By Alexandra Knies

There seems to be a stigma when it comes to models’ appearances. All of us are expected to be tall, thin, and clean. Clean and clean-cut; no blemishes or bloating, scratches or scars.

And while it’s a nice thought and something to perhaps aspire too, most models aren’t as polished as we appear in magazines. Believe it or not, we’re real people. We love a good piercing or tattoo as much as the next person.

Even the smallest of tattoos can feel like a dirty little secret. I myself can’t help but feel a little bit rebellious each time I walk out of a casting with my small ankle tattoo gone un-noticed.

But should these permanent markings really be making us feel that insecure?modelling and tattoos

I’ve always found it more endearing to see models with their tattoos on display. Tats are usually airbrushed out of images because the brand is either too innocent , or the design itself doesn’t align with the consumer. But for me, it just reiterates the fact that brands are capable of photoshop…which then leads to the thought…“What else can they cover-up?”

To be fair, it’s not that uncommon for models to have tattoos. Nearly every model I know has one somewhere. There are even those known for their tattoos, think Cara Delevingne’s tiger finger and Cat McNiel’s incredible back. And since these two have become known for their distinct features, most clients have kept them in full show.

cat mcneil back tattoo
cat mcneil back tattoo

Recently, small outline tattoos have become more desired than the traditional sleeves. Models like Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin are prime examples, with them being regulars at Celebrity tattoo artist JonBoy’s parlor.

For as long as I’ve had tattoos (two small ones on the side of my wrist and ankle) I haven’t noticed a change in opportunity for work. Even after revealing my wrist to clients, there’s no change in tone. In fact, some might say clients become rather intrigued by the model, perhaps more interested in the real them as opposed to the measurements they present.

modelling and tattoos
modelling and tattoos

Of course, having a tattoo model isn’t just about making yourself stand out, there are personal reasons more often than not attached. However as an “experienced” tattoo client, my only piece of advice is to really think about what you want permanently etched onto your body and where. Especially when you’re a model – your skin is on display 24/7, both praised and scrutinised.

Remember… there’s only so much photoshop can do for you.