Demi Lovato Shares the Deeply Personal Meaning Behind Her Nearly 30 Tattoos

Source: Nagi Sakai for Refinery29

Any true Lovatics already know that Demi Lovato tattooed "Stay Strong" on her wrists to cover up her scars and remind her of her journey after spending time in a treatment center for an eating disorder, self-harm and drug addiction in 2010. The meaning behind her other nearly 30 tattoos, on the other hand, has long remained a mystery.

In an interview with Refinery29 released Monday, the singer revealed the meaning behind her more personal pieces of art. 

Read more: Demi Lovato's Latest Bikini Selfie Is Your Daily Dose of Body Positivity

Her first ever tattoo — which she got at just 16 years old — is feathers on her ribs with the lyrics "You make me beautiful" from Bethany Dillon's song "Beautiful." It "remind[s] her of God's love for her in moments of self-loathing," Refinery29 reported.

Lovato has a flock of 12 birds on her right arm. "At the time I just wanted birds, feeling free," she told the website. "But when I was in sober living, someone asked me how many there were and I realized there were 12. Oh my god, the 12 steps." 

Source: Getty Images

As for the roman numeral three on her left wrist, Lovato explained it is "Nascar-inspired." She has been vocal about her tumultuous relationship with her dad, even penning the song "Father" about him. The two bonded over racing, so after he passed away in 2013, she opted for race car driver Dale Earnhardt's number. 

Source: Getty Images

Her most recent art addition reads "Buddy was here." The tattoo, with a font "specifically chosen to look like a child's handwriting," is in honor of Lovato's dog that was killed in a coyote attack in July. 

Some of Lovato's other tattoos include "Let Go & Let God" on her feet, a cross on her right hand and the lyrics from her song "Warrior" on her back

As seen on social media with her bikini selfies, passionate tweet storms, and not-so-subtle subtweets, Demi Lovato is an open book, embracing the connective powers of revealing one's "flaws" as a way to build a deeper, more meaningful connection with her fans. Instagram is not just a platform for selfies, it's a way for young celebrities like Lovato, Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard to bridge the once-exclusive gap between fame and fandom, offering proof that 'likes' and follows don't diminish the insecurities and growing pains we all face.

"I'd rather live my life free and open than closed off, where people like me for something that I'm not," she told Refinery29. "I've been doing this so long I literally laugh at the things people say. You're not going to agree with everybody and you're not going to please everybody."

Source: Giphy

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Hayley Wilbur

Hayley is a staff writer at Mic, covering style. Say hi: hayley@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.