A woman who believes she is the world’s most tattooed doctor has opened up in an honest interview about the judgement she faces.
30-year-old Dr. Sarah Gray, from Adelaide, Australia, has been kicked out of restaurants and designer shops due to her body being heavily covered with tattoos.
Having faced adversity over the past years, Gray is calling for people to address the prejudices which still exist against tattoos.
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All Blue errryyyyything. I'm giving a talk to the senior school kids at my old school this week (obviously dressed in more appropriate attire 😂) about life in medicine & life outside of a country town. I'm actually pretty nervous! Wish me luck Instafam. #bluehair #justasmurfreally #sundays #womenwithtattoos #colourtattoos #alternatemodels #sullenselfie #inked
Getting her first ink at the age of 16, Gray now doesn’t know how many tattoos she has on her body but believes she has spent over 300 hours of her life getting them done.
With only a few small gaps left to fill, Gray hopes one day soon she can complete the body suit she has always dreamed of having.
Seen as being a positive role model within the tattoo community, also being previously crowned Miss Inked Australia and New Zealand, in an interview with Daily Mail Australia Gray said it is about time the public stopped judging a book by its cover.
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💀Black and white edit by @atlanticlungs of our full colour set that will be available this Monday in @frame_magazine INKED edition. Nails @nightmare_nails Braids @jessica_franklin @archieco_ #frame_magazine #inked #blackandwhitephotography #editorial #alternatemodels #magazinefeature #inkedwomen
Opening up about times she has been instantly judged, the doctor explained how in high end stores shop assistants ignored her.
They all served other customers first and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.
I waited politely for ages and eventually gave up and left. They did themselves out of a sale and I saved myself $1,000, so I guess that’s one bonus!
Something similar also happened when Gray went out for lunch with her husband one day as the pair were told to leave the restaurant by management who told the couple there was ‘a no visible tattoo policy’ for diners.
Gray said being turned away from venues is more of a common occurrence than it should be with casinos and nightclubs having similar ‘no visible tattoos’ policies.
Describing this as frustrating, the 30-year-old added:
Quite a few night venues seem to have this policy and although it doesn’t affect me very often as I hardly go out, it can be super frustrating when we get categorised as ‘bad people’ or being gang afflicted due to our colourful skin.
The young doctor, who just gained her medical degree and is now working towards becoming an orthopaedic surgeon, says the days of tattoos being associated with criminals should be long gone.
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Today I was invited to speak to the year 7-11's at my old stomping ground Ardrossan Area School. Having been the only graduating student to pursue a career in Medicine, it was a humbling experience to speak some words of 'wisdom' (if that's what you'd call them) to some young pliable minds. I was able to reminisce on my days as a young pain in the ass student and give some advice on how to follow your dreams. Being from the country has given me a world of opportunities that I would not of had if I completed school in the city. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard. I was also presented with a self portrait by my former art teacher that I had done in year 11! #followyourdreams #AAS #healthday #medicine #inkspired #inkedandemployed #dontjudgeabookbyitscover
Gray went on to say that thankfully attitudes have improved over the past few years being very different to what they used to be.
When the Australian decided to go through medical school, she feared she wouldn’t be taken seriously, by both patients and her colleagues, but instead found that the majority of people were interested more than anything else.
Having colourful skin in no way affects your skill level and with all the anti-discrimination laws now it wouldn’t be appropriate to compartmentalise or treat me differently based on my appearance.
I’ve worked really hard to develop good professional relationships as I’m fairly memorable, so I’ve made sure I’m memorable for the right reasons through hard work, determination and an always positive attitude.
Occasionally someone disapproving will say a negative comment under their breath or shake their head at me, but these situations are rare.
Concluding her interview on a positive note, Gray explained how tattoos help people feel more positive and confident about their bodies with getting inked also being a great way to express their personalities and creativity.
Urging others to appreciate this, Gray said:
We should all be able to love the skin we’re in, regardless of how we choose to decorate it.
For those that don’t like tattoos, that’s entirely their prerogative, I just urge them to at least consider the artistic skill that goes into creating body art, before they judge someone harshly at face value for choosing to wear them.
At the end of the day why should we judge someone for anything they do to their body. It is their body after all!
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.