Zee - Tattoo removal stories - Second Chances - NAAMA


For Zee, having a tattoo of Kanye West on her arm hasn’t been an easy ride. The tribute ink became a source of discomfort when his controversial remarks clashed with Zee's own values. That's where NAAMA came in.

My name is Zee, I’m 23 and I work in account management. I was a big Kanye fan. I loved his music. When I was 18, I got some of his lyrics from one of my favourite songs - that I thought would be funny - tattooed on me.

How has it been having the tattoo in such a visible spot over the last few years?

It’s gotten worse and worse over the years. Kanye keeps on coming out and saying completely controversial statements and things I don’t agree with. At first, the tattoo made me uncomfortable but it’s now gotten to the point where I hate this tattoo and I want it gone. I feel awful having it on me. It’s very much escalated.

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Do people ever make comments to you about your Kanye tattoo?

In the beginning it was mostly people saying it's funny and silly. But now, I’ve had quite a few comments of people telling me they don’t like the tattoo or even walking away from me when they see it. It’s been unpleasant, and it’s not like I can go home and wipe it off. It’s permanent.

Did your feelings change about the tattoo after you got it?

Pretty much immediately.

I got my tattoo in the beginning of 2018, then a few weeks later Kanye came out and said that “slavery was a choice.” I just looked at my tattoo and thought, What have I done?

What made you reach out to NAAMA to have it removed?

I was sent an article about 8 times from my friends that said a tattoo studio is giving laser tattoo removal treatment for free to anyone with a Kanye tattoo that no longer felt right on their body.

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"I’m so glad I can close that chapter of my life and start fresh. I never thought I’d be able to get it removed."

How do you feel now that you’re in the process of getting your Kanye tattoo removed?

Seriously relieved. We all do silly things when we’re 18. I’m much older now and I’m so glad I can close that chapter of my life and start fresh. I never thought I’d be able to get it removed. I thought it was too big to remove or something I’d have to get covered up.

I’ve had one treatment so far. I was always told that tattoo removal is so painful and that you’ll be scarred, but I’m so impressed. It doesn’t hurt and it’s been so easy. I’m so happy.

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What are you looking forward to most about it going?

I’m looking forward to wearing T-shirts and vest tops and not having to have the same conversation every time to explain why I have a Kanye tattoo. And potentially getting a new tattoo in the same spot.

Zee's progress

Before treatment

Zee's Kanye tattoo is dense and dark on her arm.

After 5 sessions

The tattoo has noticeably faded and is making good progress.

After 7 sessions

Ink is continuing to fade and clear skin is starting to show underneath.

SECOND CHANCES is here to help

To nominate yourself or someone else for our SECOND CHANCES program, complete the submission form at the bottom of our SECOND CHANCES page with your tattoo story and what it would mean to you/your nominee to receive treatment.