TikTok user Jordan Joann Williams has gone viral for a video she posted encouraging her generation to get a “Z” tattoo as a symbol of unity and rebellion.
In the since-deleted TikTok, Jordan wrote, “Okay Gen Z listen up!!! What if, now hear me out…We all got a matching tattoo as not only a symbol of unity in our generation but also as a sign of rebellion.”
She then shared a picture of what she proposed the matching tattoo should be— a “Z” with a strike through the middle.
The video quickly gained traction, with TikTok users noting that Jordan’s design shares a sharp similarity to the German Wolfsangel— a symbol originally used by the Nazi Party which now represents white supremacy.
Jordan even created a merch design that she planned to sell with the hateful symbol.
The backlash has since resulted in multiple duets of Jordan’s original TikTok, begging Zoomers not to get the problematic symbol tattooed on their body. Unfortunately for some, the damage has already been done. Take a squizz at the “Gen Z” tag on Twitter, which has been trending across the United States all day, and you’ll find tweets, screenshots, and video clips of Gen Z users who have already branded themselves with the tattoo.
The OP has since removed her video and addressed the controversy. In an apology video posted to TikTok, Jordan explained that she has been writing her Z’s with a strike through the middle since she was young. “So when I put that on there, I did not think anything of it. I did not think it looked like a swastika, I did not know about the Wolfsangel thing.”
Many have come to Jordan’s defense, as it is not uncommon to see a “Z” with a strike through the middle on paper. While the strike is not problematic when writing the letter “Z,” it becomes problematic when used as a symbol.
Fighting back tears, Jordan said, “My entire point of this was to bring my generation together. It was about love and unity okay.”
She admitted “it needs to change” and agreed that an equal sign is a better option— a symbol many users have suggested off the back of her original video.
She finished by saying she doesn’t know how to handle the amount of hate she’s since received and asked people to stop sending her death threats, speaking badly about her boyfriend, and calling her names.
Shortly after, the Zoomer uploaded another TikTok sharing alternative Gen-Z tattoo designs that seem much less problematic.
Here’s hoping Gen-Z get inked with one of them.