Britney Spears’ Instagram account continues to provide all kinds of gems. The pop icon posted a new photo to the social media platform on Friday, June 11, and this time she showcased her favorite tattoo. Revealing the often-hidden ink that’s located on the nape of her neck, Spears explained in her caption that though “you never see it,” it’s a special one to her.
The photo comes from a June 8 video of the “Matches” singer dancing in a hot pink swimsuit and white knee-high boots. As she dances, Spears occasionally holds up her hair and gives peeks at the tatt. Then, in the picture that followed, fans get a clearer look at the inked word, plus the caption shares its meaning.
“Have you seen the tattoo on the back of my neck before ????” Spears wrote in part. “It’s Hebrew, it’s a language written backwards !!!! It says Mem Hey Shin and means healing !!!! It’s my favorite tattoo but ironically you never see it.”
At least one of Spears’ followers didn’t exactly agree with her description of Hebrew being written backward. They noted that “maybe English is written backwards” instead. Another suggested it was not actually a Hebrew word at all. “Britney dear -no offense but as an Israeli speaking hebrew I never heard this word! As far as I know it doesn’t mean nothing....” they wrote. Another fan agreed, commenting, “Same I googled it and apparently it’s some kabbalah thing.” (Kabbalah is a centuries-old form of Jewish mysticism.)
While some Britney fans may be skeptical about the origins of her beloved tattoo, many liked the message of healing. One even credited Spears as having “INVENTED HEALING,” and another dubbed her the “queen of hidden meaning tattoos.” Amid it all, of course, numerous others sent her their love.
Sharing her favorite tattoo is just one example of the pop star using her social media to connect with fans on her terms. While some people choose to mock or criticize Spears’ videos, she’s made it clear that she’s not worried about them being perfect. “I’m doing this for fun !!!! If you think I should like like I’m on a magazine cover when I dance … sorry ain’t happening,” she wrote on Feb. 1.
The Grammy winner has also explained that she is “taking the time to learn and be a normal person.” She wrote in a Feb. 9 Instagram post that she loves “simply enjoying the basics of every day life.” In a similar vein, her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, has also highlighted their quest for “normal,” telling People in February that he has “always wanted nothing but the best” for Spears and that he is “looking forward to a normal, amazing future together.”
Backward, forward, Hebrew or not, this is what “normal” and healing looks like for Spears.