A man who has spent the past 10 years getting tattooed with advertisements for money is now asking people to help him get the money to remove them.
Nicknamed “Billy the Human Billboard,” Billy Gibby has about 20 tattoos on his face. He is offering to put more advertisements on the rest of his body in exchange for money to remove his facial ones. He estimates it will cost about $4,000.
Gibby said he has struggled with bipolar disorder, which made it difficult to find and keep a job. So he started offering up his skin to companies who wanted to place an advertisement on his face.
He started a blog in 2009 which explained that tattooing was a way for him to support his family and that his goal was to make it into the “Guinness Book of World Records” for most tattoo advertisements.
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He said he was recently laid off and needed the money to support his family of seven.
“I hate to do this, but my kids are my everything,” he said. “I’d give my life for them to let them live, so I tattooed my face because I refuse for them to be homeless.”
His first advertisement tattoo was one for goldenpalace.com which was tattooed on his entire back years before he decided to get facial tattoos. He made $10,000 from that advertisement, which he mainly spent on medical bills after he decided to donate a kidney to a random stranger.
Gibby loves helping others as he also donated an estimated 20 gallons of blood and volunteered frequently. But as he struggled with his mental illness, he realized he might need some help from others as well.
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“My kids look at me and know that’s daddy, but I worry if I don’t get them taken off, other kids will make fun of my kids for their daddy having tattoos on his face,” he said. “I look in the mirror and cry sometimes. People are so judgmental because of how I look, but one thing I’ve learned from this is to not judge people.”
Though he only got the tattoos to support his family, many employers have a hard time understanding his story and are reluctant to hire him. He was eventually able to land a job as a peer counselor at a local mental health center in Anchorage, Alaska, but was laid off after budgets were cut.
Now he has resorted back to using his body for advertisement. He even has changed his name to Hostgator Dotcom and said he is willing to change it again for a company or website.
For now, his main goal is to receive enough money to have the facial tattoos removed. He said he does not mind getting tattoos on other body parts.
In total, he has made about $100,000 off tattoo advertisements, but that money is now long gone.
Gibby said he recently got his first non-advertisement tattoos, which feature the names of his five children, two parents and wife.