A Canadian man who is in the process of tattooing his entire body blue says it has transformed his life and ‘re-energised’ his mental health.
Donnie Snider, 26, from Scarborough, Ontario, used to be a forklift operator but now lives in a ‘clapped-out transit bus’ and makes a living selling earrings.
His career path isn’t the only thing he’s changed though, with his new blue hue shifting his mentality so that he now feels a ‘renewed optimism’ about life.
Why has he decided to turn himself blue, you’re probably wondering? In Donnie’s own words, ‘I thought it would be neat.’ He continued: ‘To be honest, I just like the look of it. It’s definitely striking, and I think it’s a beautiful colour.’
After a few early tattoo attempts went awry, the 26-year-old got his sister to ink up part of his leg and foot in turquoise in 2017 – and he hasn’t looked back since.
And while some critics describe his tatts as ‘plain’ and ‘simple’, Donnie couldn’t care less, stating: ‘I like the clean look – unladen by symbols.’
Before he got the tattoos (or is it just a singular tattoo at this point, who knows) Donnie’s life looked very different, with the tatts (tatt?) having helped his mental health.
Over several years I had been isolating myself, and making efforts to tone down my less-than-pragmatic impulses, out of fear and lack of confidence – and I was extremely miserable.
After going in circles for far too long, I decided to quit hiding, break myself out of stagnation and remake my life as I’d like it to be, and redirect it to the pursuit a life I’d actually be happy to live.
I feel a renewed optimism about the feasibility of pursuing wild dreams. I feel as if I’m slowly becoming re-energised after a protracted period of stagnation. I might become a trillionaire, or move to Mars. Or just carry on selling earrings and get my bus fixed up.
The reactions he’s received from strangers continue to spur Donnie on, regardless of whether they’re positive or not. ‘Some people love the tattoo, others are clearly not thrilled about it,’ he explained.
While he says he ‘doesn’t blame’ those who ask ‘endless’ questions because he understands how ‘curious’ people can be, Donnie does say he’s had many ‘bizarre’ interactions because of his blue skin tone.
While some are harmless, with Donnie getting many ‘surprised looks’ and ‘unblinking stares’, he has also been the subject of ‘mean-spirited jokes’ and ‘invasive questions’. It can sometimes go from nought to 100 as well, with people ‘taking videos without asking’ and others ‘licking their thumbs to try and rub the tattoo off’.
He has also been flirted with and had people ‘pull at [his] clothes to peek underneath’, explaining:
Questions from strangers about my genitals have increased by like 10,000%. It’s like living life in strange-mode.
Although Donnie sometimes feels insulted by people’s reactions, he doesn’t let any negativity get him down, stating: ‘Most insults are unimaginative and predictable.’
In fact, most can be lumped together in the category of ‘unflattering comparisons to other things that are blue’.
The one thing that does rile him is when people assume he doesn’t work for a living or that he claims taxpayer assistance, to which he says: ‘I would sooner eat out of a dumpster.’
And while his friends barely mention the tattoo – ‘we don’t really talk about it, they don’t notice it any more’ – his mum took longer to come around to the change.
She did eventually come round though, with Donnie explaining that she ‘quickly accepted blue skin as the new normal’, despite being ‘definitely annoyed’ at first.
Donnie now shares his progress with thousands of followers on his Instagram page, so if you can’t get enough of his blue lifestyle on here not to worry, there’s a whole heap more of pictures to look at.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).