Thousands of young TikTok users get 'Gen Z' tattoo, don't realise it's a Nazi symbol

Generation Z TIkTOk tattoo trend
Williams soon realised her mistake - but the damage was already done. Photo credit: TikTok.

In a clear case of a viral trend gone wrong, thousands of young TikTok users have gotten a tattoo to symbolise being part of 'Generation Z' without realising the symbol is difficult to distinguish from a Nazi symbol. 

The movement to get a 'Gen Z' tattoo began when US teen Jordan Williams - who goes by the TikTok handle @smoothavocado - posted a video encouraging her followers to get matching tattoos as part of a "rebellion". 

"OK Gen Z listen up!" Williams captioned a video of herself staring into the camera wearing a black hoodie.

"What if, now hear me out... we all got a matching tattoo. As not only a symbol of unity in our generation but also as a sign of rebellion."

The matching tattoo she chose? A 'Z' with a line through the middle - a symbol she saw in the comments section of another video, according to United States Today.

But what Williams didn't realise was a backwards Z with a line through the middle is the wolfsangel symbol, which was used extensively by army divisions of Nazi Germany and other white supremacy groups. 

Although Williams only has 2000 followers, the call-out spread wide and soon many 'Generation Z' TikTok users had unfortunately been inked, sharing their new tats on social media. 

The now-deleted video called for other young TikTok users to get inked with the symbol, tied to white supremacist groups.
The now-deleted video called for other young TikTok users to get inked with the symbol, tied to white supremacist groups. Photo credit: TikTok/@smoothavocado,

"SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR GEN Z ONLY: We are all getting matching tattoos of this symbol below," one TikTok user captioned their video. 

"It is a symbol of our generation and if we all get it, we will be the most united generation in decades! I'm getting mine next week. Lmk, tag me, whatever you'd like to show yours off."

But others were quick to point out the real origins of the symbol, warning others not to get the tattoo. 

"If you got the 'Gen Z tattoo' you are a special kind of stupid," commented one social media user.

"The fact that some of Gen Z are just getting a tattoo cuz someone told them to without realising they're tattooing a Nazi symbol on themselves," wrote another. "Please research [what you're] gonna tattoo on yourself always." 

Eventually Williams realised her mistake, later saying in a second video: "Yeah maybe don't... let's find a different symbol."

But for many, the damage was already done. We're likely going to be seeing a lot of laser treatments in the future from this one. 

Generation Z is a term for the generational group following millennials, encompassing all those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s.