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Grace Neutral: Meet The Girl Redefining The Face Of Beauty

Neon Fix

‘Want to see where my belly button used to be?’ is not a question I expected to be asked today.

However, here I am in an underground bar in Shoreditch sitting opposite Grace Neutral, the body modified Instagram star who has just designed her debut capsule collection for Motel Rocks.

Copyright: [Carl Wilson]

The newfound fashion designer lives just around the corner and has popped by to oversee the launch of her collection that features her freehand drawn artwork and patterns. 

The 26-year-old tattoo artist, who did indeed have her belly button removed, says her look is ‘influenced by other worlds and aliens’ and to be honest, I’ve never seen anyone from this world who looks quite like Grace.

Heavily tattooed, her tongue is in two to create a ‘fork’. She’s had her ears shaped like a Pixie and even looked into removing her own nipples however this was deemed just ‘too much of a health risk’. 

She’s even tattooed the whites of her eyes to a light purple – a procedure that less than 100 people in the world have undergone and which she admits was ‘terrifying’. Grace is certainly holding two fingers up to the face of beauty as we know it.

Copyright: [Carl Wilson] The first question I had to get out the way - ‘Why?’. Grace, who has said previously she wants the ‘outside to reflect her soul’, explained: “You just know inside it’s right.” “I felt outcast for so long growing up that it’s only now that I really feel myself. It’s terrifying, yes, but I know I’d be more unhappy looking how I looked before,” “It’s not that I don’t think someone like Kim Kardashian is beautiful – she is, but there’s nothing in that ideal that reflects me.  “I appreciate it but I wouldn’t want it – just in the same way that I’m sure she wouldn’t want to look like me,” Instead, she calls mainstream beauty ‘a shell in which she doesn’t fit’.

Copyright: [Carl Wilson]

The first question I had to get out the way - ‘Why?’.

Grace, who has said previously she wants the ‘outside to reflect her soul’, explained: “You just know inside it’s right.”

“I felt outcast for so long growing up that it’s only now that I really feel myself. It’s terrifying, yes, but I know I’d be more unhappy looking how I looked before,”

“It’s not that I don’t think someone like Kim Kardashian is beautiful – she is, but there’s nothing in that ideal that reflects me. 

“I appreciate it but I wouldn’t want it – just in the same way that I’m sure she wouldn’t want to look like me,”

Instead, she calls mainstream beauty ‘a shell in which she doesn’t fit’.

Copyright: [Carl Wilson] However, looking like Grace isn’t simple and body modification is painful and can be extremely risky –  something that she is all too aware of. “After I had my tongue forked, I had to learn to speak again and for ages I had this little lisp. I’m always worried, but I always educate myself before,” she explained.  And while she is undeniably happy with the results so far, she admits that the reception hasn’t been entirely complimentary since she started modifying her body aged just 21. “Of course I’ve encountered negativity – I guess I’m an easy target. People definitely have a fear of the unknown.”

Copyright: [Carl Wilson]

However, looking like Grace isn’t simple and body modification is painful and can be extremely risky –  something that she is all too aware of.

“After I had my tongue forked, I had to learn to speak again and for ages I had this little lisp. I’m always worried, but I always educate myself before,” she explained. 

And while she is undeniably happy with the results so far, she admits that the reception hasn’t been entirely complimentary since she started modifying her body aged just 21.

“Of course I’ve encountered negativity – I guess I’m an easy target. People definitely have a fear of the unknown.”

Copyright: [Carl Wilson] Plus, Grace – who recently walked for Ashley Williams at London Fashion Week - admits that being a girl in this male dominated world causes even more of a reaction. “There’s also a huge difference being a woman in this world. For men, people swallow it more easily but for a girl – they expect you to be this English rose – people come up to me and say: ‘Why would you do that to yourself? You’d be so pretty’  “But being that mainstream media aesthetic just isn’t me. Softly spoken, informed and clearly totally at ease with herself, Grace’s positivity is infectious and being around her you quickly forget the external and, rather, are struck by the confidence in front of you.  I leave with her words still ringing around my head: “Stay true, be yourself and you’ll be happy.” That’s a pretty positive message, whether you have a belly button or not.  

Copyright: [Carl Wilson]

Plus, Grace – who recently walked for Ashley Williams at London Fashion Week - admits that being a girl in this male dominated world causes even more of a reaction.

“There’s also a huge difference being a woman in this world. For men, people swallow it more easily but for a girl – they expect you to be this English rose – people come up to me and say: ‘Why would you do that to yourself? You’d be so pretty’ 

“But being that mainstream media aesthetic just isn’t me.

Softly spoken, informed and clearly totally at ease with herself, Grace’s positivity is infectious and being around her you quickly forget the external and, rather, are struck by the confidence in front of you. 

I leave with her words still ringing around my head: “Stay true, be yourself and you’ll be happy.”

That’s a pretty positive message, whether you have a belly button or not.