Woman forced to defend unfortunate 'anti-mask' tattoo in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

The meaning literally changed overnight.
The meaning literally changed overnight. Photo credit: TikTok/Lee Holland.

A US woman has been forced to defend the deeply unfortunate 'anti-mask' tattoo she received early last year, before the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world. 

Twenty-five-year-old Lee Holland says she dreamed of her tattoo for at least two years before finally getting it done: an inscription on her arm that reads, "courageously and radically refuse to wear a mask". 

Holland says it references her viewpoint that it's pointless to pretend you're something you're not. 

She finally got the tattoo in March last year - only two days before her state of Kentucky received its first case of COVID-19. 

Holland recently got the chance to show off her tattoo to the world thanks to a new TikTok trend asking people to show off the "dumbest tattoo they've ever gotten". 

She told Buzzfeed she's been continually worried about people thinking she was anti-mask during the pandemic - which she says she's absolutely not. 

"I spent the entire summer wearing cardigans so that could not be misconstrued," she said. "For most of the summer, I was mortified."

Her mother even posted a photo of Holland wearing a mask, jokingly labelling her "a hypocrite". 

Luckily Holland says she can laugh about it now - as could the amused commenters who watched her TikTok. 

"Tell me you have bad timing without telling me you had bad timing," one person commented. 

"Can I suggest adding another line: hindsight is 20/20," another wrote. 

"That curdled faster than milk in the sun," another joked.