'You won't knock me down': Model spends $55k on tattoos
Viral tattooed model Amber Luke, who calls herself the Blue Eyed White Dragon, has revealed exactly how much she has spent on transforming her body.
The 24-year-old recently made headlines after revealing she went blind for three weeks after getting her eyeballs tattooed with blue ink.
Perhaps as shocking though is her latest revelation that so far she has spent a whopping $45,000 on modifying her body, with a further $10,000 worth of surgery booked.
Ms Luke, from NSW, begun altering her appearance when she was 16 and now sports 250 tattoos in addition to having her tongue split and her earlobes stretched.
On top of this, the body piercer has had pointed implants added to her ears, her teeth filed into fangs, and had her forehead, chest, lip, cheek, wrist and arm pierced.
Her spending also includes a range of cosmetic procedures including a boob job, cheek and lip fillers, and a Brazilian butt lift.
While body modification to this level is extreme, Ms Luke said altering her appearance has helped in part with overcoming her ongoing mental health struggles.
She described the experience of getting her first tattoo at 16 as a "negative energy release", one that helped manage her depression.
The message she had inscribed on her body at the time was a reminder to stay strong in the face of adversity:
It read: "You can keep knocking, but won't knock me down; no love lost, no low found".
"I was diagnosed at such a young age, and tattoos helped," Ms Luke told news.com.au. "After that I craved tattoos every day, it was an addiction."
Ms Luke said as a teenager she was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. She has since been re-diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with schizophrenic traits.
Although she claims her tattoos are a kind of "body suit", the 24-year-old said she isn't immune to criticism and has endured some brutal comments from people on social media.
After her story about having her eyeballs tattooed was in the media, she was horribly attacked by trolls, some going as far as to tell her to kill herself.
"I've had depression and suicidal attempts in the past, and they'll say you should have gone blind or you should hang yourself," she told news.com.au previously.
"It's nasty and unnecessary."
Ms Luke said the criticism used to bother her but she'd learnt how to deal with it.
"It used to get to me really badly," she said.
"It used to make my not want to leave the house and feel really insecure about myself.
"No matter what they say, it's just their opinion. At the end of the day everyone has their own idea of what beauty is, and mine is just different to everyone else's.
"I've learned to deal with it and put a barrier up."
'THE SUPPORT AND LOVE IS PHENOMENAL'
Ms Luke said she tended to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
"I receive a lot of support from friends, family, strangers and local businesses," she said.
"The support and love is phenomenal. You never expect people to be so open-minded in this day and age. It's starting to become more acceptable."
When asked whether she has come to the end of the road in terms of tattooing and body modification, Ms Luke said she is currently in the process of stretching her ears.
"But apart from that, nothing more extreme."