Gnuse, Julia

5 minutes with: Julia Gnuse, world’s most tattooed woman, for the record and for The VALiens

With various tattoos covering 95% of her body, Julia Gnuse has been  acknowledged as the world’s most tattooed woman.

What started out as a desperate solution to cover up lesions, caused by a  severe skin condition, turned into a true passion, that earned Julia Gnuse a  spot in the Guinness  Book of Records, for the most tattooed woman on Earth. Miss Gnuse, also  known as the “Illustrated Lady” suffers from porphyria, a disease that causes  the skin to blister when exposed to sunlight. When doctors told her the only  medicine that could help her, could also induce blinding, she decided to turn to tattoos,  to cover the blisters on her legs.


A plastic surgeon suggested she tattoo her body the same color as the blisters, but since  that was so hard to reproduce, she settled for some really colorful tattoos. At first it was just her legs, than she  moved up to her stomach, arms and back, and be fore she knew it she was hooked  on ink. She just kept adding tattoos, ranging from cartoons, film characters to  jungle scenes.

All of Julia Gnuse’s tattoos were done by the same artists.


She then turned her attention to her stomach,  arms and back and before long was addicted to body art.

In an interview, Miss Gnuse said although the  ink did not stop her skin from blistering, it covered up the scars and allowed  her to be exposed to the sun.

‘I did this for the reason of covering  scarring from the blisters. They get as deep as three degree burn,’ she  said.

‘I had a friend who is a plastic surgeon, who suggested tattooing my skin the same color to the scarring that I had, seeing  if we can match my just pale-looking skin that I had.’

‘That didn’t work. We tried it. It was very  difficult to match that. So I had the idea of a colorful tattoo, then I got  hooked. I got addicted.’

Miss Gnuse said there was medication  available for her condition, but said taking it could have placed her at risk of  blindness.

Miss Gnuse, who unveiled her tattoos at a  BookExpo in New York yesterday, said every one of her designs had been created  by the same tattoo artist.

Julia Gnuse

Julia Gnuse

— original source and —

  1. doris says:

    I don’t mind the ink as much as the fact she possibly has an eating disorder.


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