Miley Cyrus: A Tattoo History

This weekend, Miley Cyrus made waves when she debuted a brand new tattoo; the star got an equal sign inked on her ring finger, and sparked some hearty debate among less-progressive-minded fans when she posted a pic of her new body art to Twitter alongside the LGBT-supportive message, “All LOVE is equal.”

(Click on the image above to see our full flipbook of Miley’s Ink Explained!)

But while this might be Miley’s most controversial tattoo, it’s definitely not the first. She’s got nine in total, and they’ve all got special significance beyond the purely aesthetic. What’s the story? We’ve got the official catalog of What Miley’s Tats Mean after the jump! (Study up, y’all—one day, this topic will have its own category on “Jeopardy!”)

The tattoo: “Just Breathe” on her ribcage
The story: A tribute to a friend and two grandparents who died of lung disease

The tattoo: “LOVE” on her inner ear
The story: Part of Miley’s vow to listen to the people who love her (and stay deaf to all the hatey haters)

The tattoo: A dreamcatcher on her side
The story: The dreamcatcher is a symbol of protection; the four feathers each represent one of Miley’s siblings.

The tattoo: An anchor on her wrist
The story: A reminder to stay centered and seek a safe haven when things get rough

The tattoo: Symbols on her fingers including a heart, a cross, a peace sign and now the new “equal” sign
The story: Miley hasn’t spoken publicly about these teensy tattoos, but between her strong family relationships, her Christian faith and her vocal support of peace and equal rights, it’s not hard to guess their significance.

Click over to the Newsroom blog for a look at other celebs’ message tattoos and check out Clutch to peek their extensive coverage of Miley’s ink.

Which of Miley’s tattoos has the best backstory? Tell us what you think in the comments and on Twitter!