Over the years, Miley Cyrus has become a household name — transitioning from Disney darling to tabloid princess. When Cyrus got her big break as Hannah Montana on Disney Channel, no one could have predicted that she would soon be swinging from wrecking balls and twerking on Robin Thicke. These days, she does what she wants, when she wants — because she’s just being Miley. But growing up in the public eye, the singer has definitely had to develop thick skin. And a big part of Cyrus’ self-expression has come in the form of her very impressive collection of ink on that thick skin — we’re talking a tattoo count in the 50s. 

While some of the tattoos are teeny tiny and appear to be just for kicks (like the avocado ink she recently got covered up), others have a meaning that runs deeper than the ink. From tattoos that chronicle the ups and downs of her relationship with ex-husband Liam Hemsworth to tributes to loved ones she’s lost, here’s the truth about some of Cyrus’ most meaningful tattoos. 

One piece of ink serves as a reminder for Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus got inked for the first time in December 2009 when she was just 17-years-old. Seeing as Cyrus wasn’t legally allowed to have a tattoo at the time since she was under 18, the tattoo raised quite a few eyebrows upon its debut. She got the phrase “just breathe,” scrawled in her mom’s handwriting, tattooed below her heart. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Cyrus revealed that she got the tattoo in memory of a friend who had died of cystic fibrosis and both of her grandfathers who passed away from lung cancer. “It reminds me not to take things for granted. I mean, breathing — that was something none of them could do, the most basic thing,” Cyrus told the media outlet. “And I put it near my heart, because that is where they will always be.”

At the time, Cyrus also told Harper’s Bazaar that getting her first piece of ink was painless, because the meaning behind it was so powerful. “It really doesn’t hurt if you’re thinking about the meaning,” she said. “I could never get a meaningless tattoo, but I think that if you’re doing something that’s important, that’s significant in your life, it takes some of the pain away.”

There's at least one tattoo Miley Cyrus probably regrets

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth met on the set of The Last Song in 2009 and the rest was history. Despite some rough patches over the course of their relationship, the power couple seemed to be in it for the long haul — which made their divorce in August 2019 all the more shocking. It definitely doesn’t seem like Cyrus saw the split in the cards for the couple, seeing as the singer got the phrase “Love Never Dies” inked on the inside of her left bicep in February 2012. According to TMZ, Hemsworth was actually with Cyrus when she got the tattoo. 

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to get tattoos that they come to regret later — and we’re guessing Cyrus is definitely regretting this particular piece of ink. While it can be pretty painful to get a tattoo removed, the singer might opt to deal with that pain as opposed to the pain that comes with looking at a heartbreaking reminder of lost love day after day. 

Miley Cyrus got a permanent reminder of her failed relationship

Following Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s split, Cyrus took to the VMAs stage to debut a new single and post-break up ink. The songstress performed “Slide Away,” which more than likely details where the relationship went sour, and provided further commentary on the breakup with a tattoo on her left arm that reads, “My head was feeling scared, but my heart was feeling free.” The line is a lyric from a Pixies song called “The Thing.” 

It seems that Cyrus wasn’t kidding about her heart feeling free as, shortly after the split, she launched a whirlwind romance with singer Cody Simpson. And despite having several tattoos referencing her failed relationship with Hemsworth that she may or may not be rethinking, that hasn’t stopped the singer from getting inked with her new beau. In October 2019, the couple got matching ink, with Cyrus getting a Rock n’ Roll heart with a dagger on her arm and Simpson getting a skull and sickle on his chest. 

While we wait and see what other tattoos Cyrus will get to memorialize this relationship, here are some strange things we’ve already noticed about her relationship with Simpson. 

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