The Illustrated Lady
Julia Ann Gnuse
January 18, 1955
|Died||August 11, 2016(aged 61)|
|Residence||Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, California|
|Known for||most tattooed woman in the world|
|Home town||Lewistown, Missouri|
Julia Gnuse (guh-NOO-see), commonly known by the nickname The Illustrated Lady, born in 1955, had 95% of her body (including her face) covered in tattoos and held the Guinness Record for being the most tattooed woman in the world. In her mid 30s, Gnuse developed porphyria, a condition in which sunlight results in blistering of the skin. As the blisters often result in scarring, she began getting tattoos as a way to cover up the scars, which can get as deep as third degree burns. A friend of Gnuse's who was a plastic surgeon had suggested she get her skin tattooed in a pale skin tone color, similar to the color of her scars. This was attempted but didn't turn out the way they had hoped.
The tattoos do not prevent the skin from blistering as they are purely aesthetic. Instead she decided to try colorful tattoos, consisting of a variety of themes including: her favorite cartoons, her favorite actors and even a self portrait. Gnuse has appeared on the tv show Ripley's Believe it or Not. She also had a small role in Aerosmith's music video for their song Pink.
In her last year she started to go through laser treatment to get all of her tattoos removed.
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