Victoria Doan is a 26-year-old wife and mother living in Corbin. She is a 2012 graduate of Williamsburg High School who will soon be completing a cosmetology program. Her future plans include working locally to build up a client base before eventually starting her own business, but things could change depending on whether or not she is able to come out on top of the 2020 Inked Magazine Covergirl Competition.
Inked is a national publication that covers a wide variety of topics including music, fashion, sports and art, with the central focus being the importance of tattoos to many of the individuals involved in those fields. The magazine debuted in 2004, and has since transitioned to a digital-only format.
As for Doan, she said of her interest in body art, “I’ve always had a fascination with tattoos ever since I was a little kid. My mom has quite a few, and my dad has one. I have always liked them. When I was a kid I would put the stick-on tattoos all over myself. I think it started with that, and I just love the art of it. I love the colors. It’s just like a painting, basically, and something that you can use to express yourself. No one tattoo is the same as another.”
Doan got her first tattoo at age 16, with the permission of her mother. It is the image of a lily located on her hip. The flower has a few stars around it, as well as some tribal vines. She said that this particular piece would not be something that expresses who she is now, but in the decade since that first piece of art she has added many others, all of which having some kind of special meaning to her.
For example, Doan has several pieces on her body that she feels help express her faith in God. “It’s okay to love Jesus and still have tattoos,” she explained. “Everyone has their own opinion, but it has definitely come a long way. Before, if you walked into many churches with tattoos or piercings, I think it was definitely frowned upon. But a lot of churches now have become more accepting of that. A lot of the tattoos that I have are actually religious in nature.”
“One of the tattoos that I have are angel wings that go all the way down my back,” Doan continued. “The reason I got them is because I have been through different struggles in my life, and it was a way for me to always have a reminder that someone is watching over me.”
Doan also described a tattoo that she has on her forearm that depicts a praying angel. That one is in memory of her father, who was saved before he passed away, and the same imagery was used at his funeral.
Other family members, both living and deceased, that Doan has honored with a tattoo on her body include her son, her mother, her sister and her aunt. Her newest piece, a hummingbird, was done in remembrance of her grandmother, whom she described as “one of the most influential people in my life.”
Getting back to the Inked Magazine competition that Doan is currently a part of, she said, “Basically, if you win you get to be on the cover of their magazine, plus $25,000. I hope that by winning the competition I can show people in our community that tattoos are cool, they’re okay and you can have them and still be a successful person.”
“There are a lot of opportunities with the money,” Doan said. “I could start my business, and pay off my student loans. As far as getting on the cover, that is something that I’ve always dreamed about. I have always been a follower of Inked Magazine, so I think that would be 100% awesome if I was able to do that.”
Regardless of whether she wins or loses, Doan said that she plans to continue adding tattoos to her ever-growing collection in the years ahead, and by doing so she hopes to continue to help change people’s negative perceptions about them.
“There used to be a terrible stereotype surrounding tattoos,” Doan said. “That it is a sin to have them, that you are a bad person or that you’re not smart. A lot of businesses may not hire you, or will make you cover up your art. I ran into that a couple of times myself.”
“But I’ve noticed over the last few years that it has become more accepted to have tattoos. There are still some misconceptions, but it has come a long way. It’s not something that is frowned upon as much as it once was.”
To learn more about how you can vote for Doan in this year’s Inked Magazine Covergirl Competition, search for Inked Magazine on Facebook, or go to their official website, www.inkedmag.com. All voting is done online, and supporters can vote for free once daily. Additional votes can be purchased, with all money going to help fund the charity MusiCares (musicares.org).