Tattoos on the runway

IT ALL started with a small Southern Cross on her left rib as a nod to a motorbike brand she enjoyed riding.

Rhianon Lee's love of tattoos continued from there, and last weekend that Southern Cross tattoo, along with her many other tattoos, were on display as she took to the catwalk in Newcastle to proudly represent the Coffs Coast in the Miss Ink competition.

The style of tattoo Rhianon favours is neo-traditional.

"All my tattoos are black, grey and a bit of white to make things pop with a lot of detailed line work; I don't have any with colour," Rhianon said.

Each of her tattoos mark a period in her life and together they tell her story.

"I have a few tattoos of feminine faces. One is a shy face which represents me at that time. I got my second feminine face tattoo when I was a lot more liberated and the sassy look on that tattoo shows that."

Rhianon has also included a few quotes in her ink story including the Bob Marley lyric "my feet are my only carriage" and "one life one chance".

While Rhianon wears her ink with pride, it's different when she goes to visit some of her family.

"I've got an Italian family and my nonna has never seen my tattoos. I wear long pants and sleeves and make-up to hide my finger tattoos which can be a little tricky when you're all in the kitchen together."

In last weekend's Miss Ink Competition Rhianon didn't place but she enjoyed the experience.

"I have entered bikini competitions but because of the amount of tattoos I have wasn't looked upon favourably so I started looking into the ink beauty competitions and I love it."

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