too old for a tattoo?

tattoo_crop_2What’s up with tattoos? Everyone I know is getting a tattoo. And sometimes it’s not just one!

There was a time when tattoos were reserved for rebels, ex-cons, biker gangs and the military.

Now they’re:
A fashion statement?
A political statement?
An endearment?

I remember when I was young, my dad had a friend who had a cartoon red devil tattooed on his bicep. Kind of a caricature where the head was out of proportion with the body. He used to entertain us kids by bending his arm to 90 degrees, putting his thumb in his mouth and blowing into it (like he was blowing up a balloon).

As he blew, he would flex his bicep and the devils head got bigger and bigger. We kids thought it was hysterical!! We would roll on floor laughing and beg him to do it again and again.

But tattoos aren’t devils anymore. Or skulls or dragons. They are creative, beautiful works of art. Sometimes this art is poetry. I think those tattoos are the coolest – the writings.

I have to admit that I’ve always thought tattoos were kind of cool but I was always too scared to get one. I would always think:

what will it look like when I’m old?

A rose on my shoulder?
Would it wilt as my skin got older and started to sag?

Ivy on my ankle?
Ankles get thick sometimes as you get older, would the
tattoo stretch and distort?

A butterfly in the small of my back or a heart on my hip?
Again, sagging! Who wants a butterfly that looks like it’s flying into
your butt or a heart that’s bleeding down to your . . .

Well, it seems that I’m not the only one who’s thought of these possibilities. It appears that the new popular places for tattoos are the lower arms, wrists and hands.

I’ve seen powerful words – love, hope, believe – childrens initials or names, music notes, custom designs using the yin yang and infinity symbols and stars and hearts are still popular.

wrist tattoosPeople are getting so creative and I’m never afraid to ask someone the meaning behind their tattoo. The stories are usually really cool and I think that’s part of the draw with tattoos, they spark conversation.

A powerful example of this would be Project Semi-Colon – a social media movement started in 2013. The semi-colon tattoo represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

A semi-colon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.

semi_colonHmmm. Maybe I’m not too old for a tattoo. Maybe I will put “getting a tattoo” back on the table. But it has to mean something. Stay tuned . . .

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Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at

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