By Lauren Tiller
THIS WOMAN has completely TRANSFORMED her face with TATTOOS, PIERCINGS and a SPLIT TONGUE – and it all began when she was just THIRTEEN.
Artist, Salla Mikkonen (22) from Hyvinkää, Finland, was first interested in goth culture at the age of 11 and got her first procedures, a lip piercing and ear stretchers, two years later when she was just 13.
Since then, Salla has spent between £871 (€1,000) and £1,306 (€1,500) on adapting her look through extreme body modification procedures.
The Finnish artist’s ears are now stretched to a whopping 1.65 inches, and she has tattoos on her face, neck, chest, ribs, stomach, arms, legs and hands.
Salla’s favourite modification though is her split tongue which she says was very painful and left her unable to swallow for days after she had it done in 2018.
While tongue-splitting for cosmetic purposes is illegal in the UK, the 22-year-old who had the procedure done in her home country, said it was worth the pain and suffering.
“[The aftermath of the procedure was] gross and very painful, I’ll spare you from the most disgusting details – I just ate ice cream and ice cubes after I was able to swallow anything at all,” said Salla.
“The healing process was even worse than I had expected, but only lasted five to seven days so I’d say it was worth it.
“I got the stitches removed after seven days and it was pretty much healed after that.”
While her friends and family are supportive of her appearance, strangers are often not so kind.
Despite the occasional negative comment as a result of her unique look, Salla believes she will never be finished upgrading her appearance.
“I get stared at a lot of course, I have a huge tattoo on my forehead, and most of the time I don’t mind unless I’m already very anxious,” said Salla.
“Of course, people have a lot of bias and prejudices about me because of my face tattoos… I wasn’t surprised by the response.
“I first got into goth when I was around eleven I think and after that fell in love with different Japanese street fashions such as Lolita and Gyaru. So, I would say that I’ve been into very different fashion styles most of my life.
“I have only three facial piercings and my belly button pierced at the moment and my ears are stretched to more than one and a half inches. I plan to get more soon hopefully and same with tattoos.
“As well as my face and neck tattoos, I also have my chest-piece started, my ribs and stomach, right thigh, both lower legs, my fingers and left arm.
“I have been able to do my modifications on a low budget because I have to make it work. It’s my passion.
“I plan to tattoo almost my whole body, get my ears cut into ‘fairy ears’, get fillers and more piercings, it’s a never ending process.”