GEORGETOWN, Ky. (NEXSTAR) – While some people worry about their tattoos fading over time, one Kentucky woman’s ink has aged worse than she could have imagined in less than a year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leah Holland, of Georgetown, won a TikTok challenge for the “dumbest tattoo” and explained how things went wrong after finally getting an inspirational message from a friend written under the skin of her forearm.

“I’d wanted it for a couple years,” Holland said. “It basically means like, being true to yourself and real, and not pretending to be something you’re not. I got this March 4th, 2020.”

Holland then pulled up her sleeve to display her tattoo: “Courageously and radically refuse to wear a mask.”


#stitch with @hannanicbic I could NOT have had worse timing. #fyp #foryoupage #tattoo #worsttattoo #winner P.S. I’m not anti-mask I promise 🤦🏻‍♀️

♬ original sound – wakaflockafloccare

The 25-year-old, who says she is not anti-mask, got the unfortunate tattoo just two days before the Kentucky governor’s office reported the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.

At first she thought the tattoo wasn’t going to be an issue.

“I assumed that we would probably have to wear masks and stuff,” she told Buzzfeed. “I didn’t think that the anti-maskers were going to be such a thing.”

Holland said she became “mortified” as the anti-mask rhetoric grew and wore long sleeved shirts and cardigans that summer.

As time passed, she said she can finally laugh at her situation and didn’t hesitate to join the TikTok challenge.

“It will be a funny story to tell years from now,” Holland, while wearing a mask, told WLEX. “I don’t think it will ever not be a funny story.”