'World's most tattooed doctor' opens up about stigma she's faced due to her appearance
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A woman who has been dubbed the 'world's most tattooed doctor' has opened up about the stigmas she faces because of her appearance.
Dr Sarah Gray, 33, is an orthopaedic service registrar, the proud owner of tattoo studio The Grim Raptor, and former Miss Ink Australia.
After facing serious judgment from members of the public, Dr Gray is trying to change people's perceptions of tattooed working professionals.
Despite her impressive career, Dr Gray is often turned away from shops and restaurants because of her appearance.
"I was out for lunch in a restaurant with my partner on the Gold Coast when we were seated at a table," she told the Daily Mail.
"After being seated for lunch, management then came up to us and asked us to leave as they had a 'no visible tattoo policy' for diners. That was a little disappointing to say the least."
In another instance, she waited 'for ages' to be served by a shop assistant when she wanted to buy a pair of designer shoes for her birthday, because staff in the store were ignoring her.
"They all served other customers first and wouldn't even make eye contact with me," Dr Gray said.
"I waited politely for ages and eventually gave up and left. They did themselves out of a sale and I saved myself $1,000, so I guess that's one bonus."
The 33-year-old got her first tattoo when she was just 16 and is now almost entirely covered in tattoos bar her face.
In some instances, her tattoos have actually made it easier to communicate with some of her younger patients.
"I find it’s a good talking point, especially a lot of the younger generation of patients that we see," she told Sunrise.
"I guess its a bit of a barrier break-down between what it is traditionally thought a doctor would look like."
Dr Gray hopes that, for older patients and employers, her hard work and dedication overshadows her appearance.
"I've worked really hard to develop good professional relationships as I'm fairly memorable, so I've made sure I'm memorable for the right reasons through hard work, determination, and an always positive attitude.
"For those that don't like tattoos, that's entirely their prerogative, I just urge them to at least consider the artistic skill that goes into creating body art."
Dr Gray seems to be making some changes, too, with people often approaching her to tell her how much she has inspired them.
"I often have people reach out to me sayings they were too afraid to apply for job X or pursue career X through fear of being judged but decided to go for it anyway after finding me. That's a pretty amazing thing," she told the Daily Star.
"If I can encourage one person to remain true to themselves by not being afraid of judgement then I'll continue to document my journey."