By Alejandro Acosta

The first time I’d heard of the “Vampire Woman” was on a TV show and honestly, I didn’t give much thought to the woman who had 90 per cent of her body tattooed and modified with subcutaneous implants.

But then I was introduced to Maria Jose Cristerna in 2011 at a Body Suspension event by her manager Pepe where she was suspended with hooks placed in her upper back.

Her tattooed skin, body piercings and transformations make her look stunning, even to a person familiar with extreme body modifications. She is famous and a regular on television shows and events.

A while later I was assigned to do a story on Maria Jose, focusing more on her personal and daily life. So I asked her and she agreed to let me accompany her for a while in her life as a woman, mother, artist and friend. We ended up working together for almost a month without a set schedule. She is very busy and travels often, but during that time spent together I got to know details of her life, worthy of telling and listening to.

The simplest thing that might involve going out, like taking out the garbage or going to the farmer’s market, can become quite an ordeal. She never goes anywhere unnoticed; people ask her continuously if she really is the “Vampire Woman”. She becomes the center of attention be it in a supermarket or in a concert. She seldom picks up her kids from school herself because she is immediately accosted by crowds of parents and students. She tells me with a big laugh that her “friends and family jokingly refuse to go to the movies with her because people will come up non-stop asking for autographs or to have their picture taken with her and there is no way to enjoy a movie like that….”