Model & makeup guru Kristen Leanne experienced blatant tattoo discrimination on a recent trip to the Gold Coast & she's speaking out.
That's right, contrary to popular belief- Celebrities don't get everything they want, and in this case.. it's for a pretty fucked up reason.
On a recent trip to Australia, tattoo model/makeup artist/Youtuber Kristen Leanne, along with a few friends and her husband, were denied entry to not one, but TWO establishments on the Gold Coast... for no other reason but their highly visible tattoos.
With over 2 million followers on social media, you'd think bars far and wide would be STOKED to have Leanne in their place of business- get that publicity, right? However, fame and beauty weren't enough for the Jupiters Hotel & Casino or the Stingray at QT Gold Coast. They saw tattoos, and it was game over. Leanne and her crew were denied entry and were forced to head back to Sydney where establishments are considered to be more tattoo-friendly.
Upon return to the United States, Leanne released a video on her YouTube channel that not only explains what happened, but contains actual video footage of the group being denied entry because of their tattoos. In the footage, you literally WATCH an employee explain to the group that if they had a teardrop tattoo on their face, but it could be covered- it would be fine. The neck tattoos were just too much.
...Um, so, a tattoo that usually indicates having MURDERED SOMEONE is okay as long as it can be covered, but a cute little model with a big neck tattoo isn't?! Seems like that train of thought is slightly flawed, if you ask me.
Needless to say, the video has gone completely viral since it's release on Wednesday afternoon.
Leanne states in the video “He wasn’t rude or anything, but I’m still shocked that in this day and age people are being discriminated against for having tattoos."
We agree. And in fact, it's fairly common on the Gold Coast for venues to deny access to heavily tattooed patrons. This is mostly related to precautionary rules made to keep out "bikies" and "troublemakers." In plainer terms, people involved with drugs and gangs.
While it's completely understandable to want to keep illegal or troublesome activity out of your place of business and create rules to help do so, Leanne's video has definitely created a platform to speak out about when those rules are flawed- which is definitely a discussion worth having.
Stephen Holden, a trends and marketing expert at Macquerie University, brings up some very valid points regarding the subject. “Tattoos are very common — particularly neck ones — and it is not an automatic sign of someone being a bikie or a troublemaker." He adds, “If people are behaving who cares what they wear, or what they have on their bodies?"
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. While we're sad that Leanne had to deal first-hand with this sort of blatant discrimination, we're thankful that it has started a conversation that is extremely necessary in a day and age where tattoos are becoming more common by the second. Leanne said it best..
“Discrimination, especially on your outward appearance, is insane.”
Watch Leanne's video below and let us know what you think.