Dolly Diamond’s first tattoo was both tragically British and just a little tragic.
With a sigh that can be heard throughout the room she launches in to a story of drunkenness, ideas of foreign exotic islands (Greece, of course) and the resulting bird tattoo – predictably, a swallow.
Laughter follows as she admits her second tattoo of a cherry blossom showed all the hallmarks of being just as clichéd. The meaning of this, her first official inking, however had a much more profound meaning for the popular 24-year-old model.
“I went through a very difficult relationship and it symbolises the power of femininity,” admits Dolly. “I am a unicorn and I won’t settle for any other treatment.”
Unicorn is an appropriate description for the bright, bubbly and difficult-to-catch beauty. Always on the move, the Brit found herself in Australia almost by accident. Initially invited for a holiday, so entranced was she by our culture and creativity she didn’t want to leave!
Sadly, Dolly Diamond isn’t quite here to stay just yet.
“I still can’t stay here permanently and I’m working on that. Sydney has always been my playground and I’ve been able to make more of an impact and gain more inspiration for future projects than I ever have in England. I mean, have you seen the beaches and the landscapes around this country? You guys have got it good. Oh, and the coffee is second to none.”
Though, she admits, there are negatives to being tattooed in the lucky country. “Having tattoos I’ve found there’s an unfair stigma attached [in Australia] which is alien to me. But any bar or place which is going to alienate someone due to the artwork on their skin isn’t somewhere I want to go anyhow. I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences here that I wouldn’t change for the world and it’s the first place I’ve been that feels like home.”
Dolly’s experiences of travelling with such distinctive tattoos has lead to all sorts of experiences. People stop and talk to her, point or look down their noses, but in her amazingly positive way she knows the best way to deal with it all is “to just smile, it confuses people”.
While her face is known to many via her social media presence, Dolly Diamond works hard to keep a balance between the seen and hidden, preferring to keep her private life separate from her public persona. Though she’s also found the beauty of letting people in, with strangers responding to her non-filtered, human side with love and support. “When you show your struggles and imperfections people can relate to you more and it can even help those feel support in times they may need it.
“I also love a good party and I’m never going to hide that.”
With a following of more than 181,000 on Instagram, Dolly Diamond has used her presence to gather commercial sponsorships, a partner or two, been sent everything from unicorn gear to festival clothing, been part of amazing projects and made many lifelong friends. A highlight is making the cover of Inked Australia/NZ, which she documented while on set at American soul food servery Miss Peaches in Sydney’s Newtown.
“My friends cried because they were so excited. I’ve kept most of it under wraps until the issue has come out because I’m superstitious as hell and let’s not play it down, I’m hella excited I got to work with my favourite tattoo magazine in my favourite country.”
As for that distinctive tattooed arm, it’s the creation of artist Ben Doukakis and came from one simple exchange. She simple said “hey man, I want a half sleeve of mandalas and patterns with negative spaces and not overly girly”.
The rest is magic, which perfectly sums up this gem!