We live in a world full of judgement. Hair, color, size and race are ones of many things that root discrimination. Another thing is how you personalize your own body – something that Sarah Gray has spoken about in social media.
30-year-old Sarah Gray is a doctor and trainee surgeon who lives in Adelaide, Australia. She was fascinated with body art and tattoos from a very young age. She has received her first tattoo at the age of 16. She loves every drop of ink on her skin. And by the way, she also has beautiful hair.
Sarah is also considered as a positive figure in tattoo community. She claims to be ‘the world’s most tattooed doctor’. Her strong armor still has not exempted her from discrimination. Even with her confidence and positive outlook, she still has been met with her fair share of adversity and scrutiny.
She describes her experience like Julia Robert’s character in the film Pretty Woman. Like Vivian in Pretty Woman, Sarah has not been entertained by shop assistants in high end stores. Once, when Sarah planned to buy a pair of designer heels for her birthday, three different shop completely ignored her when she wanted the right size. “They served all the other customers first and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.” In fact, they are just tattoos! “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 one’s a bonus.”
It’s not the first nor the last time Sarah would experience such rudeness. “I was out for lunch in a restaurant with my partner on the Gold Coast when we were seated at a table. 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.”
There is also a similar situation experienced by Sarah and her friends. They were denied to enter a casino because of their tattoos. She has spoken about being branded as a bad person because of her body art. “Quite a few night venues seems to have this policy and although it doesn’t affect me very often as I hardly go out, it can be super frustrating when we get categorized as “bad people” or being gang affiliated due to our colorful skin.”
Sarah is now a walking art piece. Initially, she only planned to have small tattoos and maybe large ones on her back. But now, she has a tattoo body suit! She doesn’t care how long the tattoo process will be – even if it will take 12 hours of sitting down. “I don’t enjoy the pain, I enjoy the outcome.”
She claims she isn’t a tattoo addict. “I think it is possible to catch the “tattoo bug” where you start with one piece and find yourself drawn to wanting more.” She believes that tattoos are great ways to express your personality. She loves showing off her impressive collection. Some of her tattoos have sentimental meaning. As Sarah stated: “Some of them signify times in my life or things that are special to me, like my career, my Vegas wedding, my love of skulls and all things horror.”
One tattoo, one sign of positivity. If it wasn’t for her first tattoo, she might have never found her soul mate, never met so many friends and never been the positive figure in the community. She wasn’t even bothered how her tattoos would affect her career. At first, Sarah feared that her patients and coworkers would lower their perceptions because of her art collection. But she was wrong. She realized that people’s attitudes towards tattoos are usually not what they used to be.
“Having colorful skin in no way affects your skill level and with all the anti-discrimination laws now it wouldn’t be appropriate to compartmentalize or treat me differently based on my appearance.” Amen to that! You know what, Sarah isn’t just a walking piece of art, she is also a strong, confident and intelligent woman. We salute you!
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