‘We’re wrongly accused of being gang members because of heavily tattooed faces’

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Face tattoos did used to be just associated with people who had spent time in prison, with a teardrop being the most common one. Now non-criminals are getting face tattoos, but the stigma remains with some ink enthusiasts being accused of being gang members, bank robbers and drug addicts. And some of the world’s most heavily tattooed people have spoken about how they are instantly judged by others.

Becky Holt is Britain’s most tattooed woman and says strangers instantly judge her because they perceive her face tatts as gang symbols.

The 35-year-old mum from Cheshire has even been turned away from nightclubs due to her extreme look.

Welsh mum-of-two Melissa Sloan has been barred from pubs, tattoo parlours and her child’s school because of her tattoos.

The 46-year-old, who does DIY inkings, says people consider her to be a bank robber.

She said: “When I walk into the bank they look at me like I’m going to rob the bank. They’re all scared. It feels like they think you’re going rob them.

“I’m walking in and everyone just stays still and they’re all frightened. As if I’d want to rob a bank anyway – I’d get noticed straight away.”

Body modification fan Jessy Kirkpatrick, 27, has faced fury in their home state of Kansas, USA, for having silicon horns on their forehead.

The social media personality also has stretched earlobes and big nostril blogs along with face and neck tattoos.

But they say their look has not gone down well in the conservative state.

Speaking to Daily Star, they said: “People assume I’m a criminal, a satanist, rude, mean or heartless just for the way I look. People even judge me before I open my mouth.

“I used to babysit one of my friends’ children and once when I picked them up at school the parents assumed that I was a murderer and refused to let me near the group of parents and kids. I had to wait out near the street.”

And a pizzeria manager, who calls himself Neon Demon, gets asked by strangers “What is wrong with you?” and some of his family no longer speak to him after he got tattoos on his face.

In a message to his critics, the 29-year-old said: “Everyone is going through their own journey and life can be long and hard. Be kind and open-minded.

“Just because you may not approve, doesn’t mean that person can turn back time or will just stop existing.”

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He added: “People tell me I’ve ruined my life, but what should one reply to that?

“We may only move forward and try to live our lives the best we can, finding joy where we can and spreading love.

“I am happy with myself, who I am inside and out. Show love to others and love yourself.”

Chris Dalzell is reportedly Ireland’s most tattooed man, including portraits of the infamous gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray on his back.

But despite his choice of the portrait piece, he is no criminal himself, despite what outsiders think.

He has 95 percent of his skin covered in more than 600 tattoos and says some people treat him like a zoo animal.

The chef said: “People take pictures of me without my consent in public and I don’t like that.

“I don’t pick up on it so much but my kids do. I have a wee stepson and he will say ‘Chris, that girl over there is taking pictures of you’.

“Anybody I speak to I say that I prefer if people come up and ask for photos.

“If people want a photo with me that’s fine but have one on my own and don’t do it without consent with my kids in it.”