Eyeball tattooing – or sclera tattooing – is a practice of body modification where ink is injected into the white part of someone’s eyes.
Done properly, the ink will never actually enter the eye, and instead will just under the conjunctiva layer of the eye, and spread out.
It’s a procedure that can go badly wrong, however, as evidenced by 24-year-old Amber Luke, of Brisbane, Australia, who went blind for three weeks following the body mod.
Amber, who calls herself Blue Eyes White Dragon, is no stranger to a tattoo studio, and estimates that she has around 200 across her body.
She’s also had surgery in the form of a breast enlargement, and has had cosmetic procedures such as lip and cheek fillers, a tongue split, and eyebrow tattoos, all totalling $37,000 (£19,678).
That didn’t stop her mum, Vikki, questioning the sclera tattoo beforehand and begging Amber not to go through with it.
‘Why would you do that to yourself, knowing that there is a – I suppose a danger to it,’ her mother Vikki questioned.
Her protestations were in vain, though, and she continues: ‘As we know as the parents, some kids will just do what they want to do, regardless of what we say. But I brought her into the world with the best skills that I could give, the best that I could give her. It’s just for me to be there and go along the journey with her and prop her up and love her.’
The pair steeled themselves ahead of the 40-minute procedure, which unfortunately didn’t go as planned.
Speaking to Barcroft Media, Amber said: ‘I can’t even begin to describe to you what the feeling was like, the best thing I can give you is once the eyeball was penetrated with the ink, it felt like [the tattoo artist] grabbed 10 shards of glass and rubbed it in my eye.’
‘Unfortunately, my artist went too deep into my eyeball,’ says Amber.
‘If your eyeball procedure’s done correctly, you’re not supposed to go blind at all. I was blind for three weeks. That was pretty brutal.’
When Amber had the tattooing done back in 2017, her mum cried for her, and she said a few ‘choice words’.
Amber’s happiness with her new look has only grown, though, as the colour in the eye has darkened and become more vivid over time – and obviously her sight came back.
Talking about her choice to start changing her body in her teens, Amber said that she got her first tattoo at 16, calling it a ‘negative energy release’ after being diagnosed with depression some years before.
While some may say that these things might be extreme, the model says, ‘I’m not harming anyone, I’m doing what I want to do and if it makes me get up in the morning and be a happy person, then so be it.’
Amber said she hopes to fully cover her body with tattoos by March next year, but did say: ‘I don’t plan on getting any more body modifications that are extreme in that manner. So no more tongue splitting, no more eyeball tattooing.’
Her mum has also come to terms with the changes to her daughter, saying: ‘She never saw herself as being beautiful. She didn’t see herself through my eyes.
‘But I’ve supported her because I could actually see the transition, the growth and how it’s made her come to who she is today. I think over time, I’ve learned to actually understand that it doesn’t change you. It’s the society’s perception on it.’
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