Written by Zoë Holloway, June 15, 2016

Paris Jackson, the daughter of the late Michael Jackson, has gathered a large collection of tattoos in her short 18 years – and now the teen has opened about what the markings signify for her.

In a candid post to Instagram, the teen explains that tattoos are a way of facing past hurdles – like the death of her father.

‘The craftsmanship of tattoos will always be a controversy,’ she writes. ‘Some people like them, some people absolutely hate them. I appreciate art, I always have, especially when that art means something to me.’

Paris says that when she sees her tattoos in the mirror she sees a ‘fighter’ looking back at her.

‘I don’t see a dark past anymore. My scars and past of self-hatred have been covered by loving marks, creativity, ingenuity and depth. Sure, I will always carry my past with me, but I see ink as a way of changing for the better, always improving. They represent strength for me.’

The message concluded with one touching note to her followers that ‘to anyone struggling, it gets better. You’re not alone.’

the craftsmanship of tattoos will always be a controversy. some people like them, some people absolutely hate them. i appreciate art, i always have. especially when that art means something to me. today i can look at my inner forearms and see art that has meaning for me, i don’t see a dark past anymore. my scars and past of self-hatred have been covered by loving marks, creativity, ingenuity.. and depth. sure i will always carry my past with me, but i see ink as a way of changing for the better, always improving. they represent strength for me. i look back at my old self and then i look in the mirror, and i see a fighter looking back at me. i’ll always keep fighting, and encouraging others to stay strong. we all go through hell every now and then but it makes us the warriors of love we were meant to be. so to anyone struggling, it gets better. you’re not alone.

A photo posted by Paris-Michael K. Jackson (@parisjackson) on

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