Meet Mexican tattoo diva "La Mujer Vampira," Maria Jose Cristerna

Mexican tattoo star Maria Jose Cristerna, better known as "La Mujer Vampiro" (Female Vampire), poses during the Venezuela Tattoo Expo in Caracas, January 27, 2012.

She is a 35-year-old attorney. 98 percent of her body is covered in tattoos. She also has prosthetic fangs, and platinum implants in her forehead.

"The 'Vampire Woman' was not something I thought of, it was a name that one of Mexico's major television stations baptized me with," she tells ABC News in one interview from the tattoo expo. "It doesn't necessarily bother me because it has helped me transcend to a new level. Yes, I do like vampires but they are only a dream, a fantasy."

She says the body modification project was a form of self-expression she sought after being the victim of domestic violence in a former marriage.

There's a fun video interview with her on Telegraph TV here, ABC News has another here, and ITN News has a segment from the con here.

(REUTERS/Jorge Silva)


  1. I think tattoos, piercings and implants have pushed it so far as trend that they are starting to look as fashionable  as a mullets!

      1. As a word, “mullet” sounds to me like some overgrown mutant form of millet. I could imagine pigeons, grackles and squirrels losing their minds over a few handfuls of acorn-size mullet.

        Take that abstraction and apply it to the hairstyle. That’s how I feel about people with mullets.

      2. They did make a come back about a decade ago, but were more stylish than hockey hair or that whole business in the front, party in the back hair.  The newer trendy mullets were cool in a Mad Max kind of way, some were crossed over with mohawks.

      1. Yeah, I know. And I’m not telling anyone “how to be” – if she’s happy, more power to her. For her sake, though, I hope she’s *happy* that way, and not using it in the same way that cutters use razors or anorexics use not eating.

        1. I meant JP.  Clearly if you do something extreme to your face, you do it in part to elicit  a response.

        1. And his opinion is pretty sexist. We are entitled to point that out just as he is entitled to say his sexist opinions aloud.

          1. Seriously, yes it’s gross to have men constantly verbally evaluating women based on whether or not they want to fuck them. There are plenty of sites on the web where men and women post their pictures so that you can do just that. Why you would want to do it in a story about a woman who’s done this in reaction to being in a physically abusive marriage eludes me.

          2. Are we talking about “jp_in_nj” – or another post that got deleted? Antinous ‘want to fuck them’ comment leads me to believe there was.

             I don’t find jp_in_nj’s original post sexist in the least. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are general standards of something being “pretty”. A daisy, puppies, a rainbow, etc. –  these and other things can be accurately described as “pretty”. Someone might think a picture of roadkill is pretty (in some way) – but take a 1000 people and compare it to a daisy and most people are going to call the daisy pretty and not the picture of roadkill.

            More power to the lady if she likes herself and is happy – but I don’t think making herself  “pretty” was the goal.  Then of course there are people like poor Jocelyn Wildenstein who tried to make themselves prettier and ended up having the opposite result :o(

          3. At the very least, comments like that assume that a woman’s attractiveness is obviously there for a total stranger to judge, and that the woman should want to be pretty, and any decisions she makes that make her less pretty are wrong and sad.

            It’s not the same as more hateful crap, but it’s absolutely another form of gender-policing.  I haven’t witnessed similar statements made to men; it’s more than people seem to think that women’s bodies are something they have every right to critique.

            It’s entirely possible that people don’t want to be pretty…  and I kinda feel like the decent-person thing to do is to respect what other people choose to do with their own fucking bodies.

          1. I am not an expert in sexing commenters, but doesn’t “JP”‘s comment that he/she might sound “Gramma” imply that he/she might be a woman?  Also No one in this string mentioned sex.  Also this person we are expressing an opinion on is some sort of public figure that wanted to “transcend to a new level”.   When in the scope of a public figure’s career do we get to form an opinion about the way they look?

            There was a comment string on playboy last week and plenty of folks seemed to be saying that playboy girls were plastic fakes and therefore unattractive.  I must have missed the outrage.  

            “And are not others entitled to tell him their opinions?”  Their opinion was that it was wrong for jp to express his/hers.  I was only offering counter points to that assertion.

    1. I actually think I prefer the after. She has the sort of look that people find very, very appealing in fiction- a sort of striking, predatory look with unusual eyes, alien features, and bright colors. Part of us definitely finds this attractive, as it appears constantly in vampire stories, sci-fi futuristic cyberpunk books, and movies (Avatar is a milder example of the latter), and not always as a device to demonize the antagonists, either.

      To me, at least, this says that despite society’s prudish, stuffy traditions of conformity, restraint, and “good taste”, humanity is secretly yearning to live in a world with more diversity and self-expression, where every person you meet is truly, visibly different and distinct in vibrant and personally meaningful ways. Far from ruining a pretty face, I think Ms. Cristerna has achieved something that most of us can only dream of by breaking free of society’s restrictions and expressing what SHE wants to express, not what’s expected of her. I can understand why most of us (myself included) aren’t able to or aren’t willing to risk doing that, but I don’t think that lessens her achievement. I really hope that hers is the face of the future.

  2. She totally had me until the stretched ears thing… I cant abide that.

    I will move her from the hot to not hot category until she gets her ears fixed.

    1. I’m sure that, being there primarily for you to ogle, she will take that under advisement. *eyeroll* Given the whole “domestic violence” thing, you know, maybe looking attractive to random horny Internet dudes is not this woman’s #1 concern. >_<

      Not to mention that she's a lawyer — I'm curious what you do for a living that puts you in HER league?! Don't forget — she had the money to have all this work done on her. I think that tells you how much she needs to care about the Leisure Suit Larry brigade's ratings. :p

      *patpat* It's okay, dude. Get a nice a septum piercing and maybe she'll at least buy you a drink.

        1. Nope, I’m good! ^_^ Don’t assume I’m always this strident, just because I decided to take the piss out of one guy. Seriously, though, there are REASONS women get tired of this kind of “innocent comment.”

          I’ll be the first to admit my snark was a little excessive. As these things *go*, that was a fairly innocent comment on CSBD’s part — I’m sure he’s a nice guy in general.

          But still. Empathy check, okay? After dealing with this kind of casual judgment and rating of women, every day, everywhere I go on the Internet… yeah. The “little,” “innocent” comments accumulate, and the attitudes behind them get more and more aggravating — as does the obligatory clucking of tongues about how harmless this all is, and how we’re all “overreacting,” when the truth just MIGHT be that this is a discomfort you haven’t had occasion to understand, nor have gone out of your way to try. D:

          And sometimes I need to cut loose. I think the attitude *does* deserve some criticism, and while I apologize if I overdid it… yeah, I think a little sarcasm is not wholly undeserved in this situation.

          1. Thanks, Rezeya, I don’t think you were out of line at all.

            It would be awesome if some woman somewhere could ever do anything in the public sphere that didn’t have assholes immediately talking about whether she’s hot or not.  Seriously.

  3. If i was gonna tattoo my face, i would pick something a little less generic than stars to put on there, but maybe when you are at 92% you just want to get it over with?

    1. Probably a lot better than people who haven’t taken any command of their own identity whatsoever because they couldn’t stand up to the social opprobrium?

      Oh, you mean literally. Hmmm. She’s probably got a “sweet spot” between headbumps that she lays on. :)

      1. Yeah, literally.  I could see removing the spiky piercings, but I would think the headbumps would be rather uncomfortable, and a bit more permanent.  I guess one can get used to anything.

      2. Maybe she sleeps on her back.  I have a friend who does and right this second I envy her, because I have a really fresh healing tattoo on one upper arm and a healing cartilage piercing in the opposite ear and there is no such thing as a good position.  If I sleep on my left side, the new tattoo gets too much contact with the bed and I don’t want it damaged.  If I sleep on my right side, the conch piercing complains and the pain makes it hard to sleep.

  4. Damn, the lawyers are starting to look as evil as they actually are.  

    I’d be interested in knowing two things:  names of her bigger clients (please let them be huge corporations!) and her success/failure rate in the courtroom, assuming she spends any time in front of judges.

    1. People in the bodymods and alternative lifestyle community get sued too. :p She probably has PLENTY of clients who are (IMHO correctly) totally unfazed as long as she’s good at what she does.

      I’d hire a talking amoeba, if it got its paperwork in on time — I’d like to think that’d be true of everyone coming to a place like Boingboing…?

      (Actually, after looking into her bio a little more, I suspect she’s no longer a *practicing* attorney — she sounds like she’s multiclassed since she went into tattooing. :) )

    2. Damn, the lawyers are starting to look as evil as they actually are.

      Imagine this one comin’ at ya and your IP with a lawsuit from the RIAA/MPAA!
      Then I would recommend hiring a Mexican wrestler as bodyguard.  La Parka would do the trick, image below.

      Actually, she’s a human rights activist.  Less expected, she’s a mother of four.

    3. Ah, one more thing:  Trials and court procedures in Mexico have long been about pushing papers, getting signatures and seals, no actual audiences with judges involved.

      However, in the name of transparency, some Mexican state courts began implementing oral trials a couple of years ago.
      Fun fact, by all accounts, the lawyers are sucking at it, but they’ll find their “sea legs” (or more appropriately, “court voice”) with practice.

  5. To be honest, the part that bugs me the most in this picture is that her lipstick goes outside of her actual lips. …Or is that a red tattoo around her lips that makes it look that way? Either way, it bothers me.

    It says she’s an attorney? That’s interesting. It’s not like she can take this look off and on whenever she wants. I wonder how many clients she gets who are Very Surprised on seeing her. I don’t kow how famous she is in the area she works. Maybe no one is surprised? That seems unlikely.

    I kinda like the subtle swirls on her chin, and the way the dots follow the contours around her mouth and nose. Also, all the skull&spike accessories. I just like that kinda thing.

  6. Guys? Can we agree, as an alleged gang of “happy mutants”, that as a 35-year-old professional Ms. Cristerna’s probably more than mature enough to know what she wants to look like and why? This clearly wasn’t some act of childish impulse, here. Can we celebrate her weirdness instead of speculating over whether she’s still USDA Prime ogling material?

    Her appearance is probably a deliberate resignation from the world of “she’s about a 7, 8 with makeup” bullshit — a big fuck you to everyone who ever thought of women as predominantly there to please men with their looks. And I suspect she’d be a lot more interesting to talk to than any given herpderp who just shakes their head at her and says “I wouldn’t hit that.”

    1. It’s amazing how readily the “hot or not” topic comes up when a woman lets her freak flag fly, even here..  If there’s a post about Lizardman, you don’t see a bunch of people talking about his nailability.  I’m kind of ashamed for us happy mutants.  I thought it would be better here.

    2. She’s noteworthy because of her appearance.  So we comment on her appearance.  Perhaps if she were noteworthy because of her achievements, we’d comment on those.

      1. But commenting on her appearance doesn’t need to mean commenting on her sexual attractiveness. What about simple aesthetic appeal? We could make inferences into what hobbies and subcultures she’s into that aren’t immediately apparent. There are aspects to looks other than ‘turns me on/off’.

      1. Because getting that much work done takes a lot of time, money and suffering.  The tattoos alone would take several appointments.  Were it a mere impulse, I don’t imagine she would have muscled through the pain and gone back for more.

    3. Rezeya:  <3

      I don't want to be attractive to men, personally – I mean, if someone finds me hot that's fine, but it's not a goal.  Really, really, really not a goal.  So when someone "pleasantly" tells me what I could change to look, to him, "better," it drives me a bit nuts.  I promise I was well trained in how to be pretty. 

      Not. My. Goal.  I actually am attractive to the people I want to attract (yay!) which is almost certainly true of this woman as well.

      Personally I respect anyone who is willing to commit to this degree of body mod.  She's made her body into art, and she's freaky and difficult to look at, and she lives that, every day.  Serious respect.The row of captives on the brow ridge looks awesome.

    4. I am totally respectful and supportive of her choices and do not presume to know her motivation.  I still think it’s improper courtroom attire.

  7. I guess I’m a dinosaur in my attitude towards body art, but what I see is a disturbed woman with some serious psychological dysmorphia pathology that would have been better treated with therapy than tattoo needles and surgery.  She’s taken the plain vanilla “cutting” to a whole new level.

    1. That’s an awful lot of armchair psychology there. I don’t think it’s good practice to diagnose someone based on a few photos, and some sensationalistic interviews. Obviously it’s not interrupting her life because she is a professional with a job, and seems happy. If it was destroying her life, that would be some abnormal psych there, but it’s not. 

    2. I take you have a degree in psychology and have sat down with this woman and discussed this with her?
      No? Then it’s really none of your business.

    3. You’re a dinosaur in your attitude to psychology, too. She’s an accomplished, seemingly happy and confident professional who has not sought nor shown any sign of needing help from anybody, much less the head-patting advice of a total stranger. No therapist worth their salt would say there’s anything wrong with this woman — the DSM is pretty damn clear that in the absence of serious life disruptions, there’s no pathology whatsoever. As far as I can tell, the only thing “disturbed” about this woman is that she disturbs you, and people have been using that as an excuse to pathologize other people for as long as pop psych has existed. It’s creepy and demeaning as hell.

      1. She does actually say in the article that she started piercing as a response to domestic abuse. Of course, she’s just an armchair psychologist too, so carry on. 

        1. Which obviously doesn’t stop her from being all you said, and pathology may be quite a strong word to describe that sort of reaction. On the other hand, it’s not a great leap to imagine that someone who came from a a strict Catholic upbringing and got married at 17 to an abusive husband may have some emotional scars/body image issues. It does seem she lives a normal life though, so if that was her way of dealing with it, fair play to her.

  8. If  BB is going to anglicize her name, go all the way, and make “Maria Jose” into “Mary Joseph.”

    1. That was an error in the Reuters photo description, copied and pasted into this BB post. I’ve since googled that she uses the name “Maria,” and have corrected the post. 

  9. The article about her says she started exploring tattoos and body modification after ending an abusive marriage. The unemotional, analytical part of me says she’s trying to present as aggressive and alien an exterior as possible so as to shield her more vulnerable side. I believe that’s a fairly common mental state, these days.

    Even if I’m way off-base, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not like we know each other or have any influence over each others lives.

    Such a wild look was never my thing, but I like her tattoos. Looking at her is like looking at Ming porcelain, with all the imagery and patterns over the surface. The piercings, gauges and implants don’t really say much to me, but the tattoos are interesting. I’d like to see her with JUST the tattoos, maybe wearing something a bit more feminine. It would be an immediately authoritative look, I think; more dominant than the gutter punk look, anyway. But that’s just my conservative sensibilities talking.

    1. Ooor it could be about sorting out the type of people she wants in her life, or expressing a self that was repressed and led to loathing which made it easier to get into a destructive relationship, or… 

      wow it’s almost like there’s infinite possibility in the psychology of a complete stranger!

  10. it seems like the politically correct line is, “facemodding is always ok because hey, it’s their own face they’re modding.” it seems like you’re not even allowed to say “sure it’s ‘ok,’ but the person is obviously disturbed.” or, “yes, it’s art, but its bad art, bad indelible art.” what would the “line” be on the face below?

      1. Interesting question coming from the blog that posted about it.  Did this post go up with the assumption that no one would care?

        1. There is a difference between finding something fascinating, beautiful, interesting, etc., and then caring so much about it that you have to comment on the reasons someone did something to their body that you for some reason find offensive even though it in no way affects you or your life.

          1. That’s silly.  The story here is just as much about why she did it as what she did.  Some find it beautiful, some hideous.  If this was a painting people at an opening, people would be critiquing it and talking about what it expresses.  You can’t make your face art and then deny the critics.

            I think its valid to question here motivation, because if you go to art exibits you learn that pretty much everybody doesn’t care for 80% of what artists produce.  When your canvass is your face you know pretty much how it is going to go and you make the choice in part as an act of social defiance.

        2. You see that word ‘Moderator’ there? That means he moderates the blog. All your baseless art wank makes me feel like I’m back in art school.

          Despite your assertion, a person who embellishes their face is not automatically volunteering themselves as a subject for art critique. This is not an exhibition opening, this is not a show – it’s someone’s face. Holding an art exhibition implies the artist is prepared for critique. Tattooing your face holds no such implication. Yes, a person who gets extreme facial modifications is opening themselves up for people to comment, but opinions are like assholes – everyone’s got a bad joke about them (and everyone’s usually stinks about the same). Discussing the artist’s motives is going to be kind of hard when it’s not even clear who the artist is (or even if it’s one person). The ‘story’ is whatever you make of it – your analysis of the salient points may differ from that of others.

          You can think whatever you want. Petzl can think whatever he wants. The point is that you’ve added little to the discussion, short of your armchair psychologist’s simplistic analysis of this person and her life. What Petzl doesn’t get is that it’s not the ‘politically correct’ line to accept her choices, it’s the only line. Mind your own business. If you tried to tell me how to dress or live you would be the lucky recipient of a swift punch to the face (or incessant and cruel verbal choose). It used to be that anyone who was homosexual could be labelled “obviously disturbed” – would you still agree with that Petzl or have you also caved to lefty, hipster, politically correct ideology?

          Think before operating your keyboard next time.

          1. Although I readily agree that a person embellishing their face not automatically volunteering themselves as a subject for art critique, Maria above is posing for a picture at the Venezuela Tattoo Expo. She is there doing media interviews and signing posters. To say that she hasn’t opened herself up for artistic criticism is ludicrous. This is not the same as saying that someone else who gets an equal amount of body modifications and goes about their everyday life very well might not be holding themselves out for that. Situational context is important.

            It appeared to me that  Antinous was asking a question because the question posed by Petzl seemed to be drawing a false comparison based on medium not subject matter. Coming across to me as a question of relevance. 

            I find the tattoos of the man above abhorrent based on content.In the same way I can find a t-shirt or a bumper sticker equally tasteless. I find Maria enchanting in her own way, same medium different message. If I ran into either on the street, the man I would probably ignore, Maria I would admire but not say anything because she probably hears about it all the time and I am not in her circle. If introduced to her I would express my interest. If introduced to the man I would walk away. His expressions make him not someone I want in my circle.

            If someone talks to you and you respond with either physical violence or the threat thereof, you might want to reconsider that response. I am not telling you how to live, but I will say I find that unpleasant.

          2. *looks for post telling Ms. Cristerna how to dress or live*  … nope.
            *looks for post threatening violence as an appropriate response to speech* …Oh, I’m replying to it!

            And yes, tattooing one’s face and then going on TV to talk about it is very much volunteering for an “art critique,” your own unsupported assertion notwithstanding. There are, however, more illuminating conversations to be had than “Dude that’s fucked up” “SHUT UP MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS LEAVE HER ALONE.” If only we’d gotten around to one here.

          3. ugh, the term moderator is not lost on me.

            I am not sure what conversation was interrupted in this comment string, but i sure am sorry.

            I was just pointing out the absurdity of posting on an out of the ordinary behavior and then scolding people for commenting on the two immediate thoughts most people have, which are 1. do we like it?  and 2. why would someone do that? 

            My personal philosophy about such things is that I have enjoyed knowing and socializing with all sorts of people in all sorts of places and have accepted them all for who they are. 

            Do I agree with Pretzl?  Not that the Nazi is a fair stereotype for every face moder, certainly not.  Its not fair to say this is a sign of insanity in everyone that does it.  There are a whole spectrum of things that could lead someone to want to look different and most don’t belong in the DSM. 

            I also think people will always try to understand why the hell other people act different.  As uncomfortable as that might be.

          4. @L_Mariachi:disqus : *looks for post telling Ms. Cristerna how to dress or live* … nope.
            That’s entirely up to her, but seeing as nobody here (afaict) is confronting or harassing her

            “I think tattoos, piercings and implants have pushed it so far as trend that they are starting to look as fashionable  as a mullets!”

            “I will move her from the hot to not hot category until she gets her ears fixed.”

            “yeah, this is a sure-fire way to prevent primary ogling…”

            “Edit: Comment withdrawn.” (I believe this one was something to the extent of “I’d hit that”)

            “what I see is a disturbed woman with some serious psychological dysmorphia pathology that would have been better treated with therapy than tattoo needles and surgery”

            “This level of body decoration and modification just strikes me as incredibly self centered and self involved”

            “I don’t think she’s dealt with the abuse at all. She’s simply externalized at made it a permanent fixture in her life.  And that’s tragic.  She will never be able to move beyond it now.”

            Seems like you’ve got a selective reading problem there.

            And yes, I’d punch someone who was seriously trying to tell me or others how to live or dress. It’s a completely appropriate response. People get all caught up on masturbating over their freedom of speech, without understanding that speech alone can be considered assault. You are free to say anything you want, but that freedom does not come with a guarantee that others wont react to your stupidity.

            Re your second comment: Zynga and Alien Brain Hemorrhage cocktails are not people. Try comparing oranges with oranges instead of grasping at straws to make your point.

            Why do we read the comments? Because on BB they’re often insightful or informative. Sadly this thread has taken on the filthy sheen of a Youtube comments section.

          5. (Replying here since we reached the reply limit below)

            None of those quotes are telling her what to do. They’re expressions of opinion. 

            But if you think physical violence is an appropriate response to fashion suggestions, we really have nothing to talk about.

          6. Sweet, all you had to do was change the terms of your criticism to make your point seem valid. That’s cool, I’m sure no one noticed.

            Telling someone to get part of their body “fixed” is not an opinion. Suggesting a person should’ve seeked out psychological help instead of body art is telling someone how to live. Self centered and self involved are some pretty strong words to describe someone you’ve never met or talked to. Having your lifestyle choices describes as tragic by some random dude is somehow not the same as being told how to dress in you mind?

            Maybe it’s a selective thinking problem you’ve got.

            I love your “higher than thou” moral stance on violence. That totally give you the the upper hand in this discussion because clearly the upstanding, moral commenter is right irrespective of how hollow their reasoning or argument is. Classic way to weasel out of addressing my point that commenting on a single person is different to commenting on a company or drink… but I’m sure no one noticed that either.

      2. Because a face is our primary way of interacting with people visually, and covering/altering the appearance of your face is a very strong statement? Sure, you have the ultimate choice regarding what you do with your own body, but it’s not like it has no influence at all on other people who may want to interact with you.

    1. Everybody knows the answer to your question. Everyone also knows that a joke about, say, Callista Gingrich’s hair helmet, would not be met by the average boingboinger with overdone outrage about sexist attitudes.

      I recall when a past post about Sarah Palin by Xeni (of all people), which suggested the word “cougar” somehow was applicable to Palin was defended to ridiculous lengths because “cougar” is (apparently) not sexist or offensive. Sexism is wrong! (Unless the target is the cultural enemy.)

    2. You lost me the moment you pre-emptively dismissed any opinion that this woman is perfectly fine as she is as “political correctness.” You’re certainly allowed to say “she’s obviously disturbed”… and I’m certainly allowed to dismiss you as an idiot unless you can actually provide some concrete evidence that there’s anything wrong with her except that her appearance unnerves you. 

      You talk as if there weren’t already an extremely thorough guidebook for “who’s crazy and who’s not.” And the DSM deserves plenty of criticism of its own, but I think any clinical psychologist would laugh you out of their office for saying someone you know little or nothing else about is disturbed because they practice body art. She seems like a successful, popular woman with a career and a social life. 

      I really don’t understand for a moment why you feel to knock her down except to work out your own distress. The only explanation I can think of is good old-fashioned prejudice — in the literal sense of “making sweeping assumptions about somebody based on one trait.”

    3. The internet would lead me to believe this is what happens when you fall asleep around your “buddies” in the U.S.

  11. This level of body decoration and modification just strikes me as incredibly self centered and self involved… I hope I’m wrong.

    1. As opposed to make-up, regular visits to the nail and hair salon, a perfect highlight job, and botox? 

      1. Was that a counter argument or were you just adding on to my question? Because, yeah, I see those examples you listed as really similar too. Perhaps a more direct comparison would be between this and a face-life, nose-job, ect.

        1. No, just that those are all considered relatively normal because they are fairly concerned with having the “right” look and achieving prestige or power through that… which is a self serving motivation for doing something that is not an end in itself.

          The question would be are her mods an end to her or a means. And that’s kind of her business, isn’t it?

      2. Clearly there is a spectrum.  Surgery and permanent changes being at one extrememe. and picking out clothes to wear and trying to smile more on the other end of the spectrum.

        1. I don’t know. There are people who are quite into fashion who seem to lose themselves in it and not in a good way. I am in many ways more bothered by the person who spends all their time trying to smile and ingratiate than the relatively little amount of one’s life even fairly extensive body modification can bring. It makes me wonder whether the people who spend all the time on “self improvement” to change their inner selves might have the larger problem. It is just not one others can see.

          1. The disconnect I seem to be having here is this.  Some seem to think trying to fit in is shallow and trying to look different is brave and empowering.  I would say obsessing over your looks is shallow and unhealthy regardless of whether you are trying to fit in or stand out as different.

      3. There seems to be this idea that getting fake boobs is somehow shallow because other people will find it attractive, but horns and face tattoos are somehow deep and meaningful because people will find them ugly.  Its sorta a stupid idea.  Both acts are done in part because of how people will react to them. 

        1. “Both acts are done in part because of how people will react to them.”

          That’s an assumption on your part, not a fact.

          1. You think people can make major decisions about their external appearance, that is seen more by others than themselves, with no regard conscious or subconscious for what others might think?

            What remarkable form of brain damage might make that remotely possible?

          2. “What remarkable form of brain damage might make that remotely possible?”

            Oh, I don’t know… psychological abuse, trauma, you know… like people who get tattoos over their cancer scars full well knowing that almost no one will ever see them. But, hey, don’t let thinking too hard about how people might have motivations beyond what you understand  keep you from ranting. 

          3. You are correct that people can make private decisions about non public things with perhaps minimal regard for what others might think, but that really isn’t the question here.  One does not put implants in ones forehead and start doing TV interviews in hopes that no one will form an opinion.

    2. Actually, you’ve got it backwards.  People who care so much what other people do to their own bodies that they get offended, or try to psychoanalyze complete strangers, like you are doing, are who are incredibly self-centered and self-involved.  Why should she care what anyone thinks about what she does to her own body?  It in no way affects you.  And if it makes you uncomfortable … well, get over yourself.  It’s none of your business.

      1. You’re reaching pretty far there. I’m in no way offended or uncomfortable with what she’s doing.I really don’t care at all about her or what she does. I just asked if this much focus on outward appearance was self-centered (albeit in a roundabout way).  I think you need to do some soul searching and see why that particular nerve was struck just so within you. Your outburst is telling… Telling what? I don’t care.

        1. Once again, we see a whole paragraph on Boingboing explaining to someone how little they care…?

          There’s nothing wrong with caring, but don’t play dismissive. Decent points were made. Engage them, don’t stomp off in a huff. >_<

      2. She gives TV interviews. She’s putting herself out there and letting her freak flag fly. Should she care what anyone else thinks? That’s entirely up to her, but seeing as nobody here (afaict) is confronting or harassing her, people are well within their rights to voice opinions and even armchair-analyze her, however ill-considered those opinions and analyses may be. 

        “None of your business” is something you could dismissively say to pretty much any commenter on half the stories here. Zynga is ripping off developers?  None of your business!  You think the Alien Brain Hemorrhage tastes gross?  Who cares what you think, don’t drink it!

        If you don’t care what anyone else thinks, why are you reading a comments section?

    3. This level of body decoration and modification just strikes me as awfully similar to the layers of makeup and other artificiality that everyone in our society is required to apply to themselves. Singling this woman’s style out for insult because it’s different from the standard fashion code just strikes me as really neophobic and prudish, like you’re telling me that the main purpose of fashion should be blending in with the herd. I hope *I’m* wrong. 

    4. What is wrong with being “self centered”?  As opposed to what?  Centered on the dull opinion of the prudes around you?  People like you are the reason why there is a blazing firewall between my social life and worker life.  Dull prudes who are busy boring themselves to death by knocking out a bunch of kids freak their shit when someone rejects the mind numbingly boring “go die in the ‘burbs social norms” and has a jolly ol’ time.

      People like you tend to whine that it is “self centered” to NOT knock out half a dozen kids and piss your life away in the ‘burbs mowing your lawn, buying couches, or whatever the fuck it is you do for fun.  I’ll refrain from pointing out that the mindless consumerism and “buy a big fucking house in the ‘burbs and start knocking out kids” mentality of the social norm is far more destructive to the environment and world than anything than our tattooed friend has ever done.

      No one every bitches and moans when someone blows a few hundred thousand dollars buying a house and cranking out a few children.  But someone mods their body and, without any question at all, hangs out and has a far more interesting life than  YOU? OMFG they are the devil.

      Face it dude, you are jealous.  There is a person living an interesting and varied life.  She almost certainly has crazy and interesting friends, does crazy and interesting stuff, and has more interesting life experiences in her pinky than you have in your entire combined existence.

      Lots of people (myself included) would kill to grab a drink with this woman. Who the fuck would want to go grab a drink with you? Go back to the ‘burbs dude and stop reading BoingBoing.  Reading stuff like this is just going to make you depressed with your dull and painfully boring life.

      This sister is letting her freak flag fly. The world could use more people like her.

      1. Bahahaha. This is funny… You make a lot of assumptions. All of them very very hilariously wrong. Trust me, i really really don’t fit the goofy description youve made up. I make a living making art. My life is anything but normal or boring. The internet is frustrating.

  12. It’s not a coincidence she is “MJ” — both her and Michael Jackson’s “transformations” are clearly part of the gradual acclimatization the Powers That Be are putting us through with regards to coming to accept aliens among us.

    I for one fully support anything that makes our world more like the comic Transmetropolitan, so this gets the big thumbs up from me.

  13. I don’t think she’s dealt with the abuse at all. She’s simply externalized at made it a permanent fixture in her life.  And that’s tragic.  She will never be able to move beyond it now.

    1. Does she have to pay your secretary on the way out, Doctor Internet?

      I’m really not getting why or how you’re conflating body modification with domestic abuse here. Care to explain? I’m desperately curious what you think about BDSM, now, too.

  14. You know, my first thought on seeing her was “Wow, her eyelashes are reeeeally long – they must be fake”.

    To comment on what our fellow “happy mutants” are saying – body modification is (in my opinion) about one of the most fundamental rights that we can have.  If you want to have larger breasts/less fat/more color/more spikey bits/something shiny on you, that’s totally up to you.  Personally, I just wish that they’d figure out a reliable/safe method of making me *taller* that was as easy to do as tattooing/piercing.

  15. Is it just me, or did the ABC 7 (KABC Los Angeles) newscasters strike anyone as being the freaks of the show? Starched hair, padded shoulders, plastic clothes, the bit of cloth tied tight about the neck? The unctuous, dulcet tones of the long con, the suaveness of a used car salesman? The pretense of normalcy and authority? The packaging of their audiences, for sale to avaricious and amoral corporations? The souls sold to the highest bidder? The portentous trivia sold as the vital news of the republic, shilled with tacky, crypo-patriotic FX, all as their oligarch overlords stuff money into bags in the back room?

    1. The ABC 7 newscasters were completely dehumanizing. Yes she is trying to draw a response from other people to some extent. She is willing to go to conventions and sign posters so I can’t say she is against the attention. In the actual interviews, which ABC7 did not want the freak to speak, she comes across as quite charming. 
      I don’t have any tattoos or body mods, but I can appreciate the art and dedication. She seems like a fun person to hang out with, the ABC 7 newscasters seemed like assholes.

    2. I REALLY liked your comment. Yeah. I mean… look at all the other factors that come into play here. Lawyers. Gawking, squawking reporters. Horny net geeks sizing her up like the whole Internet’s their singles bar. An abusive ex-partner. But this woman’s the crazy one?!

  16. That’s the problem with body mods and full tats – eventually you run out of canvas and everything just looks cramped and muddy.

    1. Average person has about 20 sq. feet of skin or six pounds. so 1% is .2 sq feet or 28.8 square inches. So 57.6 square inches roughly. My mind is making me wonder what 2% and how they decide where her dot tattoo ends, but I know I don’t want to to know. Bad mind, behave.

    1. Headline portrait was taken in Caracas, Venezuela.  She lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.  No info on how she made the trip, but one can assume that’s quite a long way to hitchhike.

      If you’re thinking about the TSA Keystone Kops in gringo airports, there’s this:  Ripley’s Believe It or Not! recently brought Cristerna to its Orlando, Fla., headquarters to take body casts of her…

      She’s probably gonna fly more than you and me combined! A supreme irony to your post would be if Ripley’s flew Cristerna to Orlando in First Class (probably true). Or Learjet! (probably not).

  17. I don’t under stand the hoops in the ears, they’re right up there with large dangling ear rings, for things that’ll get caught or snagged painfully. But meh. Forth to each’s own tastes.

    Side note, I find the over all vitriolic  tone of most of the comments going back and forth fascinating

  18. I think I spent too much time watching cheap horror movies as a kid, I can’t see those lumps on her head as anything but some worm thing that’s gonna start moving .. any minute now.

    P.S. I’m well aware the problem is mine,

  19. The ear stretching was a massive trend with ravers and club kids about 15-20 years ago.  I used to see it all the time, still do, to a lesser extent,  maybe cause I don’t go dancing much any more, and never to raves, I doubt they exist any more.  Dark raves are still happening – which is a byproduct of goths and ravers, and are filled with the likes of Maria Jose Cristerna, but so are the few goth clubs left, as well as fetish parties.  The majority of goers don’t have synthetic bump implants – on their heads -or permanent vamp canines – some do, but there are loads of tats, piercings, and cyberpunk hair, leather, pvc, and metal.

    Ear stretching is taken from tribal cultures, just as neck stretching – not so main stream yet – as well as large disks in lower lips.  Piercing anything and everything on one’s face has been done in mainstream fashion with various items.  My friend’s ex has two rows of metal loops on either side of her spine, which can be laced up like a corset.
    As far as the platinum implants in her forehead, think Vyvyan from The Young Ones.

    I always forget that stuff like this isn’t mainstream in the mainstream, but to me it’s overkill, because I grew up with it.  I have been around this type of lifestyle for more than half my life.  Remember The Jim Rose Circus?

    I loved looking “different” when I was younger, but then I grew up, and it’s not even that I can’t look weird for work, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable looking like that in mid 30s.  Seems like there’s a time and a place for most things.  I wonder how her look affects her profession.  I’ve seen talk shows about people, mainly women, who had various surgeries to look like someone else.  One was a Barbie look alike, and had many large scale surgeries and spent loads of money.  I remember the audience not taking her side.

    Life’s short, and if morphing yourself into someone else makes you happy, and you can afford it, it’s your prerogative.  I find it odd that she now willingly undergoes loads of physical pain, after getting out of an abusive relationship.

    1. I loved looking “different” when I was younger, but then I grew up, and it’s not even that I can’t look weird for work, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable looking like that in mid 30s.

      The good news is that, by the time you’re 50, you won’t care what anyone thinks and you can go back to being a freak.

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