On Tuesday, Los Angeles celebrity tattoo artist Dr. Woo posted a photo of Lovato’s newest tattoo, which reads: “Survivor.” He captioned the photo, “On a real one,” and tagged Lovato.
Lovato hasn’t posted about the new tattoo on her own social media platforms yet, but the tattoo could refer to surviving a near-fatal drug overdose in July of last year. Lovato has also spoken about experiencing suicidal thoughts in the past and other struggles with her mental health.
This isn’t the first time Lovato has gotten mental health-related tattoos. In 2011, she got the words “Stay” and “Strong” tattooed on her wrists. “Stay Strong” is also the title of her 2012 documentary, which focused on her recovery after leaving rehab the first time.
— ᶜᵃᶰᵈᵉˡᵃ (@GiselleKendrick) July 30, 2014
In 2013, Lovato had the words “Now I’m a Warrior” tattooed on her shoulder, a well-known lyric from her song “Warrior.” On an episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” she explained the significance of the tattoo:
I have a song on my album called ‘Warrior’ and it’s a very meaningful song to me. It’s very heavy, the lyrics, but it’s an inspirational song as well. … [The tattoo] was kind of like a tribute to releasing an album as well as overcoming some really, really difficult things in my life.
— celebritattoo (@celebritattoo) January 10, 2016
Earlier this year, Lovato got a small tattoo of the word “me” on her finger, symbolizing prioritizing her own self-care. She captioned the Instagram photo she shared, “me first.”
Though not everyone chooses to express themselves through tattoos, they can be an important part of some people’s recovery and self-care journeys. This is something Mighty contributor Marianne Chrisos wrote about in her piece, “Why Dyeing My Hair and Tattooing My Body Are Forms of Self-Care“:
Like many forms of self-care — Netflix binges, baths, candles, meditation, writing or napping — my many skin and hair modifications are just for me. They are the thing I choose to do to show myself respect, love and remind myself I am worthy of time spent on myself. There is no wrong way to show care and love to ourselves — there are only the things that give us hope, help us heal or bring us closer to happiness.
Can you relate?