Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 16, 2009)

[Toronto Star] Well, it was probably only a matter of time before the Moonshin Tattoo business found its way back into the news. To recap: Earlier this year, it was revealed that local health departments in Ontario, Canada, were neglecting their duties with regard to regularly inspecting tattoo shops and, as a result, some shops were found to have been neglecting their own record-keeping (and other) practices, throwing into question their sterility and safety. Mississauga’s Moonshin Tattoo in particular caught fire because of this, and both the shop and Peel Region found themselves the subjects of a $20 million class-action lawsuit by customers who may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis B and C. In light of this, the Toronto Star launched their own investigation, and the results are pretty hit-and-miss:

Every public health unit in the [Greater Toronto Area] has failed to enforce provincial standards that require tattoo and piercing studios to be inspected at least once a year, a Star investigation has found.


Peel, with the worst record of tattoo parlour inspections for both years in the Star study, checked on only seven of its 20 establishments in 2007 and only five in 2008.


Halton Region also fared poorly in the study, with only 47 per cent of its 15 establishments inspected both years. Toronto inspected only 65 per cent of its 23 parlours in ’07 but had a perfect year, in ’08, when there were 41 parlours.

The most diligent were Durham, which managed to inspect all tattoo parlours under its jurisdiction in one year and 95 per cent the next, and York, which inspected 84 per cent one year and 97 per cent the next.

A variety of reasons were offered for missed inspections, but most common was a lack of funding after the province made regional health authorities responsible for such inspections a decade ago.

Allison Stuart, Ontario’s assistant deputy minister of public health, doesn’t buy that excuse.

“We’re talking about guidelines that have been in place since 1997, so this is not something that’s been sprung upon the health units,” she said.

While it’s heartening to see a few regions taking their responsibilities seriously, there are some egregious stats mentioned there. The logical extension of this investigation, it seems, would be to determine if these inspectors are dropping the ball in all areas of their work—as the article mentions, at least as far as Peel is concerned, their inspectors are also responsible for “more than 5,000 food premises, 500 recreational water facilities and 150 child-care centres”—or if their neglect has been limited to premises offering body modification procedures? (It’s also addressed that inspectors failed to visit “ear-piercing establishments” with regularity.) It’s paranoid to assume there’s some insidious blueprint being followed here, but if these failures are largely occurring at the expense of body artists, that seems worthy of some attention, no?

(Of course, if Ontario artists want to keep on top of things without prompting from the government, they can always get their Health Educators certification when David Vidra comes to Toronto next week, here and here.)

[Daily Mail] Several thousand astute readers have sent in this article today, so, yeah, we figured it was worth some attention, as unbelievable as it is. Anyway, as the story goes, Kimberley Vlaminck, an 18-year-old living in lawless Courtrai, Belgium, went in to get three harmless stars tattooed on her face by Rouslan Toumaniantz at The Tattoo Box, but, uh, fell asleep? Or was drugged? And somehow woke up with 56 goddamned stars covering half her face? What?

She claims she fell asleep while he was doing his work… and awoke to ‘this nightmare’.

‘It is terrible for me,’ said Kimberley. ‘I cannot go out on to the street, I am so embarrassed. I just look horrible.’

‘I think he didn’t understand what I wanted. He spoke only fractured English and French.

‘But I explicitly said in my native tongue, French, and also in a little bit of English when he looked confused, that I wanted three little stars only near my left eye.’

Rouslan Toumaniantz, who runs the tattoo parlour called The Tattoo Box in Courtrai, denies her claim, saying she knew ‘exactly what she wanted’.

He added: ‘She was awake and looked into the mirror several times as the procedure was taking place. The trouble all started when she went home and her father and boyfriend threw a fit.

First things first: I have a hard time believing any of this is true. I don’t know what the game is, but I want to go on record as saying I won’t be surprised when and if this is exposed as a hoax. However, if any of it is true, I’ll gladly adjust my verdict to say that I think young Kimberley is full of it. Not to be too much of an armchair physician/psychologist/mind-reader/whatever, but falling asleep while someone drills 56 stars into your face? Come on now. I think we can all agree this is preposterous. The argument could potentially be made that the artists should have maybe not tattooed the hell out of an 18-year-old’s face, but her reaction seems downright pathological. If any of this is true. Which I don’t think it is.

[Craigslist] And finally, here is a HOT NEW TREND that will surely be hitting a city near you, soon! As the RECESSION continues and people can NO LONGER AFFORD TATTOOS, how will they manage to keep inking themselves into UNEMPLOYABILITY? The answer, of course, is PRESCRIPTION DRUGS:


63 thoughts on “Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 16, 2009)

  1. you must be joking, on all accounts. on the face tattoo account, on the hep disaster account, and especially on the craigslist account. the stupidity never ends.

    it makes me feel smart.


  2. How do you sleep through getting 52 tattooes… ON YOUR FACE?!

    The answer- you don’t.

  3. Wow I just saw a Bing add about “tattoo risks” and the add said “Asserting Your Individuality” then a new thing slides in “Or Contracting Hepatitis” and then I see the dirty tattoo shop in Canada… And I really like to question people sometimes… wow

  4. haha I don’t see how that star thing could be true, there is NO WAY she fell asleep, not unless she has narcolepsy or something.

  5. The dutch (original) story about the girl getting 56 stars adds a bit more detail to it…
    She came in the shop wanting only 3 dots next to her eye but the tattooartist convinced her that stars would be nicer. He then started drawing the whole thing and stencilled it on her face (if she only wanted 3 stars, why hasn’t she stopped the guy after seeing the large stencil).
    She then only wanted the upper part being done, which are definitely more than 3 stars.
    She claimed not to have felt that part and that she fell asleep or something like that (she was’t even sure of that) during all the stars that followed, the ones she wants to get rid off (weird coincidence, how do you even fall asleep during a tattoo? a facial tattoo?!)


  6. reply on #6 that’s the true story but i just want to ad something for the “non” beievers , but at first can you even think of falling asleep when a zooming machine is pinching needles in your face ?! , second first she claims she only wanted 3 dots that he turned into stars , but she was fine with it ( this was in the papers ), but on the news she said , he made a half face stencil and she only wanted the part above her eyebrow , but are those 3 stars ???, no i counted it’s 13 stars ?! , and third even if she claims to only have it done above the eyebrow , you do feel when he goes under the eye or what ?! , but the thing where she totally ruined it with is when she said she fell asleep during the sesion… no way is that possible … one thing i geuss isn’t wrote in here , and that’s the thing here father gave her the tattoo as a present , but he wasn’t at the shop when teh tattoo was done, and what i sugest is , she tought it looked cool with facial tattooing , and tought when she did a little more she deffinitly looked cool , but it wasn’t so good after all , and she also was stuck up with the mad father , and she just made the whole thing up ….

  7. “Jules Clocher, a Belgian psychologist, said: ‘The trauma this girl must be feeling is indescribable. She feels like a circus freak – and no wonder, because she looks like one.’”

    Wow. A psychologist calling a patient a circus freak, quality!

  8. The story (56 stars) is not a hoax that much is sure. I live in Belgium and have seen it on the news etc (videos are on the internet too)

    As for her story it’s bullshit as it changes about 3 times per different article (falling asleep,language barrier, wrong stencil,hypnosis,drugs etc) as for the tattoo artist in my opinion it was not the best of judgement to do that much facial work on an (otherwise not tattooed or modified) 18 year old, but that is just my opinion ofcourse.

  9. oh forgot something , an other tattooartist i geuss his name was tattoo bertje , said : ” if it was up to me i would forbid facial tattoos in belgium immediatly ” WTF !!!! what kind of an artist are you if you say you want to forbid a type of tattooing ?! if that’s what tattoos mean for the guy , he deffinitly isn’t a good artist….
    also every news on tv is in some way calling the tattooartist from the shop where it all heappend a freak … geuss why ? : because he has multiple labret rings i geuss about 10 at 4 mm … verry large stretched nostrils , and full facial tattoos …. once again , the whole look on tattooartists and tattoos is going back into the old bad days here in belgium ….

  10. I honestly believe that girl is making it all up because her boyfriend and dad flipped their lid once they saw her face. There was an article that said she wanted her because it’s a ‘tradition’ in that all her family members have tattoos, so I’m wondering what type of tattoos they have if it was not out of the norm to get her first ones on her face.

  11. WANTED: straight edge tattooist interested in pain medication. Please contact the land of make-believe.

    … can someone please forward this to NYPD so they can sting this moron?

  12. Honestly? I don’t think it’s the place of the tattoo artist to evaluate the judgment of their client. They’re not paid enough to be counselors. So if she had asked for all those stars, I wouldn’t blame him at all if he said, “Right this way…” and did it. However, I would also include a description of each tattoo in my release form. That’s just me.
    If this is true, it sounds like daddy’s little girl wanted to get a little rebellious and fell apart when she couldn’t handle the reaction.:/

  13. I’ve almost fallen asleep while I’ve been getting tattooed,but that was because my artist makes me feel totally comfortable,and having a long session tends to exhaust me.I don’t have any facial tattoos,but I’m pretty sure if someone is putting needles near my face (especially around my eyes)I wouldn’t fall asleep.What an idiot.
    And I think Moonshin will get what’s coming to them.No one else is to blame but themselves for the crappy record keeping,and the health inspectors clearly need to REALLY pick up their game,as now clients are possibly suffering the consequences.I wonder how this will all pan out?

  14. I call bulshit on the princess who got stars on her face. I have my eye brows done and have other work done to my body and personally unless you’re put under I find it hard to believe she would fall a sleep. shes just mad because no one likes it

  15. I think they all should be put into the loony bin…. exhem…oh and…..AHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAAAAA

  16. ok.. so she went in for 3 small stars… and by the time she was in position for these 3 SMALL stars she managed to fall asleep? How is it possible to fall asleep for 56 star on ya face.. last time i checked you can do a lot of things while getting a tattoo…. falling sleep however… when the tat is on ya face.. right next to ya ear with the annoying buzzing sound ain’t one of them!

    I think she wanted 56 stars, got them looked at herself and realize ‘oh shap i look like crap!!!’ and the artist… why would he tattoo such a tattoo on such a young persons face? ain’t artist suppose 2 be like maybe you should think about this b4 u do it…. its gonna be there forever?

    I calll BS on the whole thing, i really hope its a joke.


  18. I would ask what the fuck is the world coming to but, I guess it goes without saying.
    My stomach hurts now.

  19. The Tattoo Box? In my city (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) we have really good tattoo studio called “Tattoo Box”. But it is very good studio with very professional artists.

  20. Heh the star face made australian news tonight too….seems she just couldnt handle the reaction from the relatives and created a story.

  21. Don’t think anybody has pointed out yet that the stars form what looks like the number 3 on her face. Which could indicate that something got lost in translation, but she saw the stencil on her face (and if she didn’t, then the tattooist IS somewhat negligent) and there is no way she fell asleep, so I agree with those saying she is making it up to get out of trouble with her family :/ sucks for the tattooist if that is the case, but then… I dunno… why would he do this to an 18 year old, when there was a language barrier, and there was any chance he wasn’t 100% sure what she wanted? I see stupidity all round in this case, to be honest.

  22. Alma, I’ve spoken to him both on MSN and over on the BodyMod website, I’m billingual, he was always more than fluent in both French and English.

  23. Have to say I agree with Almax, of course the girl is making this shit up but I’m pretty sure Naresh @ Flaming 8 wouldn’t undertake this sort of thing. I’ve seen him refuse to tattoo guys that ‘aren’t all there’ before now.

  24. Yeah, #30, I’ve since read his statement, and seen a few more hyped up articles in the mainstream press, and have to say I’m far more on his side than hers. But I still have some objections to this type of work on someone this young, which I am sure most of you will want to hate on me for, but there it is.

  25. You’re right, tattooing a young person’s face can be questionable, but if it’s what the person wants, and their father is there with them…

  26. indeed, that tattoo bertje that replied to this by saying facial tattooing should be forbidden says this because it would take away a persons identy. Should we go forth and ban plastic surgery in the face as well? cause i believe that’s a procedure that changes your identity as well, TATTOO BERTJE my words to you: YOU SUCK ASS YOU PEACE OF SHIT!

  27. People WANT a lot of things, but often what they NEED is protection from their own stupidity XD I do understand her reaction, to be honest. I still feel self conscious sometimes about my sleeves when people stare. Lucky thing is I can cover them up if I’m not in the mood for being a freakshow. She can’t. This is why I back people up who say you should have a lot of tattoo work already before going for the face or hands – I think many people need the mental preparation for how people react to tattoos in the ‘real world’ before diving in the deep end.

  28. hahahahaha…i know it no funny but how silly do u have to be theirs no way she fell asleep…well at lst their black and easy to lazer off…….silly cow who would go to a studio that already been in the news witha bad name i lol’ed like av never lol’ed befro

  29. omg what an idoit i think ppl who have body suits cant fall alseep let alone some 1 like her who dosent look like she has many tattoos

    and besides i agree with the tattoo artist her bf etc ovilsey went crazy so she thought

    errr errr i no ill sue and use the money for laser

  30. They totally mentioned that star chick on the news this morning… ugh this just makes tattoos and body modification look even worse to people. Why do they only talk about the dumbasses!

  31. the BBC UK news website have a video up about the girl with the stars. part of it shows a photo the tattoo artist took of her after she had the tattoo done in his portfolio. if you’re not happy with the work why the hell would she allow him to take a photo of it to put in his portfolio??


  32. ’cause she was only unhappy once everyone around her told her what a dumb fuck she was for wanting a facial tattoo like that. :\

  33. I think it’s a scam that her family’s in on, probably her dad’s idea. Get her to get all those stars, then make money by suing the tattoo artist, charging for interviews and appearances, get their 15 minutes of fame. Her dad probably got her to go along with it by telling her she could get them lasered off after they made their money.

  34. For what it’s worth, I’ve fallen asleep during each and every one of my tattoos. I know I’m a freak but it’s possible what she’s saying.

  35. “For what it’s worth, I’ve fallen asleep during each and every one of my tattoos. I know I’m a freak but it’s possible what she’s saying.”

    IDisagree. She claims she just wanted 3 little stars by her eye. It’d only take an artist about 15 minutes to do that. She’d have had to have fallen asleep the minute she sat down.

  36. maybe the inker in belgium used Ed’s oxys to drug that girl. if only the health dept had done thier job!
    this news all sucks!

    but, i do support barter.
    money is a dirty tool of the rich establishment.

  37. I saw her on the news a few minutes ago. Now she says she fell asleep and woke up from pain as her nose was being tattooed.

  38. @ 56 stars: we were having a debate about it at a4e today and we all decided she wanted to piss off daddy, or basically though it was a good idea at the time, and when daddy went mad (and the boyfriend) she suddenly decided it was all the tattooists fault! OR….its a hoax for her to get money!!

  39. she thought she could pull off the Kat Von D style. Well hun… laser for you…

  40. 47.: As much as I’ve heared here in France, you’re right. Dad and the grown up girlie went to tattooing her face woth three stars. She rediceded… “Hey more stars look nice”… Dad didn’t like the idea… She did not wanted to be blaimed… Chaep ugly story…

  41. re the 56 stars

    either it’s an hoax (and it’s not because you see it on tv that it’s not), a stupid one as it makes tattooers look like the typa pple do do things like that.

    or it’s not.

    and if the latter, all the parties involved must be fuckin retarded. As an adult tattoo artist with the slightest sense of responsibility, you will NOT do such a thing even if asked. As an 18 yr old you’re stupid anyway. Everybody’s stupid at 18. Hahah

  42. I’m personally offended by this whole situation and how bad it’s making the tattoo and body modification industry appear. I think this girl, no matter how young and naive, deserves to be marred for life. As for the questionable ethics of her artist, I believe he should have used better discretion but the fact of the matter is that it was agreed upon and he doesn’t owe her a damn thing.

    This type of bullshit does not deserve any kind of media attention.

  43. I wanted to get some small stars behind my ear and on my ear and was told my local artists that they wouldn’t do it because I didn’t have enough visible tattoos already and it was risky when looking for jobs. I have also heard the same folks denying neck tattoos (except for the nape which hair could cover) until they thought you earned it by having more visible tattoos. I still don’t know how I feel about it, I see their point and see how they want to protect themsleves and others – but I also would not like to be treated like a kid (I’m in my 30′s with a half sleeve). I also know if she had gone to the shop I go to, she wouldn’t have any tattoos on her face.

    Craigslist is messed up anyhow, so many ads that are fake anyhow, might as well be a gossip rag.

  44. holy shit, so after reading the article and seeing the name Rouslan i was wondering if it was the same person. I KNOW THIS GUY, i was a member of bodymod.org when he was still on it, he was a nice guy but obviously stupid enough to do facial work on an eighteen year old girl….she’s lying her ass off about this

  45. In my opinion, with the economy being the way it is, a paycheck will sometimes need to come before ethics. It’s not a tattooer’s job to play mom and dad.

    If anything, charge an outlandish price, and if they are dumb enough to pay, and dumb enough to get it, THAT’S LIFE!

  46. that girl needs a slap across her stupid starry mug.
    just because everyone you know has a tattoo doesn’t mean you should get one across your face! especially if your not going to like it. dont blame the artist then make up bullshit stores! surely is obvious to everyone she is making it all up? none sleeps though a tattoo unless you’ve been taking drugs/drinking heavily and that’s braking rule of the disclaimer she was probably made to sign.

  47. GeenStijl claims it’s a hoax created by Belgian radio station MNM. The Kimberlizer was created by the advertisement company which also launched MNM. Apparently the Kimberlizer website has been registered since the end of april. And “coincidentally” the logo of MNM is a….. star.
    Kimberley still claims it’s not a joke or a stunt. We’ll see how this ends.

    For everyone who can read Dutch: http://www.geenstijl.nl/mt/archieven/2009/06/sterrenmeisje_is_hoax_klaar_ov.html

  48. The face tattoo story is true, I’m belgian and the story has been all over the news (including some very hilarious interviews).
    By the way: her native tongue is Dutch and not French.
    She is indeed FULL of crap, not to mention the biggest idiot you’ve ever seen.

  49. to be fair the hole star thing is madness, but noone has though ,maybe this twat in the news (the girl) pushed for it, and the tattooist has then to ask them selves “do i do it nicely or do i say no and have them go to some shoddy back street place and have it done poorly?” , just look at the moonshin story…….. still this is bad for ppl with tattoos, but it wont stop me having m,y face tattooed, perhaps this may scare some wanna be tattoo scratchers back to their day jobs in the factories………

  50. I think there’s a conspiracy here…

    Think about it. Prescription drugs. Falling asleep while getting your face inked. A LOT. My bet is, “Ed” is actually the starry faced girl, who decided to pay mr. Toumaniantz in NIEC PILLZ. Of course, the three stars weren’t all that demanding, so they agreed he’d only recieve half the pill jar as payment. Obviously they both instantly ingested their share, which made Kimberley fall asleep, and Rouslan was totally tripping out and seeing patterns in everything. What she has on her face is actually the zodiac “synthetic drugs”.

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