Demi Lovato has somewhere around 20 tattoos, depending on how you count them. “I lost count. It’s difficult because, like do you count the ‘Stay’ and ‘Strong?’ Do you count the individual birds? And then I have feathers connected to an old tattoo. So I have no idea. I have a lot.” she says.
Her tattoos are:
Demi Lovato’s first tattoo was revealed in June 2010, 2 months before the Disney star’s 18th birthday. However Demi stated in an interview that she got the tattoo when she was 16 — how did no one notice it?! The tattoo is of the words “you make me beautiful” written on the right side of her ribs. The phrase comes from the song “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon, a song which Demi claims changed her life. When asked about it’s meaning, she explained:
The words were so encouraging and lifted me through a really dark time in my life. It’s kind of a Christian tattoo, so for me it’s religious, but it could be for anybody.
Demi first heard the song when she was 13 years old and it changed her outlook on life. She connected with the song because she has dealt with eating disorders, self-harm and low self-esteem for many years. Demi had the uplifting words inscribed in a time when she was still struggling, before receiving treatment. This tattoo is very rarely seen so it seems that Demi got it mostly as a reminder to herself. She told MTV:
It’s one of my favorite songs ever. I got it because I was dealing with self-image issues. So I got it tattooed on me to look in the mirror every day and remind myself that I am beautiful.
Demi later added a pair of feathers to the piece which were first shown off in September 2011, though it is not known precisely when they were actually added.
Demi Lovato has a turquoise feather behind her left ear which is just for fun. In an interview with Hollywood Life she revealed that the feather has no personal meaning and is simply something that she likes. She says:
I have a feather behind my ear, and it honestly doesn’t mean anything. I just think it’s cute. It’s a light blue feather, but it looks more like a leaf, so I gotta fix it.
She got this tattoo in June 2010 on the back of a bus at Warped Tour. She knows it was a bad idea, telling MTV “that just was stupid.” But unfortunately that didn’t stop her from getting another tattoo in the same way the next year! After her initial disappointment with how the tattoo turned out, Demi had the tattoo reworked in June 2011 with more intricate detailing such that it better resembles a feather.
Demi Lovato’s most well know tattoos are the words “Stay Strong” on her wrists. Demi added these tattoos in March 2011 shortly after she spent nearly three months in rehab treating her issues with cutting and bulimia, with which she had struggled for many years. The tattoos remind her to think positively. She told 20/20:
The message is for me. It says “Stay Strong.” So every day no matter if I’m putting on my shoes or putting on my makeup, I see it every day, to stay strong.
The tattoos were placed on her wrists, an area that she used to cut, in order to cover her scars as well as to serve as a symbol of her tremendous growth and recovery. Demi says:
It was very symbolic for me to be able to be able to cover that up and also replace it with something else that’s permanent so that I’ll never be able to forget the support that I had when I went in [to treatment].
Beneath the word “Strong” her right wrist is a heart which Demi says that she got “In honor of my fans and their support.” In a video message to her fans, she explained:
The journey that I went through and the support of my fans was so meaningful to me that I wanted to thanks my fans in a way that I know can never be forgotten. So I went ahead and I got a little heart tattoo on my wrist. Together they say “Stay Strong” but this one has a heart, which is something that my fans actually were drawing on their wrists while I was still in treatment, and some people even got tattoos of it. So I wanted to show you guys that I will never forget the support that you guys gave me. And I will look at it every day and remember you guys and be completely thankful for you.
In June 2011 Demi had a black cross tattooed on the side of her right hand below her pinkie finger. This tattoo is an obvious nod to her Christian faith. She told Ryan Seacrest that she got this tattoo because she is a devout Christian and wants her fans to see it clearly every time she holds up a microphone.
Also on Demi’s left wrist is a tattoo of red lips which she got in July 2011 as a matching tattoo with friends Hanna Beth Merjos, Ivey Ensley and Lauren Pietra. Ivey and Hanna Beth had the kiss placed on their collarbones. The tattoo is of Ivey’s lips.
This playful tattoo stands in contrast to some of Demi’s other ink with much more serious meanings. She told Hollywood Life:
I got like a kiss mark, and it’s just like a friendship tattoo and also it kinda reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I got like a fun tattoo rather than all these other ones that are so serious.
You would have thought that having her feather ear tattoo turn out poorly would have taught Demi a lesson about getting tattoos in non-professional environments, but apparently it did not. She told MTV “It was also on Warped Tour. In a tour bus. Another one, different year,” while grimacing. In another interview, she said “It was just a spur of the moment stupid decision.”
Some time in late 2011 Demi had “peace” tattooed in a script font on her finger. It is on the side of the middle finger of her left hand beside the knuckle. This is not an ideal spot for a tattoo because the fingers rub together and cause the ink to blur or fade. In Demi’s case it seems that the letter “e” is already wearing off.
Demi’s finger tattoos are her most discrete ink and aren’t very noticeable unless you are looking for them. Demi says “I have I think like 12 tattoos now, but I have them all in…not hidden places, they’re just places you wouldn’t think.”
Around the same time she had “Rock N Roll” tattooed on the middle finger of her other hand. Though she herself is a pop artist, Demi is a big fan of rock and roll music.
Demi’s friend Hanna Beth Merjos also has a “Rock N Roll” tattoo in larger letters on the side of her hand. Though Demi and Hanna Beth got matching kiss tattoos together, Hanna Beth has had this particular tattoo for quite a while and it’s not clear whether Demi’s intention was to match her.
Demi has suggested that she might consider laser tattoo removal in the future since this tattoo and many of her others are very youthful. On Live! With Kelly & Michael, Demi said:
“I’ve thought about it [tattoo removal] before, because when I get older I don’t know if I’m going to want to have ‘rock and roll’ on my middle finger. But whatever, I’m young and I can rock it now and when I get older I can worry about that later.”
Demi Lovato tattooed the word “faith” on her right arm, below her elbow, in December 2011. This is a matching tattoo with her friend Lauren Martin, whom she met in treatment at Timberline Knolls.
Demi’s father isn’t a fan of her tattoos and she has a history of getting tattoos without telling him. She didn’t tell him about her “faith” or finger tattoos. However she plans to keep getting more tattoos despite his disapproval. When asked if she was thinking about a new tattoo, Demi responded:
Always! I’m like ‘what can I get next’ and my dad’s like ‘nooooo!’…He does not approve of them.
Demi Lovato tattooed “Let Go & Let God” on her feet in September 2012. The words span both feet with “Let Go &” on her right and “Let God” on the left.
Demi Lovato added a flock of flying birds on her right forearm surrounding her “faith” tattoo in November 2012. There are twelve black birds with a little swirl behind them. The tattoo was done by celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D.
This design later appeared on the cover of Demi’s self-help book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year.
Demi Lovato got a tattoo on her back from artist Bang Bang on May 14, 2013 — the release day for her fourth album Demi. The tattoo says “now I’m a warrior”, which are lyrics from the album’s closing track “Warrior.” In the song, Demi sings about how the struggles in her personal life have made her a stronger person.
She told Jimmy Fallon:
I have a song on my album called “Warrior” and it’s a very, very meaningful song to me. It’s really heavy, the lyrics, but it’s an inspirational song as well. It’s a negative thing turned positive. I’ve been through a lot and I’m really really honest on this album. And this is a song that was really difficult for me to write, record, and now release. [The tattoo] was kind of like a tribute to releasing the album as well as overcoming some really really difficult things in my life.
Demi Lovato showed off a new tattoo on the side of her left wrist in December 2013. It is a Roman Numeral “III” which represents the number 3. She got this tattoo in memory of her father who died in June 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Demi was not close with her father for the last few years of his life due in part to his struggles with alcoholism and mental illness, which Demi herself relates to. She told Good Morning America:
My father and I didn’t have the most ideal relationship, but at the end of the day he’s still my dad and I grew up with him and he was a wonderful person…I’ve dealt with mental illnesses but my father also dealt with mental illness and he wasn’t able to function very well in society.
Despite their strained relationship, Demi got the tattoo because she wanted to honor him positively. She also set up a scholarship fund in his name to help patients pay for mental illness treatment. She told Craig Ferguson:
It’s the Roman Numeral three. It means a lot to me because my dad, it was his like number…He passed this summer and I wanted to do something positive.
Photo sources: PR Photos, AKM-GSI, Shutterstock.com, Bigstock.com, WhoSay, DemiLovato.org, Demi Lovato Daily, Bang Bang
Screen capture sources: MTV, X-Factor
Quotes sources: Demi Lovato’s Twitter, Hollywood Life interviews in September 2010 and July 2011, Ryan Seacrest interview, MTV interview, Kiss FM interview, 20/20 interview, Live! With Kelly & Michael interview, Craig Ferguson interview, Jimmy Fallon interview
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