Face Tattoo After First Date? No Regrets, Says Russian Girl

Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 02:14 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Russian tattoo artist branded his name in five-inch Gothic letters across his girlfriend's cheeks just 24 hours after the couple's first date, according to the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. So far, she hasn't regretted it.

Rouslan Toumaniantz was in an online relationship with a Russian college graduate he met in a chat room. He convinced her to allow him to tattoo an alternative spelling of his name — "Ruslan" — on her face just 24 hours after meeting in person for the first time, the Sun said. Since then she assumed his surname, at least on Facebook, and now Rouslan and Lesya Toumaniantz are reportedly engaged, or possibly already married, according to some media accounts.

"It's a symbol of our eternal devotion," Lesya Toumaniantz told the Sun of her new body art. "I'd like him to tattoo every inch of my body."

This isn't Rouslan Toumaniantz's first brush with tattoo infamy. In 2009, a teenage girl accused him of tattooing 56 stars on her face while she was asleep in his Belgian studio. She later recanted her story, saying she lied because her father was upset about the ink. Toumaniantz fled to Russia after the scandal.

Such distinct facial tattoos are long-considered taboo, as they are mostly seen on exhibitionists at tattoo conventions.

However, The Guardian suggests that facial ink is growing in popularity. Vladimir Franz, whose face is heavily tattooed, is a prominent politician in the Czech Republic and was even a registered candidate in the 2013 presidential race in January.

Still, most people tend to regret their face art, like the professional wrestler who got the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan campaign logo inscribed on his temple. Eric Hartsburg, the Michigan man who auctioned off tattoo-space on his body for $5,000 on eBay before the election, told Politico he plans to have the tattoo lasered off.

Friends of Lesya Toumaniantz, however, support the girl's decision to have "Ruslan" tattooed on her face.

"I know that there are people who are terrified that Lesya has made a rash decision that she'll regret horribly," a friend of the couple told the Huffington Post. "But sometimes the best decisions are the ones you make in an instant with your heart rather than the ones long-debated in your mind."

The Twitter universe was less forgiving:

Toumaniantz is now reportedly teaching Lesya how to tattoo, the Sun said.

Related story:

Should I Let My Kid Get a Tattoo? 

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