Internet outraged over offensive “Gen Z Tattoo” TikTok trend

TikTok: julissaroman25

A recent TikTok trend, which encouraged people from Generation Z to all get a similar tattoo, has gone viral for all the wrong reasons. 

TikTok user and Generation Z member Jordan Joann Williams recently posted a video encouraging other members of Generation Z (which refers people born between the mid-late 90s and early 2010s) to get the letter “Z” tattooed on them as a symbol of the generations “unity” and “rebellion”.

However, other TikTok users were quick to point out that the ‘”Z” design proposed in this video was actually reminiscent of the Wolfsangel symbol, which was an early symbol used by prominent hate groups during the early 1900s.

A lot of people on social media also shared their enthusiasm for the matching tattoos, which led to TikTok users who know the symbol’s history desperately duetting with people to stop them from getting the symbol tattooed on them.

However, despite this and fact that the the video was swiftly deleted following people pointing out OP’s error, this didn’t stop several people from getting the tattoo.

The original poster later responded to the online backlash, explaining that she had been writing her Z’s that way since pre-school and was unaware of the implications of the symbol.

In a tearful apology, she explains that this trend was meant to be about “bringing the whole generation together” and spreading “love and unity”. She also shared that as part of the backlash of incident, she had been receiving death threats and had people contacting her boyfriend, who she says had “nothing to do with this”.

Begging people to leave her alone, Jordan said: “I am not Charli D’Amelio, I am not Loren Grey and I do not know how to handle hate like this.”

However, this appeal seemed to be in vain, as she later uploaded a TikTok detailing messages she received from another user.

Since then, people have been sharing ideas for an alternative “Gen Z” tattoo that doesn’t have the same connotations as the original idea, with many people suggesting incorporating an equals sign into the tattoo.

Seemingly bouncing back from the online hate she received, Williams uploaded a further TikTok summarising the range of less offensive Gen Z tattoos other users had come up with.

Although this trend started out with the best intentions, it is good that people now recognise the disturbing and offensive historical context behind the tattoo.

There are other ways to show unity, and hopefully one of the alternative tattoo designs catch on!