INKED: I assume your mom didn’t know about that one beforehand.
Mariah: She knew about the first one and said that I wasn’t allowed to get any more until I was 18. But one day I was stretching and heard her scream. I was busted. I’m surprised she didn’t come flying across the kitchen at me. She flipped out, but she still loves some of them.
INKED: Mariah, you have a back piece of your sister where she’s portrayed as snow White eating the world like an apple. What’s the story?
Mariah: Everyone says my sister looks like Snow White. She and I have always depended on each other. Besides our mom, we’re all that we have. We used to say that it was the two of us against the world. That’s why I had John Miller tattoo her as Snow White eating the world.
INKED: What was it like seeing yourself tattooed on your sister’s back?
Tania: It’s funny. I’d bought a shirt a while ago with Snow White eating the poisoned apple. One day it went missing, and for months I couldn’t find it. I was throwing a fit. Then, randomly, my sister comes home with my shirt in her hand. I was like, Seriously, you took my shirt? You heard me crying about it. And then she shows me her back, and it’s basically the same exact picture except that instead of the apple she’s eating the world.
INKED: It’s seems kind of hard to be mad at that.
Tania: I’m a sap. I wanted to cry. I threw my arms around her and gave her a big hug, of course.
INKED: Your family recently packed up and moved Villalobos to New Orleans. It seems a lot different from the California desert.
Mariah: Back in California, we weren’t far from L.A., but we still lived in a teeny, tiny, little part of the country where there’s more churches than there are trees. It was very judgmental. I think that my family and I were the only ones in the area with tattoos.
INKED: And Louisiana is different?
Mariah: Here, it’s not as eclectic as California, but there are so many travelers that come through, and they’re all covered in tattoos.
Tania: The biggest difference between Louisiana and California is the people. It seems like in New Orleans they genuinely appreciate us and what we’re doing.
INKED: You’ve set up shop in a place that’s become an icon for redemption. do you feel more at home?
Tania: We’ve gotten a lot closer. We were all so miserable in California. The town we lived in, everyone hated us, the cops wouldn’t leave us alone, we weren’t happy living in the desert. Once we moved we had a chance to be happy and start over. This place got destroyed and had to be rebuilt—it’s their second chance—and I think that the location has a lot to do with our acceptance. The people here have been through more pain than most.
For more information about the Villalobos Rescue Center, visit: http://www.vrcpitbull.net/dog/