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Apparently This Matters: Face tattoos

Lesya Toumaniantz reportedly had her husband-to-be tattoo his name on her face about 24 hours after they met.
Lesya Toumaniantz reportedly had her husband-to-be tattoo his name on her face about 24 hours after they met.
  • "Apparently This Matters" is CNN Tech's weekly, offbeat look at stories trending online
  • This week, Jarrett Bellini looks at a woman whose fiance' tattooed his name on her face
  • While piercings have become accepted, the face tattoo remains rare and shocking
  • Get one big enough though, and your parents might just stay quiet and take a cruise

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN'sJarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- When I was young, I remember that encountering an individual with a nose piercing seemed to mean something. Specifically: This person kills puppies.

Of course, nose piercings never actually meant anything. It was (and is) just body art.

That said, baseless conclusions used to come easy. Back then, it was rather unusual to see a person who'd willingly popped a fresh hole in his or her face when that face was doing just fine with the ones that came punched out from the factory.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social media trends.

But times have changed. Now nose piercings aren't a big deal. And to the best of my knowledge, none of my punctured friends have murdered any puppies.


Not surprisingly, when it comes to these modern forms of personal expression, the simple, elegant nose stud has earned far more widespread acceptance than the almighty face tattoo.

Maybe it's because there are still not enough of them out there. After all, they're permanent.

2012: Romney face tattoo to be removed

And whereas piercings can easily be removed, there's a certain level of fierce commitment that comes with injecting dark ink directly into your face.

"Yay! In 60 years I'll still love dolphins!"

Five minutes later ...

"Well, that was a rather misguided decision."

However, almost nothing stacks up to the bizarre trending story this week from Europe involving a tattoo artist named Rouslan Toumaniantz.

You see, Toumaniantz met the girl of his dreams, Lesya, in an Internet chat room. They fell in love, and finally decided to meet face to face in Moscow. Presumably to wrestle a bear.

That's a standard first date in Russia. Look it up.

However, what makes this all really fun is that within 24 hours of meeting, Toumaniantz had, with consent, tattooed an alternate spelling of his first name over Lesya's face.

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy. ..."

Now, when I say he tattooed his name over her face, we're talking full cheek-to-cheek, gothic-style, see-it-from-space lettering. The kind of tattoo so outrageously big and bold and crazy that parents can't even really get mad.

"Your mother and I have discussed this, and we've decided to take a cruise."

Fortunately, the new, happy couple are getting married, and they have big plans to stay together forever. So not to worry. This can't possibly go wrong.

But here's the kicker. Toumaniantz is the same tattoo artist who, in 2009, made international headlines after he inked 56 stars on the face of a Belgian woman named Kimberley Vlaeminck.

Normally, that wouldn't be newsworthy. But, after the ink session was over, the woman claimed she only asked for three stars near her eye, and that the tattooist just kept adding more and more as she fell asleep in the chair.

Ultimately, this turned out to be a lie. She later admitted that she had, indeed, asked for all 56 stars but was scared about what her dad would say.

"Your mother and I have discussed this, and we've decided to keep you in a box."

This was three years ago, and when news of this girl's starry tattooed face hit the Web, naturally it went viral, and even spawned a website for The Kimberlizer -- a photo game where you position your head for a webcam and it instantly adds 56 stars to your face.

Today, the game still exists. And so do the real tattoo stars on Vlaeminck's face. So you know -- she's got that going for her.

But in this latest popular story from Moscow, Lesya still seems more than happy with her new face full of ink. Which is great!

Really, it's just the size of the tattoo that confounds the rest of us. For had her man simply used 12-point Times New Roman and inked his name near her eyebrow, this wouldn't even be a big deal.

Comic Sans, on the other hand? Death by firing squad.

Nevertheless, this particular face tat is big and bold, and definitely not going anywhere.

"It's a symbol of our eternal devotion," Britain's The Sun tabloid quoted Lesya as saying. "I'd like him to tattoo every inch of my body."

Modern face tattoos (even cool ones such as Mike Tyson's eye tribal) definitely have a long way to go before they reach the same level of social acceptance as nose piercings. But they will. It's definitely happening.

So go ahead and get that dolphin. Or maybe even a lover's name, beautifully scrolled across your forehead.

Just don't use Comic Sans.

"Your mother and I have discussed this, and we've decided to take the firing squad on a cruise. When they're done."

by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Replies (51-60):
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM
2 moms liked this

Quoting Trollslayer:

Quoting rotPferd:


I think this is awesome and would consider it myself. This woman had a double masectomy and did this to cover the scars.

Now that is freaking amazing!

I agree.......  that is amazing!

by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Really?   Under what law?  

Quoting maciymommieof3:

How can you? if someone can perform the essentials functions of the job- you can not discriminate on "looks"

Quoting talia-mom:

You can discriminate against something like that and should depending on your business.

Quoting maciymommieof3:

well.... you can't discriminate...but I sure could find another excuse NOT to HIRE her.

Quoting EireLass:

What the hell. How does one get a job when they have that?

by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

and this guy got whisker implants also-sharpened teeth and pointed ears.

Cat Man: Dennis Avner works as a computer programmer

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 meh- this is nothing compared to the local guy who tattooed his face to look like a cat- and even added whisker implants. People are nuts.

he is in London

by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM
1 mom liked this

 Rick: The Zombie Boy

 Meet Rick. He's turning himself into a zombie. So far, more than 24 hours of tattoos --costing over $4,075 Canadian dollars-- have got him halfway there and made him a minor celebrity on the internet, where people can’t decide if he’s a body modification visionary or mentally ill sicko.

Read more at 
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM
1 mom liked this

 Julia Gnuse: The Illustrated Lady

 Julia Gnuse, also known as the illustrated lady, was born with a condition called porphyria which causes her skin to blister regularly and ultimately scar. In order to cover this up she started getting tattoos applied over the affected areas. After 10 years she was covered in the bastards and holds the Guinness Record for being the most tattooed woman in the world.

Read more at 
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM
1 mom liked this

 Tom Leppard: The Leopard Man

 Formerly considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world's most tattooed man, Tom Leppard, now 73 years old, fled society years ago after spending £5,500 to have his body covered in leopard-like spots. He lived in a small cabin on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Once every week, the ex-soldier travelled by canoe to buy supplies and pick up his pension. However, in 2008 he moved into a small house on Skye after a friend offered to move him by boat. "I'm getting too old for that kind of life," he said. 

Read more at 
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM
1 mom liked this

 Eric Sprague: The Lizardman

 Born Eric Sprague in 1972, the Lizardman was one of the first people to have a split tongue and in some circles is seen to be wholly responsible for the recent popularity of this particular modification. This 37 year old man has transformed himself into a reptile via 700 hours of tattooing, five Teflon horns implanted beneath the skin of his eyebrows, filing down of his teeth into sharp fangs, bifurcation of his tongue, and stretching of his septum and earlobes.

Read more at 
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 Horace Ridler: The Zebra Man

 A professional freak and sideshow performer, Horace Ridler exhibited himself as The Great Omi or The Zebra Man. Horace was an English aristocrat who returned from the First World War to Twenties' London where he began his transformation into one of the world's greatest oddities. Tattooed from head to foot in black and white stripes, he became Omni - the Zebra Man. As the years wore on the Omi’s appearance became more and more outrageous as did his personality. He took to wearing lipstick and nail polish and signed his pitch cards, ‘the Barbaric Beauty’. Despite his appearance, “underneath it all, I’m just an ordinary man,” he insisted shortly before his death in 1969. 

Read more at 
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM

 Lucky Diamond Rich: World's Most Tattooed Person

 The ultimate in multi-layered tattooing is represented by the chainsaw juggling, unicycling, sword-swallowing Lucky Diamond Rich from Australia, who has spent over 1,000 hours having his body modified by hundreds of tattoo artists. He began by having a full collection of colourful designs from around the world tattooed over his entire body. But not content with stopping there, Lucky next opted for a 100% covering of black ink, including eyelids, the delicate skin between the toes, down into the ears, and even his gums. He is now being tattooed with white designs on top of the black, and coloured designs on top of the white! He is now, officially, the world's most tattooed person, having a full body coverage. 

Read more at 
by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM
1 mom liked this

I wish I could freely express myself like this and it not be considered atrocious and doom my profession. I wouldn't get a name tattooed on my face but her lover did a great job, it came out looking very artsy. It really would have sucked if it was a shit job. Call me whack but I love body art expression and wish it was more accepted, in all of its forms, 

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