Black Ink Crew star Dutchess describes herself as “Classy, sophisticated, and aggressive. Aggressive because I’m a strong, independent black woman.” But when Ceaser, her boss, gets a chance to chime in, his description is “evil-ass southern belle.” It’s the classic “boys tease you when they like you” move, and Ceaser clearly crushes on her while also keeping his distance because she can probably whoop his butt if necessary.
Dutchess and the rest of the cast of the show are visiting the VH1 office in between filming the show and explains that later in the day, she has to head back to the shop to give a new client a tattoo…on his penis. It’s not the first time she’s done this and she says it’s because she’s a woman, she gets stuck with these dirty jobs. “All of the dudes are like, I don’t wanna do that. It’s always the woman that gets the bulls—! Like you have to do the jobs they don’t want to do.” A penis tattoo is hardly the worst thing she’s ever had to give, however. That honor goes to a woman Dutchess had to ink a few years back. “I’ve done a starfish on a girl’s butt-hole. That is like, ridiculous to me. It was while I was in California, I had a guest spot in a shop out there and she comes in and she’s like, I wanna get a starfish. It’s disgusting. My thing is, why do you even wanna do that to yourself? Nobody’s ever gonna see it, what purpose does it serve? It’s not for me.”
It’s probably not the kind of job she ever thought she’d be doing back when she was in business school (which she graduated from in 2009). But she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And her family, who will also appear on the show later this season, are also totally supportive, despite their initial concerns. (Um, who wouldn’t be concerned when their daughter’s job involves starfish butt tattoos?) “They’re in full support of what I want to do. In college they wanted me to do the more corporate thing and were like, why are you a tattoo artist?” she says. “But now they’re like, if you love it, why make a sacrifice?”
Dutchess, who was given her nickname by her grandmother because “I’m the firstborn grandchild, I’m the oldest child, and I’m the person in the family that nobody worries about because I’m always going to be all right,” will probably open up her own shop someday. “My goal was never to work for anybody, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but I’d rather be a part of a black-owned and operated situation, I love to support black businesses, so it’s a fitting situation for me at Black Ink. But I’m Dutchess. I’m eventually going to have to have my own thing. That’s what a queen does.”
Check out Dutchess’ style in our photos below, and tune in to Black Ink Crew on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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[Photos: Lauren Weissler/VH1]