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Out of every woman in the world, she’s one of just a handful who can honestly say they’re a living work of art.  She’s Julia Gnuse, the illustrated lady, or to followers of Guinness, the most tattooed woman in the world.

Born in 1959, Julia amazingly didn’t even begin her modification transformation until her mid thirties, and now has approximately ninety-five percent of her body inked!  Unlike most women who have a plethora of body art pieces, her reasons for the extensive work weren’t purely for the aesthetic loveliness of the tattoos themselves either. Ms. Gnuse has a rare genetic disorder called porphyria; a unique aversion to sunlight that results in blistering, scarring, or discoloration of the skin. And like any woman who’s just too cool for school, she got the idea to cover her skin marks with something empowering and beautiful: tattoo art.

Her tattoos range from realistic monochrome to brilliant vivid color, and cover over a dozen styles of art.  They include cartoons, tribals, florals, Japanese style color blocking, classic television personalities, and loads of other fun fare. And she says that some of her favorites are her tattoos of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. My favorites (of those that I’ve seen) are the vibrant flowing waves across her cheek, and her adorable knuckle tattoos featuring the Peanuts Gang from Charlie Brown!

Today in her mid 50’s, Julia resides in California and remains the Guinness Book of World Records’ most tattooed woman in the world, falling short of most tattooed person by a narrow margin under just a handful of men who have between 95 and 100 percent of their bodies tattooed.  The most tattooed person as of Guinness’s last publication was Lucky Diamond Rich, a New Zealand native who boasts 100% ink coverage.

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