‘World’s most tattooed doctor’ opens up about the stigma she’s faced
A woman dubbed “the world’s most tattooed doctor” has opened up about the stigma she faces due to her appearance and how she wants to combat stereotypes.
Dr. Sarah Gray – a former Miss Ink Australia winner and now a medical professional – received her first tattoo when she was 16 years old, and now, aged 33, she’s hoping to change perceptions of tattooed professionals.
The model and orthopedic service registrar from Adelaide is challenging the idea that being inked has any bearing on an individual’s ability to perform in the workplace.
The 33-year-old owns a tattoo studio called The Grim Raptor alongside her work in the medical industry.
In an interview with the Daily Star, Dr. Gray revealed her thoughts on those who judge others based on their tattoos. “Tattoos don’t make you a bad person, and anyone that thinks that is just a representation of their unconscious bias, not of who I am as a person,” she said.
Dr. Gray went on: “There shouldn’t be any stigma around tattoos. It’s literally just color in your skin. It doesn’t definite you or your skill or capabilities to perform any task. We should actively encourage diversity and creative self-expression. We weren’t born to be sheep.”
However, Dr. Gray has faced a lot of negativity when it comes to her ink.
The most negative treatment she’s had to face has been in shops and restaurants, she says. In one recent incident, she was ignored by several shop assistants while waiting to buy a pair of designer heels on her birthday.
“They all served other customers first and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me,” Dr. Gray explained to the Daily Mail. “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!”
On another occasion, she was actually asked to leave a restaurant 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 said. “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.”
Nevertheless, Dr. Gray has also revealed that her tattoos can prove to be a tool for keeping younger patients at ease, as it can be common ground.
Speaking to Sunrise, she said: “I find it’s a good talking point, especially a lot of the younger generation of patients that we see, I guess its a bit of a barrier break-down between what it is traditionally thought a doctor would look like.”
“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,” Dr. Gray went on.
“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.”
The medical professional is almost entirely covered in tattoos, minus her face, with the designs being bold and colorful and most certainly a work of art.
Tattoos are definitely becoming more accepted in professional environments, and we are all for people being allowed to express themselves!