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. “I was 16. And I got it in some tattoo artist’s apartment. Like it was so sketch, it was in L.A. But I wanted to get tattooed so bad. I do things out of rebellion. So that was like one of the main reasons why I got it so young.”
She kept the tattoo secret for a long time because as a young Disney star, she felt like she had to keep up a clean image for her young fans. Back in April 2009 she tweeted: “I’m not going to, but if I wasn’t a rolemodel and I didn’t have young fans, I would definitely have tattoos and piercings.” She was afraid of the public backlash even though she didn’t believe that having tattoos would make her a bad influence. “If a young Disney actress got tattoos and piercings, she would get eaten alive in the media.”
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.”
She has added onto this tattoo twice, with a pair of feathers in 2011 and a dreamcatcher in 2016.