Las Vegas tattoo artist Medwin Maca, otherwise known as ‘mmf_Tattoos’ on TikTok, has ruffled feathers in a viral video of the artist putting moisturizer instead of numbing cream on a client.
It’s a normal option when tattooing to get numbing cream put on the area. While not a necessity, for first-timers it can help soothe the nerves going into an extended session.
In Medwin’s TikTok, you see the tattoo artist covering a ‘revitalizing lotion’ bottle with tape before writing ‘Numbing Cream’ on it.
This is under the caption: “My client asked if I had numbing cream and I said yes, and so I gave her regular lotion. She won’t know the difference.”
The video ends with mmf_Tattoos rubbing the lotion into the unnamed tatto0ee’s arm before giving a thumbs up to the camera.
Without a follow-up video or direct information from the client themselves, the video gives the indication that all was well with the tat. According to the video caption “pain level was at a 0.”
Despite this, comments have lambasted the actions of the tattoo artist, claiming he’s lying to his customer as well as arguing against his right to decide how his clients deal with their pain. “It’s not even about what you did. Lying to a customer means you’re not a trustworthy artist,” one viewer said.
Arguing that men policing the pain of women is a common occurrence, one comment reads: “I didn’t even know numbing cream exists, but dudes telling women their pain isn’t real isn’t anything new or special.”
One TikToker argued that the act of placing the cream on the arm would be enough to achieve the desired effect in and of itself. “Placebo effect! Tattooed my feet with no numbing. Fell asleep on my shoulder tat. It’s therapeutic.”
Gatekeeping with the idea that pain is part of the process was another divisive point raised in the argument around the tattoo artists’ actions. With the claim being put forth: “Regardless of the ethics people might be concerned with. if you’re getting a tattoo and you need numbing cream, you don’t need to get a tattoo.”