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Tattoo Artist Called ‘Anorexic Skinny Hoe’ For Refusing To Tattoo Extremely Overweight Client

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Working on other people’s bodies like a tattoo artist does is inherently intimate work.

And for one tattoo artist on Reddit, this delicate situation turned into a full-on drama when a tattoo that a customer requested wasn’t possible because of the client’s weight.

The tattoo artist, who goes by the name kajsakiller on the site, wasn’t sure about how she handled things because of how offended the customer became.

So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for refusing to tattoo an extremely over weight woman?”

They explained:

“So I am a tattoo artist and today a very large woman came in to get a geometric/jewelry ish tattoo on her stomach/underboob area”

“we had discussed this tattoo over messenges but she had not mentioned her weight…”

“now weight normally isnt a huge concern but this woman was huge, her entire torso was just a series of folds especially around her ribs and the middle of her stomach where the tattoo would be placed”

“not only that but under her various folds there had definitely not been cleaned in a while (the smell was something else)”

“I had already drawn up the tattoo but upon looking at her torso I decided it simply wouldn’t be possible”

“the tattoo would either have to go into her (dirty smelly) folds or skip over those areas, which means if she lost weight that there would be huge gaps in the tattoo.”

“So I simply told her that I could not do the tattoo, she asked why and I tried to explain to her as kindly as possible that because of her folds on her Stomach that I would not be able to do a nice tattoo in that style but that we could go for a different placement or do something more organic for that area…”

“This is where she completely snapped at me screaming into my face that I was fat phobic and just didn’t wanna do it because I found her gross, and that a ‘anorexic skinny hoe’ like me just didnt get her …..”

“I care a lot about making my clients feel comfy but obviously I don’t wanna do sh*t tattoos, I obviously triggered something in her and I feel really bad about it”

“I asked some of the more experienced artist what they’d do and they agreed I made the right call.”

“Now this is where I think I might be the a**hole, her whole tantrum made me really not want to work with her so when she finally said that she’d do another design on her stomach I refused”

“I told her that her behaviour made me very uncomfortable and in my temperamental state that she should btw go wash her folds before coming into a tattoo studio where cleanliness is top priority..”

“Soo am I the a**hole?”

“Edit: i want to make it clear that this woman wasn’t just regular sweaty or smth, it was rancid I wouldn’t doubt that you could find an infection within the folds and her comment on my body hit me rly hard since I am a recovering anorexic”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And most of them agreed that while this is definitely a delicate situation, OP ultimately did the right thing.

“NTA.”

“You’re an artist. And if the ‘canvas’ is such that it would leave your artwork looking shoddy, I can understand why you’d be hesitant to do it or outright refuse to do it.”

“Also, she was extremely rude to you. I think you have the right to refuse further service on a usable surface of her body.”

“Plus, body odor revulsion is a real thing, and she wasn’t even considerate enough to come in to the appointment, CLEAN.”

“I say this as an overweight woman myself, you are not the AH here.”

“If she still wanted your artwork on her, she could have asked you where you might be able to put it and you could have discussed what might work, and you could have told her she’d have to come back after she had taken a thorough shower to avoid a higher risk of infections at the time the work is done.”

“Sometimes being overweight and unhygienic CAN affect your services or ability to do or use something in a safe manner. That’s reality.”

“Whether it’s a hammock or horse that can only hold up to a certain amount of weight or the ability of a tattoo artist to do a fabulous work of art on their body.”

“Sucks to be her. I think anyone should have the right to distance themselves from a person who is stinking of BO myself.” –Jammy913

“you even sought consultation and they agreed with your call.”

“Additionally, if she has not been washing under the folds, then how can she guarantee cleanliness of the area when the tattoo is healing ? No concerns of infection much?”

“OP you are NTA.”

“Your client is TA.” –RicinIsSurfing

“Yup, infection is a huge concern after any tattoo, let alone one with possible bacterial cultures already growinf” –fianna9

“Also overweight. I’d be mortified if I went in there to have intimate areas of my body checked for a tattoo and I hadn’t even cleaned up.”

“I don’t know exactly how big this woman was but if basic hygiene is too difficult for her I wouldn’t want to tattoo her myself. She’d get an infection and blame the artist.” –danicies

“Agree… I’m a nurse. Underneath those folds could easily be fungal infection, bacterial infection.”

“Opening up the skin by tattooing into it can absolutely promote further infection. OP is NTA.”

“Also they have a right to refuse service to someone being so unprofessional and rude.” –predictivesubtext

“Definitely NTA. Trying to get a tattoo on unwashed folded skin doesn’t even make sense. That’s disgusting and unsanitary. Sounds like a recipe for infection that she would’ve also blamed on you.” –usernametaken6000

“That bit immediately set off my lawyer alarm bells.”

“If this lady gave herself MRSA through the tattoo punctures and it traveled to her heart or lungs she could have straight up died, and that particular brand of lawsuit has a tendency to drag so long that it might’ve bankrupted the shop even if they ultimately won.” –Vilnius_Nastavnik

“My tattoo artist always reminds me (and all her clients) to come with clean skin.”

“So, essentially shower before coming in and don’t come in covered in lotion and sunscreen, at least not on the areas you’re being tattooed on.”

“If there’s already a skin infection there’s no way in hell any decent artist would tattoo over it.”

“I haven’t self harmed in many years but there was a point my artist had to tell me I had to wait a few more months because the scars needed to fade more before getting inked over them…”

“And they were months old scars that were healed just still a bit more red or raised than she wanted to tattoo over and I had no skin infections.”

“I ended up with a minor belly button infection at one point (unrelated to tattoos) because I somehow scraped in my belly button in the summer so it got a bit infected as I was sweaty 90% of the time.”

“The smell was not good and the infection wasn’t there long and I showered regularly.”

“I can only imagine the skin infection that woman had smelled like my belly button infection x10.” –Professional_Role257

“Nta, fellow tattooist here.”

“Maybe with a few more years dealing with a**holes like this than you, because in no way are you the ah, you shouldn’t even be questioning it.”

“You provided better service than some kitchen wizard just willing to slap anything on and take the money.”

“Tattoos are for life, and I wish more artists and clients remembered that. You did this lady a service.” –wildfishrace

“As someone who has tattoos and is planning to get more, I hope my artist tells me if something I want isn’t going to work on my body instead of just tattooing it anyway.”

“I’m just some idiot who likes putting things on my body, she’s the expert and I trust her to know these things.” –kdawson602

“NTA Every tattoo artist always asks that you come clean.”

“Has nothing to do with weight. I guarantee if she already wasn’t cleaning that area, she probably would not follow with proper aftercare. And result in gnarly infection.” –crunchyleafs_

“My tattoo artist told me one of his clients let her dog lick her brand-new tattoo, which got infected.”

“The client got mad at my tattoo artist and blamed him for unsanitary conditions- he’s very particular about hygiene and always, always, always gives the after care lecture after every tattoo. He laughed and called her a dumba**.” –winter_laurel

Hopefully OP can avoid this situation in the future.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.