Miley Cyrus Debuted a New Tattoo at the VMAs That's Definitely About Liam Hemsworth

The lyrics she chose are so meaningful.

2019 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur)

There's a lot to unpack from Miley Cyrus' VMAs performance. There's the fact she appeared at all, considering she'd pledged to avoid it after receiving no nominations. There's Kaitlynn Carter's appearance backstage to support her. There's the fan theory that the subtle change she made to the "Slide Away" lyrics was directed at ex Liam HemsworthAnd there's the appearance of a brand new tattoo, which seems to be a pretty clear reference to Liam.

As Cosmopolitan reports, Miley's new ink on her left arm, courtesy of Los Angeles tattoo artist Winter Stone, reads, "My head was feeling scared, but my heart was feeling free." It's a Pixies lyric, from the track "The Thing," released on the 2001 album Complete 'B' Sides. And it also sounds like a solid reminder that things will be alright for Miley, despite the turmoil of divorce from Liam.

About Miley's performance: It almost didn't happen at all, after she wasn't recognized in any of the nominations. On a post on a fan Instagram account reading,"Guess I’m not watching the VMAS this year unless Miley performs," Miley commented bluntly, "No fuckin way."

When she did perform, she made a tiny but significant tweak to the lyrics of "Slide Away." Instead of singing, "You're right, we're grown now," she repeatedly sang, "You're right, I'm grown now." That might be a dig at Liam, implying he's still got growing to do—or it might just indicate she's focusing on herself for now.

The new lyrics, after all, reflect her recent Twitter comments, in which Miley rejected rumors that she cheated on Liam. "I’ve grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP," she said. "I can admit to a lot of things but I refuse to admit that my marriage ended because of cheating. Liam and I have been together for a decade. I’ve said it before & it remains true, I love Liam and always will." Allow me to wipe away this tiny tear, will you?

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2019 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show

(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/VMN19)

2019 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show

(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/VMN19)
Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.