A woman has recalled the disastrous tattoo experience that prompted her to get up in the middle of the process and walk out.
Dalina, who goes by the username @senoracabrona on TikTok, shared the incident in a video posted to the platform last month, in which she began by acknowledging that she didn’t know whether she was “being dramatic or not,” before revealing that she was body-shamed while getting a tattoo on her stomach, and that the experience led to a panic attack.
“I don’t know if I’m being dramatic or not, I just left in the middle of getting my tattoo,” she began the video, which was filmed from her car. “Like in the middle of my appointment, I just got up, paid him and I left.”
According to Dalina, who lives in California, she met the tattoo artist at her gym after he’d approached her “specifically because of [her] tattoos” and given her his card.
The TikToker then revealed that she’d looked up the artist’s work and decided to reach out because she had a tattoo that she wanted to get on her stomach. After making an appointment, Dalina said that she was asked to remove her shirt for the process, and that she was left sitting in the tattoo chair with just pasties covering her nipples.
“And he just starts talking about how unsymmetrical I was,” Dalina continued. “He started calling my boobs tits.”
However, according to Dalina, the “last straw” was when the tattoo artist commented on her body after she’d turned around. “I turned around and he said: ‘Oh I get why I see you in the gym all the time, you’ve got back rolls,’” she recalled.
Dalina concluded the TikTok asking if she was “crazy” to walk out mid-session, before revealing in a text caption on the screen that the experience had been the “worst tattoo experience of [her] life” and that she now needed someone to “fix this huge outline I have on my stomach”.
“I just had a panic attack in my car,” she added in the caption.
As of 10 May, the video has been viewed more than 15.2m times, with people in the comments horrified by Dalina’s experience.
“Not dramatic. I’d leave a seething review and drop his company name on here,” one person commented, while another said: “As a tattooer this is NOT okay and I am SO SO SO sorry you had to deal with that!! Glad you walked out.”
Others suggested that Dalina shouldn’t have paid for the tattoo, and should have just left.
“Absolutely not, I wouldn’t have even paid. You were vulnerable and uncomfortable,” one person commented, while someone else said: “Extremely unprofessional, you shouldn’t have even paid him.”
In a follow-up video, Dalina addressed the comments from viewers who were criticising her decision to pay the artist, with the TikToker revealing that she didn’t feel comfortable removing herself from the situation without paying him for the work he’d done.
“I’m five foot one, he’s six-foot plus, we’re in a garage that is his studio, the only door to get out to my car is the garage door which he has to manually open,” Dalina explained. “He’s talking to me like I’m not a human, so I already see that he views me as less than him. Who’s to say that he wouldn’t get angry and possibly physical if I were to get up and try to short him his money?”
Dalina then clarified that she had the artist finish the outline before claiming that her husband needed her, at which point she got up to leave. She also acknowledged the comments asking her to share his social media profiles, with the TikToker explaining that she didn’t feel comfortable doing so because they live in the same area and go to the same gym.
“And this is a small town. If I’m driving around, he’s going to know it’s me because of my pink jeep,” she continued. “Who is to say he’s not angry that everybody has been harassing him on social media and he doesn’t come after me or approach me?
“I blocked him on everything and I’m still scared he’s gonna see me and come say something to me.”
The video prompted assurance from viewers, who agreed with Dalina’s choice to do what she felt comfortable with at the moment.
“Definitely do whatever you feel is safest. You trusted your gut and protected yourself,” one person commented, while another viewer said: “You did the right thing.”
In another follow-up video, Dalina showed the tattoo, before revealing that she’d gotten a “couple of really great offers to get it shaded, fixed, and filled by artists in the area”.
Dalina also revealed that, after she’d ultimately decided to share the tattoo artist’s Instagram name, she received multiple other messages from other women, who informed her that they’d also had negative experiences with the individual.
While speaking to BuzzFeed about the encounter, Dalina revealed that she’d also discussed her discomfort with the man during the tattoo process, but that he’d been “shocked”.
“I was honestly in shock hearing the comments. He could tell my mood changed almost immediately because he asked and when I said: ‘To be honest with you, what you’ve said was extremely offensive,’ he looked at me like I was crazy. Like, he was shocked I even said something at all. He brushed me off and told me not to take life too seriously,” she recalled.
As for his reaction to her decision to get up and leave, she told the outlet that the tattoo artist was “visibly annoyed”.
She said she also came to the conclusion that it was time to leave when he started wiping the outline, at which point he was “being so rough when wiping away excessive ink”.
“I felt like he was intentionally trying to make me feel smaller,” she said.
On TikTok, Dalina revealed that she was able to eventually finish the tattoo with the help of a female tattoo artist, who offered to complete the design for free.
The update was met with an outpouring of supportive comments from viewers, who shared their happiness over the conclusion to Dalina’s situation.
“I’m so happy you found someone to help you!!! I saw the original vid and it broke my heart for you,” one person wrote.
Another viewer said: “Happy ending to the story!!!! Yay!! It’s coming along wonderfully.”
While speaking to BuzzFeed, Dalina said she is ultimately glad she shared her experience, because she hopes it can help others who find themselves in similar situations. She also acknowledged how it allowed other women to come forward with their own stories.
“Sometimes, it just takes one of us to hold someone accountable,” she said.
The Independent has contacted Dalina for comment.