22-year-old model Melanie Southern comes clean about her six-year addiction…to tattoos.
"My first tattoo was my daughter's name on my wrist, a very small tattoo done in Hamilton, Ontario," she says. "That same day, less than a few hours later, I wanted more!"
Actually most of her tattoos come from family or religious influence, but she makes sure they show her mischievous personality, too.
After being referred to tattoo artist Ryan Mort from K-otic Tattoo and Body Piercing in Hamilton, Southern got the Virgin Mary on her left thigh, which she hopes to fill out with more religious ink.
"I loved the way the girl I picked out was looking up at mother Mary and looked very mischievous, just like me," she says.
Southern also admits to releasing her pain in ink when times are hard to bear.
"My second tattoo was done on my upper arm and says 'mom,'" she says. "It means a lot to me because it's for my mom who at the time had cancer. I then lost my grandfather and ended up wanting more ink to kind of escape from the death, it's sort of how I dealt with bad news."
While her arms are still in progress, they do have quite a bit of work including clouds, stars, a Precious Moments character and the words "Live. Laugh. Love," all to represent the childlike bond she shares with her mother.
Southern loves the attention she draws from being an inked-up girl, "everywhere I go somebody is looking at the artwork on me. My tattoos tell my story."