GEORGIE Delpiero is used to being stared at and even criticised by some strangers.
But the 19-year-old was finally recognised for her individuality as well as her ink when she was named runner-up in Miss Ink NSW in Sydney at the weekend.
Thirteen inked-up beauties competed at the Vanguard in Newtown on Friday night and Ms Delpiero, of Mayfield, will now proceed to the Miss Ink Australia finals in Melbourne in September.
Despite being turned away by modelling agencies because of her tattoos and flaming red hair, the statuesque Ms Delpiero maintained an interest in fashion.
‘‘You wouldn’t catch me in track pants,’’ she joked.
Ms Delpiero, who uses a Gold-Coast based tattoo artist she has known for many years, spotted an advertisement for the Miss Ink competition online.
‘‘I get lots of comments and people judge you. I have tattoos but it doesn’t mean I’m a criminal or a bad person,’’ she said.
‘‘I look at my art as an upgrade not a downgrade. I put what’s inside me on the outside for everyone to see.’’
The second youngest of four, Ms Delpiero has tattoos of roses, her siblings’ names and faces.
She plans to get her right arm and back heavily tattooed before the next round of competition takes place in September.
Her mother, Jen Delpiero, was at first wary of her daughter’s new-found passion for ink.
‘‘Society in general is very judgmental and I tend to be a bit old school,’’ she said.
‘‘It took a while to get used to it. I’m really proud of my daughter. She is stunning and smart.’’
The Miss Ink Australia competition includes segments such as casual and formal wear and has an interview component.
Ms Delpiero has been known to sit for 10 hours at a time to have tattoo work done on her body.