Tattoo artist who went viral for ‘inking’ her child has no regrets about the stunt

A tattoo artist who went viral on TikTok after she pretended to give her three-year-old daughter a tattoo has said she does not regret making the prank video.

Kaylee Thomas, 19, is a tattoo artist with her own studio in Michigan. At the end of June, she posted a video on TikTok in which she claimed she was “tattooing matching tattoos on me and my three-year-old”.

The video, which went on to garner more than 10 million views since she shared it, showed Thomas applying an intertwined hearts design on her toddler’s wrist.

She then went over the design with a tattoo gun in what appeared to be red ink, with the buzzing sound of the tattoo gun in the background.

Her daughter appeared relaxed and unbothered as her mother continued to “tattoo” her arm, and was seen smiling widely after it was “finished”. Thomas then gave herself the same tattoo, but this time it appeared to be real.

At the end of the video, Thomas’s daughter receives a second “tattoo” higher up on her arm, with a larger design. However, the tattoo artist added the hashtag “#justsharpie” on her clip to reassure viewers that the designs on her toddler were drawn on with Sharpie markers.

Although Thomas used the hashtags “#fake” and “#prank” under her video, she was subjected to a wave of comments by people who thought she was genuinely giving her daughter a tattoo.

“I feel like someone should call CPS [Child Protection Services],” one person wrote, while another added: “OMG does that come off girl what u doing to the child [sic].”

Speaking to Insider about the experience, Thomas said that her controversial video led to an additional 16k new followers on her TikTok page.

“It has helped my business a lot as far as getting clients,” she told the publication. “I love my job and I love that I am able to make content that attracts people and I’m hoping I can continue to do that with this sudden burst of attention.”

She added that she does not take the negative comments to heart. “I understand where people are coming from when they genuinely believe the video. Their opinions are valid. They just don’t really look into it for real to know it’s not real before commenting.”

However, Thomas revealed that some of the people who thought the video was real took things too far by flooding her business phone with calls. Her business phone number is listed on her TikTok account.

“I would keep getting people calling my number asking about the video, or just saying stupid random things that were totally unrelated just because they wanted to call the number,” she said.

Despite being targeted by trolls, Thomas told the publication she did not regret making the video and sharing it, as those who make negative comments “only boost the video and push it out more”. She said she hoped the video would go viral, but was shocked by the number of people who thought she had permanently inked her daughter’s skin.

After her video went viral, Thomas shared a second video from another angle of her drawing on her daughter’s arm with a red Sharpie. The clip included text that read: “Showing all her tats[ sic] are just marker.”

She wrote in the caption: “Tats are fake OMG people fact check please, the main was just for fun.”

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