a top-notch artist and get advice on how to make a large piece like that look good.
Plus, since when did social media need a good reason to make fun of someone? No one can stop making fun of the Batman v. Superman star's giant phoenix tattoo, and honestly, we’re not about to tell anyone to stop. Scroll down to see how people are responding to Affleck's embarrassing ink.