“A Woman’s Adventure: Exploring Body Art from Head to Toe, Even the Armpits!”

 Alex Derbyshire, who is covered in tattoos

At 18 years old, Alex Derbyshire got her first tattoo and instantly fell in love with body modification. Now, two decades later and a mom of two, she has dedicated countless hours and a significant amount of money to getting inked. With approximately 200 hours spent in tattoo parlors, she has transformed her body from a simple Celtic design on her lower back to a collection of 16 hidden tattoos. Determined to be fully covered in tattoos by the time she turns 40, Alex, now 38, has fully embraced her passion for body art while working as a barber in Bolton. Unconcerned with society’s opinions, she continues to add to her collection, with one to two large tattoos added to her body each year.

Alex with Joseph before she was covered in tattoos (PA Real Life/Collect)

Before diving into the world of tattoos, Alex used to cherish her time with her son Joseph. However, she eventually made the decision to get tattoos on her face, toes, and armpits, as well as a striking ‘blackout work’ design that spans across her neck, back, and arms. Despite facing criticism for her extensive ink and the money invested in it, Alex views tattoos as a form of self-expression and a hobby that she proudly displays. In 2013, she joined Instagram and discovered a community of fellow tattoo enthusiasts who share their artwork. With almost 20,000 followers now, Alex never expected to become so adorned with tattoos.

Alex (PA Real Life/Collect)

Alex has set a personal goal to have her entire body covered in tattoos before she hits the age of 40. A couple of decades ago, getting inked wasn’t as widely accepted as it is now, but Alex was inspired by the beautiful designs she saw on social media, especially those done by other women. She made it her mission to adorn her body with meaningful artwork. She already has a list of tattoo ideas ready to go, with plans to add more blackwork on her ribs and right leg to finish off her transformation. Among her collection are tributes to Pink Floyd, her all-time favorite band, including one that is cleverly hidden under her left armpit. Her body also features lyrics from Johnny Cash on her foot, a skull and butterfly on her neck and chest, and a portrait of Sweeney Todd, a nod to her career as a barber.

Alex (PA Real Life/Collect)

Alex proudly shares her tattoo collection with her nearly 20,000 social media followers, crediting her high pain tolerance for being able to handle the discomfort of getting inked. She reveals that the most painful spots for tattoos are her back, armpit, and toes, areas she was surprised to find so unbearable. In addition to her more obvious tattoos, she also has subtle facial tattoos done in white ink, describing the sensation as a strange vibration that runs through her body when the tattoo gun touches her skin. Despite the pain, Alex once sat through a grueling six-hour session without a break to get a neck tattoo, showcasing her dedication to her passion. Her children fully support her body art journey, especially her youngest son Liam, who is eager to follow in her footsteps. Each tattoo holds a special place in Alex’s heart, symbolizing years of commitment to her love for body art. She eagerly anticipates completing her full-body tattoo collection, likening herself to a masterpiece once she is fully covered.

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