Kylie Garth, 30, Melbourne, Vic
I ￼tried not to blink as the needle moved towards me.
There was a moment of pressure and a slight stinging as it pierced the white of my eye. Then the ink was released.
For most people, this sounds like something from a terrible nightmare. But for me it was something I’d wanted for ages!
I had longed to have my eyeballs tattooed for years – it basically means turning the whites of your eyes a different colour.
I’d often admired other people’s inked peepers and decided to make my dream become a reality. But choosing a colour was difficult. After all, it was going to be permanent.
A friend helped me use a computer program to experiment with colours on a photo of my face until I fell in love with a pale sea foam blue colour.
My friend Luna Cobra is an accomplished tattooist, piercer and body modification artist and he performed the procedure.
After the ink was injected into three different parts of my eyes, I went home to wait for the colour to kick in.
As I slept, the ink spread. When I woke the next day my eyes were a gorgeous pale blue colour.
"As I slept, the ink spread!"
I loved it! While it might not be for everyone, I love doing body modifications.
But it’s not just about changing the way you look – it’s about making your exterior match the way you feel inside.
When I was 14, I was shy and had low self-esteem.
But then I decided to get my lip pierced. When I looked in the mirror at the results, I actually liked what I saw for the first time in my life.
From there, I started getting dozens of tattoos and piercings as I got older.
I also started working as a piercer and am one of the only artists in Australia to perform the hand-poked tattoo method, which means I ink my clients manually and don’t use a machine.
I’ve also had quite a lot of body modifications done. There’s the scarification on my cheek and forehead in the shape of a heart and a crescent.
My skin was carved out in these shapes and, once the scars formed, I tattooed over them with a pale pink and white. My tongue has also been split in two!
One of my most noticeable body modifications is my pointed ears. I got some of the inner cartilage removed and the ends were sewn into a point.
I also have a gorgeous glowing implant in my wrist under the skin, which lights up at night. A lot of people don’t understand why I do these things to my body and think it’s rather weird.
But I truly feel like I’m comfortable in my own skin after having these procedures. And now I’m the only woman in Australia who has both eyes tattooed!
You might think it’s extreme to have your eyeballs tattooed, but I would argue that it’s no more extreme than having any other cosmetic procedure.
Every day young women are having their lips plumped, their cheeks filled, their eyelashes extended and their breasts enlarged.
Why is my work any different? The most important thing for me is that I can gaze in the mirror and love the face I see looking back at me.
I’m happy and proud of who I am. Who knows, eyeball tattoos might become the hip new trend!