Mum defends 14 face tattoos and says it doesn't make her a bad parent
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A UK mother has been forced to defend her decision to get face tattoos after being made to feel like a criminal or ‘wild’ woman by others.
Claire Elsie-Rose, 33, is a Lincolnshire businesswoman and mum to four children all aged between six months and 12.
She lives with her partner of three years, Jonny, 30, and runs her own tattooing business called Illusion Tattoo.
However, the general public doesn’t often perceive Claire as your ‘typical mother’ — instead she has shop security guards monitoring her every move, people avoiding eye contact with her and is repeatedly told that she’s ‘ruined her looks’ because of her 14 face tattoos.
“I’ve also had questions like, ‘Why would you do that?’ and comments like, ‘You used to be so pretty!’ Implying I’ve somehow ruined my looks.”
Despite it being against UK law to tattoo a person who is under 18, Claire admitted she had her first taste of ink at just 15.
“I paid £10 and I got a little fairy on my wrist,” she said. “I was too young, and I don’t advise getting one at that age - I loved it back then but it’s covered up now!”
Since then, she’s had multiple tattoos like stars, mermaids and various phrases inked across her chest, neck and arms.
However, it wasn’t until a health scare at age 25 that Claire decided to take the leap and get some artwork on her face.
Regarding the ordeal eight years ago, she said: “I was rushed to hospital and I couldn’t breathe properly, and they found out I had a tumour on my lung.
“It turned out to be benign but I didn’t know that for some time, and it was terrifying. It made me realise we don’t know how long we’re here for and it was then that I decided to get a face tattoo.”
She said that even though she was ‘afraid’ to get inked on her face, she now believed 'life was too short not to express myself'.
Her first face tattoo was ‘Queen’ written in cursive lettering over her right eyebrow, having since racked up 14 tattoos on her face in total.
Other tattoos on her face include; the word ‘Fierce’ on her right jawline, a heart on her left cheekbone and a floral mandala beside her left ear.
Claire said that when she first started getting ink across her face she used to defend herself to others.
“I used to argue back,” she said. “I just ignore it now. I don’t have to defend myself and it’s not worth my energy.
“I’m a good mum, I have a successful business and I’m in a secure relationship - there’s nothing wild about my life and I love nothing more than a night in, in my pyjamas!”
But despite the negativity, Claire says that she regularly receives positive comments and has now learned to tune out the tattoo haters.
She said: “[The negativity] does get to me but I’ve learned to deal with criticism and I love them, and would love to get more.
“I know if people spent time getting to know me, and knew the meaning behind them, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to judge.”
While she does still receive some nasty comments from the public, Claire says that she never wants her artistic decisions to affect her four children.
“No one has said it, but the last thing I’d want is my parenting to be judged,” she said. “Having a tattoo doesn’t affect what I’m like as a mum at all!”
“No one has ever been negative at the school gates thankfully.
“The kids are so used to all my tattoos, they’ve never even expressed any interest in them - I could get my nose tattooed and they probably wouldn’t even notice!”
Topics: Real Life