That tattoos are hugely popular these days is no secret, which makes sense when you see what beautiful works of art artists can put on your skin. Nevertheless, things can already go wrong and people often regret their tattoos. Belgian tattoo model Femke Verstraeten also regrets some of the tattoos she got.
As a child, Femke saw a punk walking the streets of Bruges, full of tattoos and a Mohawk comb. He expressed himself with his body and was not at all embarrassed by who he was. This inspired Femke; this was what she wanted. While her mother hoped it was a phase, the tattoo model persevered. At 18, she secretly got her first tattoo, A tribal on her back. Over the years, she realized that there had been other and more beautiful options to have set, she saw so many beautiful works of art that she later discovered her own style.
To her family, Femke first promised not to have too many, but actually she already knew she would go all the way. Her parents were anything but happy at first, fearing their daughter would never find work and become marginal. Here the model understands; as a parent, you obviously want your child to find good work and exude class. Still, she wanted to live her life as she envisioned it. Her mother has since come around and got her first tattoo herself at 60. She is now a big fan of her daughter’s tattoos.
Before her modeling career, Femke Verstraeten didn’t know what she wanted to do in life. Her parents required her to get a degree, but she herself hated studying. She tried a secretarial course, but instead of going to school, she often went to concerts in Amsterdam. So she began touring with bands like Merge, living day to day and seeking adventure.
Femke was discovered as a model by accident, through MySpace. On this she had posted pictures a friend of hers had taken. Her friend was a photographer and had made Femke up for the pictures. Before this, the tattoo model never used makeup and was a real tomboy. They turned out to be wonderful photos and got the ball rolling.
Verstraeten was invited to shoots, began going to tattoo conventions, presenting and today travels around the world. She is very grateful for the opportunities she has received thanks to her tattoos. Without her tattoos, she might just be standing in a clothing chain with no ambitions. Her modeling career has given her many ambitions. She still wants to learn to DJ, fire breathing and wants to learn different languages to be able to present abroad. Her tattoos have been a salvation and have given her a purpose in life.
For a long time, Femke only got tattoos in places she could keep hidden, until she was sure what she wanted to do in life. She sees her body as a kind of diary; each tattoo has a story and meaning. She is not impulsive, she thought for a long time before she had visible tattoos like on her neck and hands. She wanted to avoid people staring; she had a hard time when people reacted badly to her visible tattoos. To this she has become immune to the day.
Now she thinks carefully before getting a tattoo and sometimes even flies abroad to do so. Her tattoos already have a huge cost place attached to them. Yet she also regrets some of the tattoos. After a while, she occasionally got a tattoo that was free or she got as a favor to friends. All of which she complained about. Thus, sometimes it turned out that the drawing on the skin was not as beautiful as on paper. It also happened that the artist was not so experienced and put the tattoo wrong, for example, she has an umbrella on her body that was put too deep. It is ugly and you feel the tattoo when you rub it, just like Braille writing. On the underside of her chin she had an eye done, the artist asked if she wanted shading with it. She liked the thought of shade, but now that it’s on, it looks more like a beard. Now the model knows better and takes a tattoo with meaning and looks for an artist herself.
Her face Femke wants to leave free, although otherwise she is almost completely covered in tattoos. Her plan has always been to leave her neck and face free. Only when she was sure of her career as a tattoo model did she have her neck covered. She finds it very unfortunate that boys and girls are more likely to get neck or face tattoos these days because it is a trend. You cannot get rid of this so quickly; it is visible and can ruin your future. What if you find your calling later? You suddenly want to become a lawyer or a police officer. This does not go with a tattoo in your face. She knows lawyers who are completely covered in tattoos, but can always cover this with clothing. So Verstraeten’s tip is to only get a visible tattoo when you are sure of what you want to do in life.
Currently, Femke is having her “beard” lasered, in which she has chosen a more expensive laser. She has seen a lot of lasering where you get scars and the skin is really affected. The more expensive laser hurts and costs a bit, but it always heals nicely. She is also thinking about getting a piece of her legs lasered, to have canvas again for new tattoos from other artists and multiple styles she wants to try. Still, she thinks hard about this first because lasering really hurts. It feels like multiple stretchers are tightening and clanging against your skin at the same time, but so many times per second.