Shy Millennial Gets Giant Face Tattoo to Make Herself Unemployable

“Growing up I was a very timid and quiet girl.”

A British woman of millennial age told a Birmingham, England tabloid that she had her face tattooed to prevent herself from being able to “get a normal job.”

“I had my face tattooed so that I couldn’t get a normal job, mainly as a reminder to persevere in doing what I wanted to do,” 26-year-old model and tattoo artist Kayleigh Peach told the Birmingham Mail in a profile published last week.

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Peach explained that while tattoos are generally more accepted in society these days, face tattoos “are still seen as more extreme and workplaces are mostly against them.” Getting the artwork done was also about forcing the painfully shy Peach, who’s struggled in the past with mental health issues, to pursue her true passion: becoming a tattoo artist.

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She estimates that her tattoos – which span across her face, neck, hands, and chest, among other areas – cover approximately 60 percent of her body. Her love for tattooing has found another outlet in her work as a tattoo artist.

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“Now, being in the tattoo industry has helped me so much – it’s saved my life. It sounds like a cliché but it’s true,” she said. “My mindset is different. Before my glass was always half-empty, now it’s half full.”

But the contentment Peach has found within the art of tattooing didn’t come without some upfront costs. Her father and stepmother did not approve when she started getting tattoos at the age of 18 and told Peach that she “couldn’t be bridesmaid at their†wedding.”

That’s all changed now that Peach works in the industry. Her father is so accepting nowadays, that he asked his daughter to tattoo his wife’s name on his arm.

Peach told the BBC in an interview released last week that she helps a “lot of people who are really self-conscious about parts of their body, or stretch marks or scars from self-harming.” For her, becoming an artist has been a stop on a journey to empowerment. “Growing up I was a very timid and quiet girl,” she said. “Tattooing has definitely given me more confidence. It’s just the way you hold yourself when you’ve got a certain part of your life on your skin.”

Millennials have been painted as needing a deeper fulfillment from their jobs than generations past. Such stereotypes have led critics of the millennial generation to characterize them as entitled and self-absorbed. Some might see Peach’s face tattoo as an authentic and brave attempt at self-expression. While others might view it as an empty gesture symptomatic of her generation’s unwise disregard for traditional norms.

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