Working as a tattoo artist and alternative model, Sarah Castillo, 28, fits right in among her peers.
However, the fact that 85% of her body is covered in ink doesn’t always go down well with strangers – and some have even accused her of being a satanist.
Sarah, who also goes by Sarah Sabbath, got her first tattoo aged just 14, turning her skin into a walking canvas that’s now mostly covered with designs.
This sparked her love of body modification, and she’s since had her ears pointed, eyes tattooed, forehead scarification, some big gauge punched holes in her nostrils, labret and dahlia piercings, forehead and breast implants and a rhinoplasty.
In total, Sarah, from El Paso, Texas, estimates she’s spent around £14,000 on the procedures.
Yet although she loves her otherworldly look, her mother – who is a very religious person – isn’t a fan. Other people have also assumed she’s a satanist or interested in the occult, despite Sarah never having been involved with such practices.
Sarah explained: ‘People will look at me and not really know how to hide their reactions. Some people do and some don’t…
‘I get positive and negative feedback, some people think I’m super cool and some people think I’m disgusting.
‘People assume I’m satanic or mean and I’m not. I really don’t care if people like me or don’t.’
Even though satanists typically promote individualism over worshipping deities, Sarah’s detractors seem to believe she worships the devil because of her look.
‘I am not a devil worshiper or a satanist and I do not understand people casting such judgements purely based on how I look,’ she said.
‘As far as I am aware satanism is a kind of religion and it is not one that I practice but because I look different from what people expect they think it is okay to call me names like that.’
It’s these assumptions that have made Sarah’s mother wary of her unique aesthetic, but knowing her daughter has ‘a legit job in the industry’ and is ‘a very kind person’ has helped her accept the changes.
Sarah added: ‘I’ve been hard headed and wild since a child so they know I won’t just do as I’m told.
‘My friends have always known me as crazy, so they aren’t even surprised anymore. They honestly are just always curious about the healing process.’
Sarah now works in the modification industry and wants to inspire others to be who they really are and express themselves through art they can wear permanently.
‘I have always just been fascinated with unique looks,’ said Sarah.
‘I was always different before the tattoos and modifications, it was more my style or hair, small things but I’ve always loved being artistic in any way possible.
‘I do feel I am more myself now than before because my tattoos and modifications have made me feel comfortable and more confident.’
The procedures may worth it, but each one comes with a helping of pain – both during and afterwards.
‘I actually just got my stomach tattoo done. It’s called a blast over and it’s been really painful healing,’ said Sarah.
‘You always end up kind of regretting it while you’re healing because it makes normal activities difficult.
‘I would say the most painful modification I have ever had was either my ear pointing or the implants.’
Her tattoo assortment now includes black work, biomechanical, new traditional, realism, and a number of different styles, with just 15% of Sarah’s body left ‘natural’.
Sarah has no plans stopping with body modification any time soon, and wants others to embrace what makes them unique too.
‘I just want people to know it’s okay to be yourself. Do whatever makes you happy. We only live once. And of course be kind,’ she said.
‘If modification will help you express yourself, just always do research on who you go to.
‘Be sure you’re really ready because it’s a life changing experience and if you are thinking of being as modded as I am know it comes with baggage.’