Things That Matter

Woman Ditches Her Tattoo Artist After He Body Shames Her: ‘You Got Back Rolls’

A California resident named Dalina recently posted a TikTok video about a nightmarish tattoo appointment that ended with her abruptly paying the artist and storming out of his studio. In her video, which has more than 15 million views, Dalina confesses she had just had a panic attack in her car before posting, and wanted to get some feedback from her followers on what happened to her.

“I need to know if I’m being dramatic or not. I just left in the middle of getting my tattoo. Like, in the middle of my appointment, I got up and I paid him and I left,” she said. “I met this guy at the gym and he approached me specifically because of my tattoos. He was like, ‘Oh, I do tattoos’ and he gave me his card and we exchanged information and then I looked him up and I liked his work and I had a tattoo that I wanted to get all over my stomach.”

After arriving at the studio, the artist had Dalina take off her shirt; her torso was nude with nothing but pasties on for close to half an hour. “And he just starts talking about how unsymmetrical I was,” she said. “He starts calling my boobs ‘tits.’ But, the last straw: I turn around, and he goes, ‘Ah, I get why I see you in the gym all the time. You got back rolls.'”

Dalina’s story continues in an interview with Buzzfeed, where she explains what happened next. “I was honestly in shock hearing the comments,” she told them. “He could tell my mood changed almost immediately because he asked and when I said, ‘To be honest with you, what you’ve said was extremely offensive,’ he looked at me like I was crazy. Like, he was shocked I even said something at all. He brushed me off and told me not to take life too seriously.”

Even still, Dalina wanted to try and press ahead with the tattoo appointment. However, that’s when the artist started getting aggressive.

“He didn’t tell me I had to stay and get tattooed, but he became visibly annoyed. I told myself to suck it up and get it over with. I didn’t want to start any trouble. But when he started my outline, he was being so rough when wiping away excessive ink. I felt like he was intentionally trying to make me feel smaller. That’s when it clicked that I had to go.”

At that point, Dalina decided she had had enough, even though the artist only barely finished the outline. Hurt, offended and with an unfinished tattoo, Dalina pretended she had an emergency at home and made her move to leave. “I felt like I had to pay him because I realized that I was in a room alone with just this bigger man who was rude and had no problem disrespecting me,” she said. “Who’s to say he wouldn’t have become physical if I refused to pay? Men are notorious for hurting women for less. I paid him $200 in total and just ran out after. At the time, it felt like a small fee for my safety.”

The interaction came as a shock to Dalina, who said her prior interactions with the artist at her gym had all been positive and respectful.

“He complimented my tattoos and chatted with me about my ink and how he was a tattoo artist and gave me his card. I thought he was being kind. He seemed genuine. Every time afterward he would wave at me or approach me saying things like ‘putting that work in I see’ or even fist bumping me with a ‘good job’ in the middle of my workouts.”

Dalina’s experience with him was even more hurtful because tattoos have been a way for her to express herself and love her body, and she felt as though the artist had disrespected not only her body but the ways she uses tattoos as a form of self-love. “Tattoos make me feel more like myself. The more work I get done, the happier I am,” she said.

After sharing her story, Dalina wants women everywhere to know that their boundaries are important, and that it’s never wrong to leave a situation that makes someone feel uncomfortable. “Nobody has the right to disrespect you. You don’t need to excuse people’s bad behavior, but most importantly, trust your gut and be aware of your surroundings. I was nervous about posting my experience because I felt almost dramatic, like I was in the wrong for leaving. Then I realized I wasn’t.”

Her followers agreed, and Dalina was flooded with supportive comments assuring her that she made the right call.

Thankfully, the story had a happy ending after Dalina was contacted by a female tattoo artist who finished her tattoo for free!

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