You can change your life for the better, no matter how far gone you are. Alyssa Zebrasky made headlines back in December 2018, when her mugshot after she was arrested for shoplifting went viral. The reason was the Day of the Dead-inspired tattoos that completely covered her whole face.
Zebrasky was inked like a skeleton from Mexico’s festival, “Día de los Muertos.”
Her body is also covered in tattoo, but her face was the most eye-catching as black and red ink covered around her eyes and a spider web was added to her forehead. After 2018, she was arrested again in April, 2019, and obviously, her pictures made more rounds.
But four years since she first became an internet sensation, Zebrasky has turned a new leaf.
Zebrasky, who’s now 31 years old, was arrested and charged with shoplifting and drug possession. She’s been arrested three times within six months. Since 2019, she finished her drug court program as well as rehabilitation and she was ready to return to the society and wants to be better.
One of the first few things she immediately wanted was to get her face tattoos removed because they remind her of her toxic ex.
Zebrasky’s appearance is truly unforgettable with all the scary tattoos and piercings. But her latest update to her followers showed her face clean of any tattoo and often with less piercings.
She revealed that when she started dating her then-boyfriend, he told her that she needed to get face tattoos if she wanted to join the gang he was in. She started getting tattoos, but was avoiding getting more on her face. It was her boyfriend that kept convincing her until she said yes. He also picked the design, and finally went to two inking sessions.
“Initially I said no and then he just kept talking about it. [Now I believe it was] so nobody else would want me.”
Her mugshot in December 2018 was the way she’s always looked since June 2018.
She ended the toxic relationship and looking back, she remembers him visiting her only twice while she was serving her time. She’s now in a healthier relationship and has received a lot of support from her family and friends.
In a bid to forget the bad memories, she went to INK-nitiatve, a Texas-based charity that helps people who wants to remove any tattoo on them that are no longer desirable due to the negative implications they may have to the owner’s mental health.
“But I have to remember that I hadn’t worked on myself or tried to learn how to love myself like I have now. So then I feel proud because change is possible and healing and learning new things are possible. I like being able to look back and see my personal growth.”
Zebrasky now works as a heavy machinery operator and has been going on sessions to remove the tattoos bit by bit.
The process wasn’t easy: Zebrasky had to have them removed bit by bit because the face can only heal so much at a time. She shared with the tattoo removal clinic, “I go into a store, and people stare at me. It makes me uncomfortable. I want to be looked at like a normal person. I live my life just like everybody else.”
The hardest part was when she had to remove the part on the nose. Zebrasy said, “The initial pain from the laser I would relate to having a rubber band snapping against your skin, that’s what the laser feels like and then like afterwards it’s sore for 30 minutes.”
“It welts up afterwards and there’s some pain almost like if you spilt oil from the stove on your hand, that’s the closest I can compare to what it feels like on my hands.”
The woman who worked as her remover also expressed her surprise as she’s never seen someone with so many face tattoos. But within just a few meetings, she could easily recall her as a “sweet” and “funny” woman.
She now feels a lot more “normal” in her own body.
“For a very long time, I felt like I wasn’t free. Like I had to live a certain way because of things that were going on in my life with addiction and self-harm.”
“And now, I feel like I don’t have to live like that anymore. I can just live my life — I’m finally free.”