A woman who got an inspirational tattoo about refusing ‘to wear a mask’ just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit has opened up about her regret now that the words have taken on an entirely different meaning.
‘Courageously & radically refuse to wear a mask,’ reads Holland’s forearm tattoo, which has personal significance, but can now be easily misconstrued if taken literally.
Bad timing: Leah Holland, 25, from Kentucky, revealed in a viral TikTok video that she got a tattoo saying she will ‘courageously & radically refuse to wear a mask’ before the pandemic
It’s likely that people will now read the quote and incorrectly assume she is against wearing physical masks amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, hence the mortification.
‘So I got this tattoo — I’ve wanted it for a couple of years — it basically means being, like, true to yourself and real and not pretending to be something you’re not,’ she explained, pulling up her sleeve for the camera.
‘I got this March 4, 2020,’ she added, the significance of the date not lost on viewers.
Kentucky confirmed its first COVID-19 case just two days after she got the tattoo. Within weeks, most of the country was in lockdown and wearing masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus.
Easily misconstrued: Holland, who is known as @wakaflockafloccar on TikTok, explained it is meant to signify being ‘true to yourself’ and ‘not pretending to be something you’re not’
Whoops: Holland admitted she spent most of the summer wearing long-sleeves to cover her tattoo because she didn’t want people to think she is an anti-masker
‘I could NOT have had worse timing,’ Holland captioned her video, adding: ‘P.S. I’m not anti-mask I promise.’
Holland, who is known as @wakaflockafloccar on TikTok, told BuzzFeed that she had wanted to get the tattoo for two years before she went through with it, saying it represents her refusal to be someone she’s not.
‘Basically, I had a friend that said this quote about me,’ she explained. ‘We were just talking about things that we really admire about the other person, and he said, “You courageously and radically refuse to wear a mask.”‘
She admitted that she spent most of the summer wearing long-sleeves because she was worried people would think it’s an ‘anti-mask tattoo,’ but she eventually came to realize it’s not worth being self-conscious about
Cracking jokes: Holland’s video has been viewed more than two million times, and commenters thought her unfortunate timing was hilarious
‘It’s just a funny story now. I can laugh about it,’ she said. ‘I think it’s funny when other people are like, “I laughed so hard.” I’m laughing about it too!’
Others are just as amused by her TikTok video, which has been viewed more than two million times and has many people cracking up over her unfortunate timing.
‘March 2020? That didn’t just age bad. That curdled faster than milk in the summer sun,’ one person commented.
Another added: ‘I’m so sorry that the context of your tattoo literally changed overnight after you got it.’
Some TikTok users even offered suggestions to change it, with one person telling her to add the line: ‘Hindsight is 2020.’