Is 28 is old enough to 'know' you love your tattoos?
For a lot of people NZ$46,500 is money best spent on a house deposit, a new car or an epic overseas adventure.
Yet Sydney woman Amie Golding has spent that much over 12 years, inking artwork all over her body.
Working in the hospitality industry and covered in tattoos, the 28-year-old can't hide away from the inevitable stares and odd remarks.
She has grown accustomed to them but feels she can change people's perceptions.
''I get more positive than negative comments,'' she said.
''A lot of people haven't seen tattoos like mine.''
Golding remembers a time when she hardly knew any other girls covered in tattoos.
However she has seen the number of people getting in on the practice grow ''dramatically'' over the past five years.
''Now I think everyone wants to be on the scene,'' she said.
''They do it only to be cool and they don't really think about it.''
But Golding said there is a certain amount of respect you need to have when getting a tattoo.
''I believe you've got to earn it,'' she said.
''People who get full neck tattoos - we call them 'job stoppers' - straight away. That's the last thing you do to your body.
''I got my first one on my back, hidden away.''
That tattoo, a nautical star inked on when Golding was just 16, is a regret - she plans to have it removed.
She wishes she had waited a few years before beginning her obsession and warns others against getting a tattoo too early.
''From the age of 16 to 21 you change so much as a person,'' Ms Golding said.
Older and wiser, Golding now saves her money and only gets tattooed by some of the best artists in the world.
Her body is now covered in stylish portraits of actors, actresses and musicians.
Her favourite, a portrait of Elvis Presley which cost $4200, is inked on her thigh.
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- Sydney Morning Herald
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