Have you ever changed your appearance in a way you regret? Maybe dyeing your hair a crazy color only to hate it, or a tattoo you got when you were young but now wish you never had to see it again?
In the grand scheme of things, these are pretty small, and not all of these changes are permanent either. For some, chasing permanent body modifications is their passion, one that leaves them with a very unique look.
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Tattoos have become a common practice in today's society. Once a rare taboo done largely in certain communities, they've become a very standard form of self expression, one that's accessible, artistic, and highly customizable. Piercings are also starting to go down that road, with more people getting more than just their earlobes pierced as a means of styling themselves.
In the realm of body modifications, though, there are still plenty of other, more extreme procedures that remain rare even among enthusiasts, ones that create a shocking appearance.
Kierstyn Milligan is a 24-year-old woman who's undergone quite the laundry list of body modifications, ones that most people would consider too extreme for comfort.
She now has a very striking, and even shocking, alternative look. She sports common 'alt' fashion staples like split dyed hair, one half green and the other half pink, as well as an impressive amount of tattoos. She has ink on her face, neck, and hands, including a nearly-complete blackout sleeve on her right arm.
She got her first tattoo at 14 years old and has been continuing down that road ever since. As her style and appearance journey evolved, she started getting into far more intense changes, ones that really made her stand out among other folk who are even heavily tattooed.
She now has fanged teeth, a split tongue, a subdermal implant in the shape of a heart in her hand, eyes that have been tattooed black, and other cosmetic surgeries.
Milligan, who now works as a tattoo artist and an OnlyFans model, claims she's paid over $64,000 for all her procedures and body mods, all in the pursuit of attaining the look she truly desires.
"I have tattoos everywhere, including my eyeballs, a split tongue, fanged teeth, Lipo 360, and two breast augmentations," she explained to Caters News.
Unsurprisingly, people tend to be shocked by her appearance. "Most people think I'm demonic," she said in regard to strangers' reactions.
A Huge Confidence Boost
She, however, loves how she looks very much. "I always knew I wanted to look like this, I have had this vision in my head since I was young and have finally fulfilled it," she said.
“The way I looked before compared to now, I feel so much happier. Before I had no self-love or even understood who I was, now I feel I understand myself the most and have the most self-love and confidence.
“When some people see my eyes they stare and point and say nothing, others give me ugly looks, and some will straight up get in my face and say they hate it."
Those Who Truly Matter
"The craziest reactions are from people online hiding behind a screen. They love to say, 'you look like a demon' or ‘you were so much prettier before,’ or ‘you must not have had a good childhood’."
Old photos of her from before she was even heavily tattooed look like a completely different person, truly capturing her extreme transformation.
"My family and friends are very supportive of anything I want to do, but initially they were shocked," she said. “But they are used to it now.”
Challenging The Status Quo
Some of her more extreme modifications did cause some questions among her loved ones, but they still came around to it. "My family and friends weren't surprised about my modifications because it’s something I’ve always wanted but they were shocked when I tattooed my eyeballs," she told Mirror.
"I did it as a way of showing my difference and to see how shocked and offended people can get when they don't understand something that’s not the norm of society."
Hald And Half
And shocked as many people get, she still considers her public reception to be mixed. "The reactions I've got since I started sharing my journey online are 50/50 love and hate, but I just don’t let it get to me," she explained.
"People think I am demonic, that I have no family or money. They put all these stereotypes on me, and I shut them all down. People in public mostly have positive reactions and want to take pictures with me, but I occasionally get an ugly look."
Do It For Yourself
None of that bothers her anymore, though. As she said, "I've never wanted to fit in, I've always been the odd one out."
This journey of hers has been one of self-love, of honoring her body's wishes and doing what feels right to her, no matter how strange other people think it is.
To those who are considering a similar journey, or taking any step at all to feel more at home in their skin, Milligan says, "The only advice I can really give to anyone wanting to modify or tattoo themselves is: do it out of love, do it out of the fact that it will make you happy."
Only Seeking Joy
Though what she's done is far more extreme than what most of us would even consider, why should she be judged for it? Her appearance is the result of her own desires and helped her love herself in a way she had never been able to before, something that should be admired.
"We should only do things that bring us joy," she said, "For me, that's what modifying myself does, so I want that for others if that’s what they choose, nothing but love and happiness."
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