Now, tat’s a cool dad.
Mason Smith, a married father of two, is being hailed as the “parent of the year” by social media celebrants, cheering him on for inking his 5-year-old daughter with a full “sleeve” tattoo down her left arm.
“Am I turning into that parent that her school hates?” asked Smith, from Oregon, in the on-screen text of his trending TikTok post.
“Do you think the school is [going to] call me tomorrow?” he joked in the caption of the video, adding a string of nervous emojis for an extra boost of humor.
In the circulating clip, which has amassed more than 4.3 million views on the dad’s profile, @ToddlerTok, Mason unraveled a roll of paper to reveal the decorative artwork of a black-and-pink temporary tattoo — a novelty imprint, which the dad claimed to have purchased on Amazon, that typically remains visible for only a few days.
His daughter, Berkeley, then excitedly approved of the design, which features a sea of rosy blooms and a bird perched on a branch, set against a black backdrop.
“We’re gonna put this on here,” Mason said, explaining to his tot that the scenic sketch would soon grace the length of her limb. “Yeah,” Berkeley cheered.
After cutting out the print and sizing it to the girl’s arm, Mason placed the faux tattoo on her skin and applied a wet cloth to the back of the drawing, causing the art to transfer from the paper onto her body.
“I love it,” exclaimed the beaming girl as she marveled at the masterpiece.
And online audiences loved it, too, praising Mason for thumbing his nose at conformity — namely the dress code or code of conduct policies at Berkeley’s school — in order to make his daughter happy.
“Dad of the year award,” penned a commentator.
“Oh my god the way her face lit up at the end! I would go through that same exact process just to see anybody smile like that,” chimed another.
“I love it when my pre-k students show me their temporary tattoos!! It helps them feel more open to expressing themselves too!!” said another fan of the father’s work.
“If the school complains ask them how it affects her ability to learn the curriculum,” urged a follower.
But while nearly every one of the post’s more than 3,000 commenters were in favor of the artwork, research has determined that temporary tattoos may cause harm to a child’s epidermis, which is the skin’s thin protective barrier.
“Skin to which transfer tattoos had been applied presented lower temperatures, poorer hydration of the stratum corneum [epidermis], and worse overall anti-oxidant capacity, compared to nontattooed skin controls,” said lead researcher José-Pablo Serrano, of the University of Granada in Spain, in a 2021 study.
The expert also advised that temporary transfer tattoos be used sparingly, especially in people who suffer from skin problems, such as psoriasis or dermatitis.
In a news release, Serrano also suggested that anyone considering a tattoo, permanent or adhesive, carefully examine the ingredients in the inking materials before undergoing the procedure.
“It would also be helpful to know which type of pigments they intend to use for your tattoos and any allergenic potential that these might have,” he said.