The Controversy Surrounding Kat Von D

The Controversy Surrounding Kat Von D

Aug 27, 2020Rita

You may know Kat Von D as the amazing tattoo artist that made it to the Guinness World Record in 2008 by tattooing 400 customers in just one day. But what else is there to know about this colorful and controversial TV personality? Read all about her origins, career, and family!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Rosdiana Ciaravolo | Kat Von D poses for photos at Sephora, Vittorio Emanuele Milan on April 8, 2017 in Milan, Italy.


Kat Von D, born March 8, 1982, was named Katherine Von Drachenberg at birth. The model, musician, author, entrepreneur, and television personality was born and grew up in Mexico, as her family relocated there due to missionary work for the Seventh-day Adventist church. 

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Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason Merritt / FilmMagic | Kat Von D during Napoleon Perdis Hollywood Store Unveiling - May 1, 2007 at Napoleon Perdis in Hollywood, California, United States.

The family later relocated to California, but Kat Von D was not living the Californian Dream. Due to their religious beliefs, the family educated their children to follow a life of piety and biblical laws. Growing up, Von D was told to dress extremely conservatively and had to restrain from eating certain types of seafood.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vivien Killilea | Kat Von D attends Kat Von D Beauty 10th Anniversary Party at Vibiana Cathedral on May 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.


Living a life of reverence while residing in California is not an easy task, and soon enough Kat was eager to find out more about the outside world. While she was a teenager, the future celebrity found her passion for punk music, and soon enough she was skipping her classical piano lessons so she could attend punk concerts.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Gregg DeGuire | Tattoo artist Kat Von D arrives at Mercy For Animals Hidden Heroes Gala 2016 at Vibiana on September 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Eventually, Von D’s passion for the punk world became stronger than the beliefs her family taught her. She broke the news of her first tattoo to the family, and apparently that was only the beginning. The tattoo artist commented that "I had a Mohawk and I was fourteen when I stopped going to school.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Neil Jacobs / CBS | "Tattoo Valentine Pregnant Guitar" - When Tyler and Clementine (Hunter King) go to a guitar store, Tyler gets uncomfortable when the attractive salesman, Ian (Josh Groban), repeatedly hits on her. Also, Tim's tattoo artist, Lois (Kat Von D) makes a spelling error on a tattoo he got as a Valentine's Day surprise for Heather, Matt's plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with Colleen doesn't go as well as he hoped, and Greg and Jen discuss whether they should have another baby, on LIFE IN PIECES, Thursday, Feb. 11 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Tim (Dan Bakkedahl) and Lois (Kat Von D), shown.


Kat Von D soon decided to relocate to the heart of Los Angeles, a city where tattoo shops are not uncommon, and her natural talent came forward. She commented that "I really felt like it was a luxury to be able to do something that you love."

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Buckner | Tattoo artist Kat Von D inks a tattoo on someone in an attempt to break the 24-hour Guinness World Tattoo Record at LA Ink December 14, 2007 in West Hollywood, California.

In 2005, Von D was invited to join reality TV show “Miami Ink”, which felt the need for a strong female cast member. Quickly becoming one of the fan favorites, her co-stars didn’t feel very happy by the way she easily stole the show and became successful, and so internal hostilities ensued. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tiffany Rose / WireImage | Kat Von D of LA Ink and Vinnie Paul of Pantera attend the 2nd Annual Golden Gods Awards Nominees and Press Conference at The Rainbow Bar and Grill on February 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.


The star tattoo artist was taken aback by the stress and negative feelings she was getting from the show in Miami, and so decided to return to California and open up her own shop, High Voltage Tattoo. Nevertheless, TLC recognized her success among the viewers of the show and offered her own TV show, L.A. Ink.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Matthew Simmons | LA Ink's Kat Von D as she attempts to brake the Guinness World Record at High Voltage Tattoo on December 14, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.

Even though she was a rising star as a reality TV personality and her tattoo business was soaring high, Kat began to feel too overwhelmed. Not only did she have to handle the pressure of being a TV star, but she also started her own makeup line with Sephora, which made her explode as a fashion influencer.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Juan Naharro Gimenez / WireImage | Kat Von D attends Sephora Urban Art Installation at Sphora on September 29, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.


Having dealt with some personal problems, which might have been caused by her experience at Miami Ink, Kat Von D decided to change her life and follow a healthier lifestyle. She adopted a strict vegan diet, which is believed to have helped her stay on track and handle all the stress that her successful business life was bringing her.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Phillip Faraone / WireImage | Kat Von D attends the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's 40th Anniversary Gala For The Oceans at Montage Beverly Hills on June 10, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

Von D took her beliefs about animal cruelty into her social media, and also into her professional life. Once she released her makeup line, Kat Von D focused on providing the customers with cruelty-free products, packaging designs drawn by herself, as well as long-lasting formulas. Quickly becoming a success, the brand expanded and offered a wide range of products.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Fotonoticias / WireImage | Kat Von D attends the launch of the 'Kat Von D Beauty' make up collection at Callao Cinema on October 7, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.


The success of Kat Von D’s makeup brand possibly came due to her personal investment in it. The artist even admitted that she “painstakingly micro-managed” the creation of the entire product line. But at the beginning of 2020, Von D announced that she would be selling her shares of the company and stepping out.

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Livingston | TV personality Kat Von D attends the Farm Sanctuary's 30th Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 12, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

The statement, that can be found on the tattoo artist’s social media, explains that she wanted to focus all of her attention on being a mother, as well as continuing to develop her vegan shoe line, and working on her musical career. After several years of investing in this business, Kat felt like it was time to move forward.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Juan Naharro Gimenez / WireImage | Kat Von D attends Sephora Urban Art Installation at Sphora on September 29, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.


Much has been said about Von D’s love life. Towards the end of TLC’s L.A. Ink, the tattoo artist had dated several of Hollywood’s bad boys, from Oliver Peck to Nikki Sixx and Jesse James, passing through Deadmau5 and Steve-O. Kat Von D’s love life was not a boring one, but only one man stole her heart.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Musician Nikki Sixx and tattoo artist Kat Von D attend the Details Mavericks of 2008 Cocktail Party on March 20, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.

Rafael Reyes, the lead singer of the band Prayers, took Kat’s breath and heart away, and the couple has been together since 2018. Even though the couple had known each other since 2016, their relationship evolved quickly. The couple got married on February 21, 2018, and three months later announced they were pregnant with their first child.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Gregg DeGuire | Tattoo artist Kat Von D and husband Rafael Reyes arrive at the Animal Equality's Inspiring Global Action Los Angeles Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.


Kat Von D is no stranger to love, but just because she had her fair share of partners it doesn’t mean that all of them were happy. The Miami Ink star was on Anna Faris' Unqualified podcast when she disclosed juicy details about her worst relationship.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard | TV personalities Jesse James (L) and Kat Von D attend the Art Of Elysium "Heaven" Gala 2011 at The California Science Center Exposition Park on January 15, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Von D said she was in a relationship with someone who kept on hurting her, even though they were only together for one year. Kat didn’t name her ex, but she mentioned that "I think I was in denial maybe a little bit. I wanted this to be real and it wasn’t. I used to be a hopeless romantic."

Image Credits: Getty Images / C Flanigan / FilmMagic | Deadmau5 (L) and television personality Kat Von D pose backstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Believing in taking care of her body, and being a devout vegan, Kat Von D made the announcement that she was against her family consuming any strange or animal-based substances. This didn’t seem to be a problem until she informed her followers that she would refuse to vaccinate her child.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Alison Buck / WireImage | Kat Von D attends Animal Equality 10th Anniversary Celebration Honoring Moby at At The P on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Von D went back on her word and ended up protecting her son’s immune system. In an interview with Los Angeles Times, she admitted that "When it comes to the vaccine issue, I was six months pregnant at the time, and I was still trying to figure out my birthing plan to have my son [...]"

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tiffany Rose / WireImage | Kat Von D of LA Ink attends the 2nd Annual Golden Gods Awards Nominees and Press Conference at The Rainbow Bar and Grill on February 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.


Even though the tattoo artist ended up vaccinating her child, from the fans’ perspective the damage was done. She said that "[...] at the time, I made a completely thoughtless post on my Instagram on whether or not I would vaccinate my son. And, because of it, people think I'm something that I'm not."

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mike Coppola / FilmMagic | Television personality/tatoo artist Kat Von D promotes her new book "The Tattoo Chronicles" at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on October 26, 2010 in New York City.

"But the truth is, I'm not an anti-vaxxer at all," she continued. "I just made a mistake, and I was completely uninformed. It was stupid, and I really shouldn't have opened my big mouth on the subject." However, this was not her last controversy, and recently her fans took once again to the social media comments to share their thoughts.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Rosdiana Ciaravolo | Kat Von D poses for photos at Sephora, Vittorio Emanuele Milan on April 8, 2017 in Milan, Italy.


From her first tattoo, back when Von D was only a teenager, until now, many ink and needles have passed through her skin. On an Instagram video, the tattoo artist showed her new and massive blackout cover-up tattoo in her forearm. While Kat seemed to be excited about her new addition, her fans didn’t seem to feel the same. 

"I'm so in love with my new blacked out arm tattooed by @hoode215!" Kat wrote alongside a video of her new ink on her social media account. However, the comment section was buzzing with hurtful messages and comments on her new piece of art. Many people commented on how the tattoo was "just terrible" and "absolutely horrendous".

Image Credits: Getty Images / Carlos Alvarez | Tattoo Artist Kat Von D presents her new Make Up Collection "Kat Von D Beauty" at the Callao cinema on October 7, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.


"Having been in the tattoo industry for the greater part of my life, I’ve seen countless tattoos of all types of styles — but NEVER have I felt inspired to tell anyone 'that’s ugly' or 'you’re stupid,'" she wrote on Instagram

Image Credits: Getty Images / Sean Gallup | Tatoo artist Kat Von D presents her latest book 'The Tattoo Chronicles' at the Regent Hotel on December 6, 2010 in Berlin, Germany.

"Tattoos are funny in the sense that ultimately it is one of the most intimately personal things we can do for ourselves. But even though tattoos are an outward expression, they really aren’t for anyone else other than the person wearing it.” she went on to add, explaining why she loves to share aspects of her personal life.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jack Taylor | Tattoo artist and television personality Kat Von D is pictured as she meets her fans at the Kat Von D Beauty UK launch at Debenhams, Oxford Street on October 8, 2016 in London, England.


The tattoo artist finished her announcement by sharing some tattoo inspiration, “Last thing: Swipe through to see some inspiring black work tattoos by @hoode215. Even if it’s something you would never get, there’s no denying the simplistic aesthetic to this style of tattooing really is beautiful in its own way. Lotsa Love. X [sic]."

Even though Von D has been through several stressful and controversial situations, she seems to have overcome them and kept thriving in spite of them. From a religious upbringing to different reality TV shows and several entrepreneur businesses, Von D seems to always like to have the last word and come up on top.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Rosdiana Ciaravolo | Kat Von D at Sephora, Vittorio Emanuele Milan on April 8, 2017 in Milan, Italy.

Her professional and personal life, which to many might be considered a mess, helps us have some hope on how we can overcome the difficult paths that show up before us. It is likely that in a few months, or perhaps even weeks, Kat Von D will be making more headlines, and we will be here to share it all with you. Until then, take on the chance to read more about other celebrities. 

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