ModBlog News of the Week: Sept 24th, 2010

It’s been a busy week in the world of modified news, with a lot of old stories getting followed up on, as well as people losing jobs the believe it or not, are tied to tattoos and piercings, but not in the ways you may think.  Of course, the week wouldn’t be complete with some celebrity-type news, however, most of it isn’t just gossip about some celebutant’s new tattoo.

Well, lets get things started off with a little good clean fun.

You may have heard in the news that a police officer was fired for posting a picture on his facebook account of his patrol car being washed at a bikini car wash.  Well it turns out, it wasn’t just any ordinary bikini car wash.  The event was being put on by a South Carolina tattoo studio, which called the car wash, “Tits for Tats”.  Classy, I know.  The money was going to charity, so we can let the name slide.  As the story goes, the male officer took a picture of four of the ladies washing the cruiser.  When it was discovered online, the officer lost his job as it was against policy to allow a scantily clad woman to pose next to an official vehicle (even if the officer was off-duty).  Now here’s where the story gets interesting.


A female Berkeley County, S.C., sheriff’s deputy was not disciplined, despite the fact that she was actually in a bikini participating in the scrubbing of cars.  Apparently, police departments don’t have similar policies concerning their female employees moonlighting as the center of attention in bikini events.

So with that in mind, which of these young ladies do you think is the off-duty officer?  If it helps, the event was co-hosted by a strip club, but only one of the dancers were participating.  The rest were management and friends of the tattoo studio.

Keep on reading to find out who else had job problems, as well as some follow ups to past stories, and a picture that may make you think twice about ever having plastic surgery.

So while the officer in South Carolina was fired not as a direct result from anything modification related, a woman in England found out that people who are supposed to help others find jobs, can be exceedingly biased towards someone with piercings and tattoos.


Hayley O’Neil, 23, – who also has 20 body piercings – says was also advised to ”stand behind a wall” when she asked a job centre official what post she could apply for.  She eventually left the Job centre plus centre in Blackburn Lancs in tear without any interviewers lined up after the advisor concluded: ”Who would hire you looking like that?”.  Miss O’Neil, who got her first tattoo from her mother as an 18th birthday present said: ”I just felt so humiliated. I couldn’t believe what this guy was saying.  ”I said I could take the the piercings out but they look a lot worse when they are out.”

“The guy said: ‘on first impressions do you think anyone would hire you?’ He said: ‘look at it this way if you were to stand behind a wall – or put a paper bag over your face do you think you would have a better chance?’

Well that’s a good piece of advice to follow.  If there is the possibility that you may not get a job based on your personal appearance, it’s best to put a bag over your head.  Seriously though, while some places of employment may not exactly be accepting of facial piercings, to tell someone to stick a bag on their head to get a job is a little harsh.  Especially considering there are a lot of people out there who are much more heavily modified than her that are holding down jobs without issue.

Of course, not everyone has this difficulty when it comes to their workplace.  In fact, in the case of Billy Gibby (now known as Hostgator Dotcom), he makes his living by getting tattooed.


Gibby’s face now features color tattoos for adult websites PornHub, Cam4, HotMovies, plus HipHopBling and several others. Three Anchorage companies have ponied up cash to advertise on Gibby—Liberty Tax Service, Chilkoot Charlie’s, and Gunrunners. And he’s been featured in magazines like Rebel Ink and Bizarre. (Gibby uses a sort of tattoo-covering makeup when he has to go to, say, parent-teacher conferences at his kids’ school.)

It didn’t end there though: About a month ago Billy Gibby legally changed his name to Hostgator Dotcom, for a fee of course. “The judge asked me if I was changing my name to avoid debts,” Hostgator says. “I said, no judge, I’m doing this to pay off my debts.”

To be fair Hostgator is also an amateur boxer, so he has that to fall back on when he runs out of room.

In other news, you might recall the story that circulated this summer about the group of boys that bullied a 14-year-old to get tattooed.  Since this past summer the boys have been placed on trial, and the jury has rendered a verdict in the case of the ringleader of the group.

The ringleader of teens who bullied a 14-year-old boy into being tattooed on his butt was sentenced this morning to six months in jail.

Blake Vannest, 18, of 233 Garvins Falls Road, apologized to the victim’s family prior to being sentenced in Merrimack County Superior Court. The boy, who must undergo five laser treatments to remove the lewd tattoo, did not attend the sentencing.  Vannest, dressed in orange jail wear and his brushed blond hair in need of a cut, pleaded guilty to simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child. A felony charge of criminal restraint was dropped.

The boy who got tattooed will still have to undergo a few more sessions of laser treatment to remove the tattoo, but it’s good to know that this type of thing didn’t go unpunished.

As a quick follow-up to last week’s story about the young girl being suspended for having her nostril pierced, it seems that the Church of Body Modification is still not being recognized by the principal.  An offer was put forward to the girl, and I think you’ll probably understand why she refused it.

School policy says the rule can be waived for a student’s “sincerely held religious belief.” The compromise offered by school leaders this week said Ariana could return to Clayton High School if she covers the piercing with a bandage until she graduates four years from now, said Katy Parker, an attorney for the ACLU, which has taken on the case.  ”We don’t think she has an obligation to do it,” Parker said. “We think it’s unreasonable to ask a student to wear a Band-Aid on her face for the next four years.”

I tend to agree with the ACLU on this one.  Its interesting to think what would have happened if the girl belonged to another religion where nostril piercings are standard practice.  But because the principal doesn’t believe she holds her religious beliefs seriously, the girl is now facing expulsion.

A similar story also popped up this week from Florida, where a girl was suspended from school and forced to change to an alternative learning center because an administrator thought that her tattoo was gang related, even though the girl claims the smiling/crying drama masks are representative of her twin sisters.  The girl previously attended the school without hassle even while sporting tattoos dedicated to her parents.

In convention news, the International London Tattoo Convention started up today and will continue all weekend long.  Taking place at The Tattoo Dock, ticket prices range from £20-25, and the convention is open from noon until 2am on Saturday, and noon to 7:30pm Sunday.

Before we get to the celebrity news, I found this interesting article from that discusses the usage of tattoos and piercings in the bible, and how many people have taken some of the quotes out of context in order to discourage others from getting modified.  It’s definitely worth a quick read, especially if you’ve ever been faced with someone who believes your choices will make you “spend an eternity in hell”.  My favorite part was where the author points out that if you trim your beard, you’ll suffer worse than if you got a tattoo.

So, it’s finally time for the celebrity “news”.  This week, we’ll start off with singer Lily Allen.  It seems that after listening to the radio one day, she got infuriated with what she heard, and decided to tweet about it.

Lily, 25, tweeted: ‘Listening to lots of small minded people on radio 2 slagging off people with tattoos.

‘Get a life you silly curtain twitching snobs.’

Can someone please explain the proper usage of “silly curtain twitching snobs” as I’d love to be able to use it in an argument one day.

If you went out to see the new Ben Affleck directed film “The Town” you may notice that one of the tough guys in the film is sporting a distinct tattoo.


McLaughlin, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound, fourth-generation longshoreman from the square mile, plays Rusty, henchman to actor Pete Postlethwaite’s (“In the Name of the Father”) villain Fergus Colm.  Intimidating stature aside, McLaughlin said it was his unique tattoo that caught Affleck’s eye.

An outline of the commonwealth of Massachusetts – filled in with the colors of the Irish flag and Charlestown’s zip code – covers McLaughlin’s right forearm.  According to McLaughlin, Affleck loved the tat so much, the studio flew the Townie out to Los Angeles for a close-up of the ink job.

Well, this should give some hope to the woman from the earlier story.  Mr.McLaughlin was able to get a good job because of his tattoo, so I’m sure she’ll be able to get a job without having to put a paper bag over her head.

I mentioned earlier about a story that will make you reconsider plastic surgery, well this is it.  You may remember Pete Burns from the 80s band Dead or Alive, famous for the song You Spin Me Round (YouTube link here for the earworm).  Well Pete recently won a settlement in a case against his plastic surgeon for a horribly botched procedure.  Last week, Pete was out on the town showing off his newest modifications, a series of microdermals along his eyebrows and cheekbones.  If you don’t remember what Pete looked like before, the article has a nice side-by-side comparison for you.


A year ago Pete won £450,000 in damages from his cosmetic surgeon Dr Maurizio Viel who the singer claimed left him ‘suicidal’ after several botched lip implants between 2000 and 2004.  ‘As I looked in the mirror it felt like everything I had worked for was ruined due to the disabling injuries I suffered caused by Dr Maurizio Viel,’ Burns said in September last year.  ’I am just glad the case is now over.’  ’It is a terrible experience living with the trauma and worry of injury and disability and to have to re-live and recount the details and circumstances of how your injuries happened for the purposes of evidence for the court.’  He added: ‘It has taken away my life and my career. I saw doctors in London who said the only option was to amputate my lips. I was suicidal.’

Thankfully Pete is still with us, and has a single coming out sometime soon.  And it’s good to see that he’s moved forward with his life and is continuing to get modified (albeit in a much less drastic manner).

So that’s it for this week.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and I’ll see everyone back here Monday.

Oh, and if you come across a news story you think should be in next week’s news round-up, just click here to submit the link.

20 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: Sept 24th, 2010

  1. re: “silly curtain twitching snobs”, this would refer to the English practice of watching and judging your neighbors from behind drawn curtains and hastily closing the small gap when spotted.

    Hope that helps.

  2. I think the cop is the one in the blue shorts. She’s got a cop look about her.

    My new favourite term is “silly curtain twitching snobs.” I know so many people who are aptly described by this statement.

  3. I surely hope Pete is transsexual rather than gay, if not the lips are the least of his problem!!. he looks like a chick! strange…

  4. maybe if pete goes even further with body modification like facial tattooing he might look better, sortof i don’t know maybe

  5. #5, way to be an asshole.

    The difference would be that cops are allowed to be, you know, real people off duty, whereas bringing a state vehicle, which is never really “off duty” to something like that and taking pictures is just rude. Why would he do that, anyway? “Lol, look, I can get hot chicks with my cop car”? That’s definitely not someone I want being responsible for me!

    Now, had the off-duty female officer been at the car wash in her uniform or with her cruiser, I think she would have been treated the same.

  6. Christ, americans! why is it rude to take pictures of pretty girls in front of a state vehicle??
    What’s so offensive about showing a minimal amount of naked skin? And why should it be irresponsible to have your car washed by girls IN BIKINIS ?
    Nr. 6′s comment, as well as this whole article, really really seriously confuse me and make me sad.

  7. Hey Rob, are we actually able to submit news at the moment, or are the mail servers still down? I’ve been getting “email error” messages when I try to submit news since Jen put the notice up on ModBlog last week.

  8. @Botexty: Yep, the servers are still down, not sure how it is affecting the news submissions, but I suppose they’re tied together. If you keep getting the error message, just send me the links in IAM.

    @Ace: I was just going off the gender used in the article as well as other sources. I also looked around and Pete uses male gender pronouns on his own website when referencing himself.

  9. Hey, any errors like that should be reported to [email protected] and it’s really helpful to actually include the error message rather than just say you’re getting one. Just for future reference. Thanks guys. :)

  10. job centre staff are asreholes at the best of times. luckly mostly all the people ive come to meet working for the jobcentre ahve been nice, and quite frankly, dont care about my mods, or spent time compairing and showing off mods, right in the middle of the job centre or all places

    in short, some people are just arseholes when it comes to the unemployed modified, but im guessing she applied for a job AT the jobcentre, whitch changes abit, they seam to have some kind of dress code, if you dont fit the dress code, and you dont want to change you looks to fit said dress code (understandable) fine, move on and keep looking for work, its not the end of the world.

  11. No gandy I think she was there just to find interviews for other jobs, not actually AT the jobcentre itself..

    I’ve hit the same kinda things as her although to be fair I do have a rather large piece of facial inkwork, but my troubles stemmed more from idiot advisors constantly telling me I’m getting no jobs and failing interviews based on my appearence. To which I reply that I’m NOT getting any interviews based on my lack of skills and others who ARE skilled beating me to it….how can I fail an interview on appearence if I never get the interview in the first place? haha…

    seriously though they are so retarded sometimes in that place but thankfully amongst the dickheads you do get the ones who DO help you…and I just hope that girl went back again and just tried again.

  12. As a former Jobcentre Plus member of staff, I had to take out my facial piercings every day and cover my ears.. not because I was told, but because I felt it was right. You have to portray a professional image as you are representing the company, and I felt my piercings would distract from my job.

    It may suck, but unfortunately people do not understand body mods and if you are claiming benefits you should be doing all you can to make yourself employable. Unfortunately you can’t always be exactly who you want to be in life…. not if you wanna pay your bills anyway.

  13. ha the job centre doesnt have a very good rep all through england! the one in my town has crackheads hanging around outside it and no one wants to go there

  14. Just because you have modifications doesn’t mean you are not professional! I think as long as your mods are tasteful- they fit nicely and are clean- I don’t see why you should have to cover or take any of them out for a job! If they can’t except you for who you are then they don’t deserve you to work for them! It’s just a bunch of prejudice bullshit! For the most part, at any job I’ve worked for I’ve gotten many compliments on my mods by customers. (I am heavily tattooed and have a good number of piercings too)

    People shouldn’t judge anyone for their appearance, they should judge you for your work habits and personality! I know the world isn’t perfect and people do judge others by their appearance, but that’s not how it should be and if the modified just gives in by taking all their mods out or covering them up you’re just giving into to all that is wrong with the world! I understand that some people are desperate for a job or money and sometimes you gotta do something that you don’t want to do to put bread on the table but I personally will never cover up who I am for some corporate asshole! My mods are very near and dear to my heart! They help make me who I am.

    I am outraged how cruel, rude, and inappropriate some people are just because they don’t like how someone looks or because that person is unique. I think the world would be a very boring and depressing place without the beauty of tattoos, piercings, etc.

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