Extremely Modified People - The Illustrated Lady

Julia Gnuse

Julia Gnuse or most often referred to as The Illustrated Lady has 95% of her body covered in tattoos, including her face. She holds the Guinness Record for being the most tattooed women in the world. However, Julia's motivation behind getting her tattoo's may surprise you.


Julia's motivation behind getting her tattoo's wasn't to gain attention, or break records. At thirty five years of age Julia's skin started blistering and leaving major scars on her body. She was eventually diagnosed with a rare disease called porphyria which causes the skin to become extremely sensitive when exposed to sunlight. It got to the point where she couldn't go outside without her skin blistering in front of her eyes, and there was very little doctors could do.

Julia started getting embarrassed about the scars and wanted to cover them up. A plastic surgeon suggested she could try getting her skin tattooed in a pale skin tone color, similar to the color of her scars. It was attempted, but didn't turn out exactly how they had hoped. Instead Julia turned to colorful tattoos and after one tattoo on her leg she was hooked.

You're probably thinking do these tattoo's actually protect her sensitive skin from the sunlight? Unfortunately for Julia they don't. The tattoos are just there to cover up the scarring and are purely aesthetic.


The whole process has taken more than five years and at a cost of more than $80,000.

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Comments 2 comments

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 19 months ago

Wow, I love tats but that is extreme, though not in a bad way-- it's actually pretty great the way she turned a negative into a positive like that. I know I'd rather live with the beautiful tattoos rather than the painful scars.

dakotalee profile image

dakotalee 19 months ago Author

Totally agree!

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