'We are the most tattooed couple in Britain!' ' When mum-of-two Jacqui, 44, decided to celebrate her divorce by getting a tattoo, she fell for her tattoo artist, Curly, 48. And as their relationship grew, so did her body art.
Whether it's a subconscious effort to look like their partners, or an intentional show of unity to the outside world, many loved-up spouses end up mirroring each other's style. But Oxford couple Jacqui and Curly Moore have taken the copycat fashion to the extreme. Both of their entire bodies, and even part of their faces, have been given the His & Hers tattoo look - making them the most inked couple in Britain.
'If we're on a beach in swimwear, people stare at us from miles around because we're blue-looking people!' admits Curly. 'I don't like the phrase "addicted to tattoos" as it implies a lack of control, when it's not like that at all. We just really like them. And if you're going to do something, I say do it properly.' Getting intimate The couple met in 2003 when Jacqui, then recently divorced, came into Lionel's Tattoo Studio in Oxford, where Curly worked. She asked him to design a dragonfly on her back.
'I went to get a new tattoo to symbolise my freedom and the new chapter in my life,' explains Jacqui. 'I'd never been attracted to men with tattoos before, but we got chatting, and were both single, so we went for a drink and hit it off.
'It sounds cheesy, but we get on so well and are very similar. It only took one night for me to realise I was attracted to him. It just felt like we had known each other for years. We've been together ever since.' Jacqui, who works in an upmarket florist, and is mum to daughters Kristi, 25, and Fern, 17, already had several inkings when she met Curly. But as their romance developed, she asked her lover - who is dad to Louis, 24, and Molly, 22 - to work on more and more of her body.
'I never planned on getting my whole body tattooed, it's something that's grown from being with Curly. I've got more interested in it and actually enjoy the process - apart from the pain!
'I now have 95 per cent of my body tattooed - my breasts, my bottom and "other bits",' she giggles. 'All tattoos are painful, but the ribs, shins and ankles are the worst.' Curly, who tattoos himself using mirrors to reach awkward areas, is laid-back about inking even the most personal body parts.
'I have tattooed all my genital area,' he shrugs. 'It seems odd to miss part of your body like that. It is intimate giving someone a tattoo, you're touching them when you draw on their body, and that does things subconsciously, so Jacqui's body feels like something special we've created together,' explains Curly.
'We didn't plan on doing so much, but it developed and I think Jacqui looks great. It's what I'm into, so it makes sense that my partner is also into it. We fit,' he grins. 'It's not like an amazing love scene when I tattoo her - there's blood and it's horrible. But once it's healed, it's beautiful. You could say it's romantic spending all that time poring over her body.' The patterns that fill up the couple's skin are mainly influenced by Asian art, but Curly warns against reading any great significance into the motifs. 'It's all meaningless b*****ks really,' he confesses. 'I think people are full of sh*t when they say "this means this". They should admit they just want to look cool!' Their unusual looks often attract attention, but Curly says it's not all negative. 'I'm sure I'm called a d*ckhead behind my back, but generally there's no reaction to my face. I didn't get tattooed to say, "Wahey! I'm a freak, look at me!", it was as much to say, "don't look at me", like having a kind of armour.' No regrets Jacqui says she has been treated differently. 'People have been rude, a young child once said I looked disgusting. But because they're not "thuggish" tattoos, people say how beautiful they are. And my colleagues only know me with tattooes, so see past them. I'm proud of my body, I see it as a work of art.' Curly is so in demand that many of his customers wait a year to be tattooed by him, and after more than 20 years in the business, nothing fazes him. 'I have tattooed every single part of a man and a woman's body, there's nothing I haven't seen,' he admits. 'I've done some perverted stuff - like mini swastikas on someone's willy - and disgraceful words. There was a bloke standing in front of me yesterday having his k**b done, it doesn't bother me. It's a job, not a sexual act.' Jacqui estimates she has been at the mercy of Curly's needle for a whopping 1,300 hours in total, and if she'd been paying for the work, it would have cost in excess of PS15,000.
She's even toyed with the idea of having more tattoos on her face, but insists she's finished for the sake of her children. 'My girls are not embarrassed by my tattoos, my eldest has a few. But, like my mum, who calls me 'Tatty Jac', they'd all rather I didn't get any more on my face.
'I don't think I'll regret them when I'm older,' adds Jacqui. 'I'll be the one with the blue rinse and the blue skin!' | | TATTOO FAR? KEITH GORDON Keith blames OCD for his body art. 'Once I get started on something, I just get carried away.' MR BODY ART Matthew, who legally changed his name to Body Art, even has his eyeballs tattooed now.
FRAN ATKINSON Fran, from Wales, has spent 416 hours having her body tattooed, despite the fact she'll never see them because she is blind.
'People have been rude, but mostly they say my tats are beautiful'
Jacqui couldn't resist covering both of her legs with tattoos, left
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||May 3, 2015|
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