Anybody remember the Belgian teen who claimed she fell asleep in a tattoo artist’s chair, then woke up with 56 stars on her face, only to later let everybody know that, no, she had totally requested the design and was just scared of her angry father? Unfortunately, the artist who tattooed her, Rouslan Toumaniantz, still had his career ruined by the fandango and actually fled to Russia in order to start over.
After he was there, he began to date an 18-year-old named Lesya online. The pair eventually met in person and, 24 hours into knowing each other IRL, Lesya asked Toumaniantz to tattoo his name on her face. Having changed his name to “Ruslan,” Toumaniantz went for it and applied his name to the bottom half of her face (just a warning: that link is a little gruesome in one shot). She posted photos on her Facebook page, insisting that she’d like her husband — they’re now married — to “tattoo every inch” of her body.
One her her friends voiced support:
“I know that there are people who are terrified that Lesya has made a rash decision that she’ll regret horribly, but sometimes the best decisions are the ones you make in an instant with your heart rather than the ones long-debated in your mind.”
A lot of the comments I’ve seen on other websites about this story have been under the blanket idea of “tattoos are always a bad idea,” but in reality, that’s not really the case. There are plenty of people who have facial tattoos, have for many years and absolutely love them because they knew what they were getting themselves into. When you know what you’re getting yourself into — as in, building to getting a facial tattoo and understanding how people will react, what its impact will be on your life, etcetera — then it’s much easier to have a smooth transition into such a dramatic modification. If this were a story about a heavily modified couple who met and fell in love, and she wound up getting face tattoos by him, I would think nothing of it. But when it comes to an 18-year-old who has only a few (mostly) concealable tattoos, it’s not quite so simple or smart.
According to one professional tattoo artist, it’s the general consensus in the body modification community that no responsible practitioner would tattoo a person who has so few other visible pieces. What if she can’t handle the reactions of other people? What if she decides to go into a field that absolutely does not accept facial tattoos? While I would love to believe that the world is accepting of all appearances, that’d be a flat-out lie and we all know it. If you plan on getting a facial tattoo, this is something you will have to contend with, and most 18-year-olds (as well as people of any age who are not experienced with possessing visible body modification) are likely not ready for that.
So yeah, while you might think the idea of facial tattoos is stupid or ugly or whatever, that’s not really what this story is about. It’s about the responsibility of an artist to not permanently put something — let alone his name — on a relatively inexperienced 18-year-old’s face — let alone his wife.