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Then start to listen to the album and read through this incredible story.. Mexican tattoo star Maria Jose Cristerna, better known as “La Mujer Vampiro” (Female Vampire), poses during the Venezuela Tattoo Expo in Caracas, January 27, 2012.
She is a 35-year-old attorney. 98 percent of her body is covered in tattoos. She also has prosthetic fangs, and platinum implants in her forehead.
“The ‘Vampire Woman’ was not something I thought of, it was a name that one of Mexico’s major television stations baptized me with,” she tells ABC News in one interview from the tattoo expo. “It doesn’t necessarily bother me because it has helped me transcend to a new level. Yes, I do like vampires but they are only a dream, a fantasy.”
She says the body modification project was a form of self-expression she sought after being the victim of domestic violence in a former marriage.
Any interesting fan stories?
The other day my daughter Silvana said there was a little girl asking for me on the phone. I picked up and she said: ‘Thanks to you Mariajosé, my mom will never allow herself to be beaten.’ How do you think that made me feel? That my fight is not in vain. I love tattoos because I am an artist, but I love life and respect to others even more, being the good lawyer I am. It makes me proud to see women stop perceiving themselves as objects and come into their own.
What do you tell people who think of you as the antithesis to femininity?
Look, I am of Greek blood from my father’s side and Mexican from my mother’s. Both the Aztec culture and the ancient Greeks modified their bodies. It’s a means of expression and it’s far from bad. It’s art.
Tell me about your fist tattoo
My dad took me to get it done when I was 14. It’s a star with a devil inside it. I was in the middle of my abhorescent years and that was my inner devil manifesting itself—not as something bad per se—but as a metaphor for change.
What do you think of someone like Lady Gaga who’s currently sporting fake modifications?
Listen, I like her message of changing the world, but let’s not do things half-assed. Conviction doesn’t sprout because of money or for appearances sake. Conviction should come from the heart, because people can tell know when it doesn’t. Perhaps she should ‘feel’ things more and not just give lip service.
“Everyone is modified by things such as pregnancy, aging or losing teeth, but getting tattoos and body mods helped me to think of myself as a warrior,” she says. “It was particularly important to me when my face was tattooed, as it’s the most sacred part of the body, and the modifications to it make me feel so much stronger.”
“I can make myself look like a cyber vampire or a Victorian demon. Why not play with the possibilities?” she quips.
Maria says that her two boys and two girls, aged 8-13, aren’t bothered by her appearance, as she’s looked this way since they were born. Maria’s mother sadly passed away three years ago – also from a heart attack – and Maria still grieves for her, but some of her friends have shunned her, even though they know what drives her Satanic style.
“Luckily, they don’t pay my bills, so I couldn’t care less,” she says.