Sabina Kelley Talks Tats, Bettie Paige, and Why Men Never Hit On Her (Really.)
Let's face it, everyone has a crush on Sabina Kelley. But did you know that men don't hit on her? We found out all kinds of interesting tidbits like these when Sabina stopped for a visit at the Oxygen offices. Turns out, she's totally sweet, super nerdy, completely smart-- and just as frighteningly gorgeous as you think. Scroll through the interview below, and fall even harder for this enterprising bombshell (or be jealous of her...it won't stop her).
Best Ink 2: When you were first modeling, did you face a lot of challenges because you're tattooed?
Sabina Kelley: Yes, when I first started, because I had a half sleeve on one, and the photographers were really scared to shoot me because there weren't really tattoo models out there. I mean, there was one other girl or so, but it wasn't really a thing. So, they would angle me in certain ways where you couldn't see my tattoos, or they would Photoshop it out. It was like that until I made a bigger name for myself and it got a little easier, but it was a little difficult for awhile.
Do you feel like it's become more accepted in modeling?
It's definitely a lot more accepted. Not as much in the mainstream world, but in the alternative world it is. But I still think it has a long way to go, especially with women.
Did you choose a favorite on Best Ink?
Not immediately honestly. I didn't get to know the artists as well as say, Joe, because he got to be there more when they were tattooing. I was more focusing on their work. I didn't really get to choose a favorite. I had a few that I knew were really good and I could tell off the bat. Toward the end maybe I had a favorite...but I can't say!
When you get new tattoos, do you have a specific process? Do you use specific artists, is the consultation really involved...
Yes. I would never point to something on a wall and say 'I want that!' I'm very picky with my artist. They're usually real well-known, big-name artists, and they're friends of mine so I trust what they do. Everything we do is original. We draw it up together. I'll even cut out the drawing and run around the house with it on me to see if it's something I'll want forever. It's definitely a process.
Which one hurt the most?
I'm such a baby, but definitelty the inside of my arm.
I noticed you steer clear of tattooing your legs. Is that deliberate?
Yes, I'm super picky about the placement of my tattoos. I just feel like chest and legs are beautiful parts of a woman. I think with modeling if I had them scattered all over my legs it would start to look trashy. Not saying I'll NEVER do my legs, but right now I think I'm gonna hold off for awhile.
Dave Navarro said he has an assistant cut the parts of Best Ink so he can just watch the parts you're in. Do you know him?
[laughs] Yeah, Dave and I are friends. I dont know him super well but he's a sweetheart, and that's very funny. He's trying to line up a photoshoot with the two of us.
You actually spoke to our writers about your worst date ever, and how a guy was SO nervous he drank himself sick. Do you get that a lot?
You know what, guys don't even talk to me! I'm all like 'guys dont like me!' But a lot of my friends say it's because I'm super intimidating, but I'm not! I'm super laid back! Im a nerd! Guys don't really come up to me and talk to me or anything. They'll be in the same room as me, and they wont say a word, but then they'll tweet me later or something or Instagram. I'm like 'why didnt you come say hi?' It's weird, I dont get it. I dont like it!
If you were to meet somebody who did have the courage, what would your dream man be like?
Real, confident, honest, a strong man! That's hard to find. A real honest person. Someone real. I'm sick of the fake people out there.
What got you interested in the Bettie Paige, rockabilly aesthetic?
Ever since I was little I was always really into Bettie Paige, Bunny Yeager stuff, the 40s and 50s pinups. I always thought they were so beautiful and classy to me, and I thought 'oh, I wanna be like that!' I was kind of a tomboy actually growing up! I just kinda grew up to be more of a woman and after high school and college I got more into it -- you know, old cars, vintage lingerie, retro clothes -- it all fell together. I was doing it for fun and I never thought it would be a career! I never said 'i wanna be a model!' But I'm lucky that I get to do what I love to do.
On Best Ink, your level of critique is at the high art level. So are you interested in the art aspect?
Oh yes. I've owned tattoo shops, I do tattoo removal, I am heavily tattooed, so art's the main thing.
Wait, you do tattoo removal?
I do! I do tattoo removal! I own Bombshell Tattoo Removal in vegas. That was my plan b for when I couldn't model anymore! I thought I would do tattoo removal because I'm not a tattoo artist, I can't draw.
Have you removed any tattoos?
Yes. I'm currently removing my ex-husband's name on my arm. [laughs]
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