Times are a changin’

To think, it was only 6 years ago that the world first met Rick Genest.  Looking back at his first couple of ModBlog appearances, you can see back then people thought that his dramatic facial tattoos were either incredible, or incredibly stupid.  Here are some choice quotes.

Is it just me or does he look like a full of acne, russian looking nerd?  I mean, thats a great work by the artist, but common..  that guy just looks ugly “whearing” this.

Well, everyone’s gotta be unique somehow. While it might be fine to say “Fuck society” society will fuck you back. Big balls? I guess.

I don’t care what kind of crap I get for saying this but I think this is a really dumb tattoo. I know everyone can do what they want with their body but everyone is also intitled to their own opinion, and mine is negative towards this. When I first saw the photos, before reading anything I hoped so much that this was just a cool halloween mask someone painted on. To my dismay it is a tattoo. No doubt the tattoo is done pretty well but come on! It just plain looks stupid. I sincerely hope this individual knows what he has done to himself and is ready for a life time of negative feedback in many different forms. Yes, he may have support from the body modification community but he most certainly will not have support anywhere in the outside world and I am afraid for what his future looks like. . Hopefully it is more positive and safe than what I am suspecting.

And my personal favorite…

wat a moron, his whole life is ruined

Well, it’s 2012, and we all know that Rick has gone on to great success within the world of fashion.  In fact, he’s become so successful he now has his own action figure!

From Tonnerdoll.com..

Here is a peek at our 2012 SDCC Exclusive: Zombie Boy. If you don’t know Rick Genest visit his website rickgenest.com to find out more about him and like the Rick Genest Facebook fan page. Rick came into larger global awareness when Lady Gaga featured him and his tattoo styling in her “Born This Way” video (below). You can read his personal story here, on this website.

Not only is this doll – the hashtag #zombiedoll on twitter – a SDCC 2012 exclusive (our only SDCC 2012 exclusive and limited to 500 pieces), Rick himself will be at our booth 4149 for two signings on July Friday 13th, one at 11am and another at 3pm.

It’s pretty amazing the journey that Rick has gone though, and for those that found his tattoos to be amazing back then, be happy to know that you were right, and the naysayers were so incredibly wrong.

Oh, and if you happen to be in San Diego this weekend, pick one up for me.

24 thoughts on “Times are a changin’

  1. Well, I was rather ambiguous about Rick’s tatroo choices, but when I foud out he was in Lady Gaga’s video (not that I’m a fan of Lady Gaga) and became really famous as a model I realised he was probably going to make a ton of money… So I thought, what the hey?
    Our society generally views extreme types as negative, one is supposed to conform to the norm…. but we need this kind of extreme to remind us how relative everything is. Compared to Zombie Boy I, with my magenta-coloured hair, one upper back tattoo and a few facial piercings am relatively normal, I can pretty much do whatever I want and rant about the “bad choices” Rick made in my opinion, and still he is a succesful person (as am I, by the way).
    The lesson to take away from this is quite simple… Normalcy is relative and unimportant. Even if you think you’re the most freaky person around, there will be someone more freaky, and even if you consider yourself freaky or abnormal, compared to someone else you wil be as average as fuck.

  2. One suspects that as soon as the ‘fashion world’ and the likes of ‘La gaga’ have had what they want from him they will drop him and move on to the next fad. That seems to be how these things work, here today and obscure tomorrow.

  3. While in this case the naysayers were wrong, you have to admit that he got an incredibly lucky, one-in-a-million chance. For most, getting tattoos of this nature would’ve been a poor life choice. Even the one visible-to-the-public tattoo that I have has caught me quite a bit of flak. It sounds like he’ll have something to fall back on should this fame streak run dry. But most people who opt to do this don’t end up in fashion shows with Lady Gaga…

    I always considered his ink a very brave choice, and I’m very glad that it worked out for him. I’m always happy to see modified people being accepted in more mainstream arenas. But his case is an outlier and it would be irresponsible to say otherwise.

  4. I’m happy that he got so famous. Why? Because it’s helping “normalize” body art, whether people realize it or not. A male model covered in tattoos head to toe helps pave the way for people like me to not be turned down for jobs because of a few benign tats on my arms, or a few facial piercings. Even if he’s a passing fad, it’s still forcing society to acknowledge the modded community.

  5. The tattoo is sick, but I keep picturing this guy at 50 after his career has died down, as his skin becomes loose and wrinkly and the tattoo becomes distorted, his grandchildren would probably be terrified of him.

  6. No they wouldn’t be. They would have been raised knowing him and his appearance and probably with a lot more tolerance than that. Children are taught to fear. Even children he doesn’t know wouldn’t be afraid unless they have parents that teach them to fear people who look different. Most children are simply inquisitive and fascinated. Ones own children (and grandchildren) simply love the adults who exist in their lives to care for them. Who’s to say he even wants children that would then enable him to have grandchildren. Either way that they’d fear him is utterly false.

    After his career has died down, if it does, hopefully he’ll have made some smart choices while his career is what it is and it won’t matter money wise.

  7. My parents taught me well, and when I was a small child I was taught the people that look as anomalous as this guy [not that there is anything wrong with it] are people you stay away from. He seems like a nice guy but you got to admit that “normal” people don’t even produce thoughts such as, “I think I will tattoo my entire body to look like a badass skeleton” [and again, I embrace abnormality as an adult in my friends and myself]. I’m sure he gets a lot of stares from kids at the grocery store. I must repeat that the tattoo itself is magnificent, I would never get something like that though. The fact that it is so extravagant is why he was in Lady Gaga’s video. I bet you there are quite a few copycats trying to get tatted up like this and actually are ruining themselves. This guy’s got committment, I’ll give him that.

  8. I seriously want this action figure as well. I thing I could actually turn it into a pick up line: “Hi, I have a Zombie Guy action figure, wanna play with me?”
    I dream about the day I’ll get my own doll [a Barbie would be fine for me]: a tattoed accountant…

  9. It makes me sad to see the body mod community post the same shit that gets said to the rest of us all the time. I only have stretched lobes, a nostril and a vertical labret, but people still feel the need to tell me that I won’t get a job. My biggest tattoo is on my leg, but people still like to comment on how I’m going to regret it, or it’ll look bad in a few years.

    I don’t care! It’s my body, and I’m only here for a short period of time. I might as well looks like I want to and enjoy it while it lasts.

    So rock on, Zombie Boy. Your tattoos are lovely, and I’m glad that you have the courage to get such a tattoo. I sincerely hope you’re happy, and that life is wonderful for you.

  10. “Despite his recent ascent onto the world stage, Genest believes in maintaining humbleness, thrift, simplicity and authenticity. Not unlike actor James Franco, it’s very apparent that Genest cannot be swayed or coerced into anything that doesn’t speak to him. He isn’t impressed by the fame machine and has a ‘IV drip of cool factor’ that lends to an almost aloof sense of composure.”



  11. I always assume people who have made the choice to tattoo their face probably don’t want your shit kicker jobs anyway:p From any I’ve seen they’re either self employed or don’t want to live as part of ‘normal’ society. So saying ‘they’ll never get a job lookin like that’ is usually irrelevant… that being said, I noticed our local maccas has started employing kids with neck tattoos, so while not an ideal job, I have to assume work places are relaxing a bit (and at least the kids are making their own money)…

  12. “I noticed our local maccas has started employing kids with neck tattoos”

    Ouch 🙂

  13. Rick Genest is a beautiful guy. I dont think hes actually doing too badly, seeing as hes actually pretty lucky to be alive. It puts it all in perspective really.

  14. :p hey I thought this was a big step haha. I know many chains that have anti piercing and anti (visable) tattoo policies.

  15. bit of a strange way to do things thow by the looks of things he started off the zombie/skeleton tattoo theme with his face and sorta worked his way down from there wich is some real comitment. but the one thing i never really understood was people who say stuff like “good luck getting a job” its like well if the person didnt have a steady job allready how the fuck did thay pay for all there tattoos in the first

  16. I don’t know actually, seems his “popularity” and notoriety in the public eye seemingly hasn’t filtered through to society in the UK or at least in the majority of places I’ve been.

    And I don’t want anyone taking it the wrong way as this is just my observations. But it seems only the hipster generation seems to actually notice him, the and I hate to use it “normal” crowd barely batted an eyelid at him. Seems it was a few articles on the fashion show and music video, then it faded away just like that over here (or what I could tell). It never really lead any impact into changing the way or even slightly….least like I said how I see it….I could just be looking at it all wrong.

    I do notice thought the difference in comments and looks I get based purely on dress sense though. For example if I am wearing cream sweatshirt, normal jeans and sandals and hair loose then suddenly everything is ignored and im a regular person. But if I’m out in the long leather trench coat, boots and the “A-typical” goth kinda look, then its suddenly seen and I am scum of society and suddenly unemployable and everything that goes along with it.

    Eh…people are funny creatures haha

    I will say though, while his ink is damn impressive and my hats off to his artist(s) and that video he did for the makeup advert was even more impressive, I have read a couple articles where occasionally he comes of a little bit of a douche and a little self centred. Though apologies I may of read what was said wrong, I only mention it as I read a couple articles awhile back from Lucky Diamond and he had similar kinda traits.

  17. he did indeed get lucky…i hope he puts some of his earnings into some stocks, for when his ride comes to an end, like all things do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *