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16th Nov 2023

‘People tell me I’ll regret my face and body tattoos when I’m 80’

Nina McLaughlin

A woman with over 100 tattoos has spoken out about the criticism she has faced for her appearance

Tegan Grey has amassed a huge following on TikTok, where she shares stories of her life with tattoos with her over 100,000 followers.

Grey recently opened up to The Sun US about the realities of living with so many tattoos.

She revealed that she got her first tattoo for her 18th birthday.

“I didn’t know what I wanted, so my mom was like, ‘What haven’t you done that you’re able to do now?’ And I went with a tattoo,” she said.

After taking a look at a few designs, she decided on a design on her sternum.

“The tattoo artist was like, ‘Are you sure this is what you want for your first one?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can handle it.’”

However, it didn’t end up being a pleasant experience and it turned out to be more painful than she had anticipated.

“It was awful. I managed to sit there for like an hour and then I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t finish it.”

“I was really put off. I didn’t go back to finish it until my 21st birthday,” she added.

Now aged 26, Grey has adapted to the experience of getting tattoos, and has even lost count of how many she has.

“I’ve lost track, it’s got to be more than 100 easily though.

“There was a phase where I was getting two, maybe three tattoos a month, which is quite a lot. That’s almost one every week.”

However, her love of tats can run up quite a large bill.

“You’re looking at $300, $400 dollars a day at the tattoo parlor.

“So, I’ve spent quite a lot, but I factor my tattoo costs as an expense just like I do with rent.”

“The order goes rent first, bills second, tattoos third,” she added.

Not everyone is a fan of her look, but Grey says she feels confident with her tattoos.

 “Dealing with drunk people, girls can get kind of nasty and attack you for how you look.

“But when they’d do that, I wouldn’t care because I had my suit of armour, I felt protected.”

However, there was one time that she felt she might have regretted getting a tat.

“The only time where it really affected me was when I posted my chin tattoo, because that got such a bad reaction from my followers. So, then I was thinking, ‘Did I make a mistake?’”

She added that people online can be negative about her appearance.

“People on TikTok are always like, ‘Your family must hate how you look. Your mom must hate it.’

“But I’m like, ‘You don’t know anything.’

“For my nan’s 60th birthday, we all went on vacation together with my cousins, aunties, and everyone got matching seashell tattoos – including my nan.

“They all put it on their arms, and I put it on my leg because I had no room.”