TATTOOS aren’t just body art for Cas Hallinan, they tell the story of her life.
This week Miss Hallinan’s story will be told to a large audience of tattoo lovers when she competes in the Miss Ink Australia pageant at The Vanguard in Sydney on Friday.
“The Miss Ink Australia competition is a fantastic way for tattooed ladies to show their work off in an environment where they won’t be looked down upon,” Miss Hallinan said.
According to Miss Hallinan, it’s easy for people to have stereotypical opinions of people with tattoos.
“I often meet people and get to know them in a professional environment and as soon as they realise I have quite a bit of ink it is amazing how quickly they can close off to me and instantly withdraw from conversation,” she said.
“Tattoos don’t change who people are on the inside.
“It doesn’t change our skill level in jobs and the right tattoos shouldn’t affect career and personal life.
“This competition is just the start of helping to change society’s views and I’m excited to see what’s to come.”
Miss Hallinan said entering the competition had also been good for her self-esteem.
“At first I wanted to back out but then I decided it was a good opportunity to face my fears and try and gain some more confidence,” she said.
“It’s also a great opportunity to meet new people who obviously share the same passion for tattoos that I have.”
Miss Hallinan has 12 tattoos and some of them have been now joined together to create a bigger piece.
“I personally love tattoos as they’re my way to define myself,” Miss Hallinan said.
“All my tattoos have meaning and stand for something.
“Some people write books, some people draw, some people make music, this is their way to express themselves and tell their story. My tattoos are my story.”
One of Miss Hallinan’s favourite tattoos is a Polynesian-style piece on her right thigh.
“It was designed by a Tongan tattoo artist who heard my story before designing it,” she said.
“It holds certain patterns and designs that directly reflect me and my life story.”