‘That’s So Much Stepper Than What I Imagined’: Viral Tiktok Shows Close-up Of Tattoo Being Done

TikTokers are finding out how tattoos are actually made—and they’re not handling it well.

In a video with over 10 million views, TikTok user Ruby (@rubyd00biedoo) reacts to a video posted by user @simpletattoo1, which shows a tattoo gun’s needles penetrating skin.

“As someone who has 18 of her own, this did not occur to me,” she wrote in the text overlaying the video. In the caption, she added, “That’s so much stepper than what I imagined.”

Tattooing is done using “pigments inserted through pricks into the skin’s top layer,” the Mayo Clinic wrote. “Typically, the tattoo artist uses a hand-held machine that acts much like a sewing machine, with one or more needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With every puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets.”

A variety of needle tips are used to ensure the artist can accurately express their desired artwork, ranging from small, round liner tips with just a few needles to larger shading tips with many needles.

On TikTok, some users showed disgust, saying that seeing the process up close has put them off getting tattoos for good.

“Maybe I don’t want a tattoo after all,” wrote one user.

“I have 12 tattoos and I can’t explain why this weirded me out,” added another.

“The real reason I’ll never get a tattoo, not pain, not fears of regret nor commitment issues above all it is knowing that they are needles and I am terrified of needles,” detailed a third.

“Whole time I thought it was one little needle,” shared a further user.

However, others claimed they enjoyed this insight into the process, with many expressing surprise that more people weren’t aware about how tattoos are actually done.

“Huh? how’d this not occur to you?” asked a commenter.

“Yall havent done a stick and poke in your friends bedroom and it shows,” a second pointed out.

“I love watching the tattoo gun when I’m getting tattooed,” claimed an additional TikToker.

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