Inked beauty 'more than just someone with tattoos'
CANDICE Walker is a girl on a mission.
The 27-year-old Sunshine Coast business owner and disability care worker wants people to know she is much more than just someone with a lot of tattoos.
Much, much more.
There's no denying Candice has a lot of tattoos and on Friday night they won her the state final of the Inked Beauties competition at the Wharf Tavern Mooloolaba.
She said winning was a great chance to get out and prove to the world that tattooed models could be classy, elegant and successful.
"These opportunities for women are a great start to give us confidence to get out there and show the community that we have good tattoos and we are still people with proper jobs and not just no-hopers," she said.
Her obsession with tattoos began at the age of 15 when she had her first done in a place "hidden from dad".
She's not sure how many she has now - she lost count at 15.
"All of my tattoos have special meanings," Candice said. "Most are dedicated to my mum who I lost when I was little.
"A few are just little fun ones with friends and my fiancee."
The downside of having so much body art was that she often felt she was being judged by people.
"I don't hide them (tattoos) much in public," she said.
"I dress up a little bit when going to a restaurant out of respect, not to hide them."
Inked Beauties organiser Samantha Plant, of Prestige Productions Australia, said the competition aimed to bridge the gap between models and tattooed models.
"This competition creates a place for tattooed models to change the stereotype and prove that they too can be glamorous and beautiful," she said.
With the win under her belt, Candice said she was moving on to a new challenge - body sculpting.
"The fitness comps are just as stereotyped, so my next goal is to break that," she said.