Internet commentators were quick to call out a man for his reaction to his mother’s first tattoo, courtesy of his girlfriend.
In a viral Reddit post posted to r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/momtattooed (otherwise known as the original poster, or OP) said his girlfriend has been tattooing herself and her friends “for years,” and explained what happened when she met her “conservative” parents.
Entitled, “[Am I the a**hole] to get mad at my [girlfriend] for giving my mum a tattoo,” the viral post received 10.4,000 upvotes and 3,000 in just eight hours.
Writing that he and his girlfriend had been together for a year, the original poster indicated that his parents were about to visit the couple, when he encouraged his partner to dress in a way he said , would appease them.
“My parents are more conservative and traditional so when they planned a trip to visit us I told him to wear longer clothes to cover up. [her tattoos]”, he wrote. “She refused and the day of their visit, she wore a riding crop with shorts.”
When his parents arrived, however, the original poster said he was “shocked” by their reaction to his girlfriend’s tattoos.
“My parents arrived and started complimenting her on the tattoos, especially my mom,” he wrote.
After a long conversation between his mother and his girlfriend, the original poster stated that he and his father retired to his garden. Soon after, he received an even bigger shock than before.
“When we got back, my mom ran up to my dad to show off the tattoo my girlfriend had given him,” he wrote. “My dad loved it and my mom was busy telling everyone about it on Facebook.”
“My girlfriend came downstairs and I asked her why she would put this on my mom without asking me,” he continued. “She laughed in my face and said my mother was a grown woman.”
In 2019, a survey by Statista found that 44% of Americans said they had one or more tattoos.
While 35% of people surveyed said they had only one tattoo, and even fewer people said they had more than one (19% of Americans said they had two or three, 18% said they had four or five, 9% said they had between 11 and 20, and less than 5% said they had more than 20 tattoos), changing stereotypes led to a boom in the tattoo industry.
Despite the negative feelings long associated with body art (particularly on the hands, neck, and face), researchers at Shepherd University report that the tattoo industry grew by 23% in 2021.
With that percentage set to continue to grow at a steady rate, more Americans have found their way to tattoo shops across the country, including previously unlikely tattoo candidates.
In the viral Reddit post, u/momtattooed said her mother’s new tattoo featured four small flowers, one for each member of her family. However, the sentimentality wasn’t enough to justify the artwork on the original poster, much to the chagrin of his parents and girlfriend.
“My parents… took my girlfriend’s side so I just zoomed in,” he wrote. “It’s been a few days and I can’t bring myself to talk to her after she did this behind my back.”
In thousands of responses to the viral post, Redditors slammed the original poster for its visceral reaction to the tattoo and echoed his girlfriend’s sentiment that her mother is a grown woman capable of making her own choices.
“Why are you upset exactly?” asked Redditor u/hptvforever in the lead comment of the post, which received nearly 20,000 votes.
“Because your grown mom didn’t ask you for permission to get a tattoo? Or because your experienced girlfriend agreed to give a grown woman a tattoo that the grown woman wanted?” they added. “Or is it because you’re upset that your parents are more open-minded than you thought?”
Redditor u/RadioFace9779, whose comment received nearly 10,000 votes, was adamant that the original poster’s reaction, nor his treatment of his girlfriend, was in any way justified.
“[You’re the a**hole] to ask for your [girlfriend] to cover up, because assuming your parents would be so critical they wouldn’t like him for his ink, and especially for being mad at two consenting adult women** about what they decided to do to their bodies “, they wrote.
“Your parents might keep it and abandon you,” they added.