Taylor White, well-known tattoo model now based in Los Angeles, has come a long way to be where she is today. She had a difficult childhood and grew up in several foster homes, now she has a successful career as a model.
White grew up on a small reservation for native Americans in Washington. Her parents had an addiction and chose drugs over their children. So Taylor and her sisters ended up in foster care, going from one foster home to another. The model ran away from home a lot and she eventually ended up in juvenile detention because there weren’t many foster homes on the reservation to place her with anymore.
Taylor was seventeen when she suddenly began to turn her life around. She decided to go to therapy and started school again. She was assigned a special trustee to manage her finances and her court cases were dismissed. When Taylor was nineteen, she lived in a small studio apartment and worked two jobs, six days a week.
Despite changing course and attending therapy, the model was still struggling. She had become so depressed that she became completely numb and felt nothing. Her aunt who had just gotten a tattoo informed her that such a photo session was healing. It is a form of therapy. Taylor called the tattoo shop that same day to see if they had room for her. Here she was able to go and immediately went there to get a tattoo. She drew a lot of strength from getting tattoos and thus continued to do so.
One day White received an e-mail from a random photographer; he had seen pictures of her and wanted to photograph her. She looked up his model references and accepted the proposal. Together with her boyfriend, she went to the photographer’s studio and began posing. After this one session, it didn’t stop and she continued modeling. She regularly posted the photos online and soon she received several proposals from other photographers. Gradually, her following began to grow.
Taylor White’s most recognizable tattoo is the large bird on her sternum. This is a thunderbird; there is a beautiful meaning behind this. It is a reference to a story in which the thunderbird goes to Washington’s Puget Sound and would take an orca back to its nest. However, the orca would always find its way back to Puget Sound because orcas never leave their families. For the model, the thunderbird symbolizes all the difficulties she will still face, but which she will face and overcome.
Nowadays, the model not only engages in modeling but also organizes a suicide awareness event every year on the Washington reservation where she grew up. This is in inspiration of her cousin who committed suicide in 2013. It was her best friend, whom she had suddenly lost without seeing it coming. The idea for the event came from her aunt, who, after the death of her son, was completely down and wanted to prevent suicide.