Why More Older Folks Are Getting Tattooed These Days

Xavier in Stories

One would think that the tattoo business is earning most of its revenues from people below the age of thirty.

Photo by Mr. Elbank With the rise of millennials and ‘hipsters’, 
Guess again. Recent statistics show that more and more of the older generation are getting tattooed these days. You learn something new everyday.
According to a recent study from Remember A Charity, the party only gets started for five percent of people after they get past the age of sixty. Let's find out the reasons why more older folks are getting tattooed these days.

old tattooed woman
old tattooed woman

Even the late Isobel Varley, who have had 90 percent of her body covered in ink, got her first tattoo at the age of 49. She then went on to spend over 500 hours under the machine for the rest of her life. Before her passing this year, she was already named "the world's most-tattooed senior woman" by Guinness World Records.

Tom Leppard, 'the Leopard Man of Skye.'
Tom Leppard, 'the Leopard Man of Skye.'

For different reasons, the 1955's babies and beyond seem to have been flocking tattoo shops these days. Be it a tattoo to make themselves feel at least thirty years younger again, or to remember a loved one by, the grey market is seeing some colour these days.

Photo by Stephen Leslie
Photo by Stephen Leslie

Recent from Stories

The older folks seem to be loving ink as much as we do. Some may only be getting tattoos just now after retirement for professional reasons. While some are just being adventurous. A breast cancer survivor, Jan, also got her first tattoo nearing her sixties. Read more about it here. While in this heart-wrenching story, a woman got her first tattoo to remember her deceased son by before the onset of her Alzheimer's takes away her fondest memories of him.

Before and after getting inked
Before and after getting inked

Sir Ian McKellen? Got his first tatt after the filming of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.’ He was a little over sixty then. And what about BBC presenter David Dimbleby, who first got tattooed on the set of whilst filming Britain and the Sea. And there's my friend Keith Gordon, a couple years short of being sixty, who became one of the most tattooed men in Britain in quite a short time after retirement. Read his story here.

Check out this old episode of Miami Ink, where an 80-year-old gets her first taste of ink from Ami James. For a good reason, too.

55 year old tattooed woman
55 year old tattooed woman

Oh, and have you met this gorgeous woman, pushing fifty-five? How about fifty-five year old Nick Wooster? Hot damn.

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Not everyone's too happy about it, though. Just because a handful of baby boomers are finally getting a slice of life right after they hit sixty, doesn't mean that every one of them are actually pushing their rheumatic legs to the tattoo shop. As a self-proclaimed ‘middle-aged, reactionary old git’ describes it in an opinion-based post, tattoos are basically a “modern pandemic of skin vandalism.” Well, according to him anyway.

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

Follow

More from Author

We Recommend

Recent Staff Picks