If you caught the Fall/Winter 2011 fashion show by French designer Thierry Mugler, you got to see Lady Gaga doing her monster thing and modeling several looks from the line. But did you notice who else was with her? If you've seen her "Born This Way" video, you might have recognized him.
Canadian Rick Genest is better known to the world as Zombie Boy thanks to the singularly-thematic collection of tattooing he's been getting all over himself. A native of Montreal, this twenty-something has so far invested a few dozen hours of tattooing to the tune of almost $5000 to have himself turned into a living zombie.
Exposed brains, a face tattooed to look like a skull, ribs, bugs and spider webs: this zombie has all the details. The full body suit has been under construction for years, but is most complete on his upper body. Interestingly, Rick started with the skull tattoo on his face first, and if you do an image search on the Internet, you'll be able to see the progression from just the face to gradually including more and more tattooing and shading.
Genest has been proclaimed as the "muse" and inspiration to Lady Gaga's stylist, Nicola Formichetti, who also works as creative director for designer Mugler. After spotting the self-created idol of horror and sideshow performer on Facebook, Formichetti got him to be in the fashion show and to appear in Lady Gaga's music video.
Although Genest tells stories of getting hassled when he first began his face tattooing, with over 20,000 fans on Facebook it's clear that more people are entranced these days. And apparently his mother has slowly warmed to his morbid and rotting appearance over the years.
One thing that's a tad odd is his appearance in the video. For a song proclaiming that how people are born is just fine, it seems interesting that someone who clearly went to a lot of trouble to make themselves into something that is clearly not how they were born seems a bit contradictory.
To see the video, just stop by YouTube and type in "Born This Way." To see Rick in all his (un)living colors, just enter "Zombie Boy" into your preferred search engine.