“You're going to regret that when you're older.” But will we really? American online news platform Elite Daily talks to three tattooed women in their early 50s, late 50s, and early 60s to ‘fact-check the validity’ of society's favorite question to tattooed people.
“No, I don't. And I'll probably get more”
“No, I don't. And I'll probably get more,” Shari, a 53-year-old divorcee simply responds. She's a practicing midwife (as proudly stated on a script tattoo on her shoulder) and a recovering drug dependent alcoholic from Wyoming. In finding her way out during the darkest point of her life, she had to quit her job and get herself cleaned in a rehab for some time.
Six years into singlehood, she met a man who made the dead flowers in the cracks of her brokenness bloom again. “He happened to have a lot of tattoos,” she says. “I always thought that they were really cool, but it never dawned on me that they would be something I was interested in.”
That was the beginning of a life-long love affair with ink for Shari. Her tattoos consisted mostly of symbols representing milestones and recovery.
One of her tattoos tell a very personal detail of her life she now felt strongly talking about through tattoos. Shari is a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse with a history of sexual assault herself. She got a tattoo to symbolize her emancipation from this particular traumatic event she went through.
“Through therapy, and putting some of that ink and some of that art on my body, I was able to release a lot of that, and we added some very positive things [to the tattoo],” she tells Elite Daily. “Butterflies and a freedom bird and things like that. It helped me move through that process of forgiving him and moving forward.”
With butterflies fluttering on her aged, graced skin is 58-year-old Cathie, a grandmother from South Carolina who is quite the late bloomer tattoo enthusiast. Cathie was 51 when she first got one courtesy of her tattoo artist son-in-law who also owns his own tattoo shop. And let me tell you this, she's got that familiar ink thirst we all get. “I loved it. I couldn't get enough of it. So then, about two years later, I had just one butterfly done, but that was not enough,” she says. “If you get one you have to have another. They are addicting.”
She may only have had her tattoos for less than a decade but the question is still at large—does she regret any of them so far? “No. In fact, I have to fight the urge to go and have another one,” she replies but insists that they have to mean something to her knowing they're there for life.
“If you get one you have to have another. They are addicting”
Finally, they got down to a fit, cheery 62-year-old Californian named Briony. Unsurprisingly, she first got her taste of ink at 19. Briony has a colorful collection of tattoos that range from Japanese folkloric pieces to autumn-themed pieces on her left sleeve. Briony is one tattoo fan who eventually became a tattoo artist in the end. She seemed as enthusiastic talking about them as she was on the day she got them done.
“My left arm is all autumn-colored leaves and birds,” she says. “The right arm is much more graphic. I've got a Pacific Northwest otter on the forearm and a design that was done for me. This is what happens when tattoo artist gets bored at a tattoo convention!”
Briony also has a lot to give when it comes to tattoo care tips starting with sun exposure she likes to share with clients. She's known to not have the best relationship with the sun when it comes to her line of work. Even stating that sun exposure ‘will destroy a tattoo faster than anything.’ The 62-year-old is quite proud of her own, well-taken care of sleeves as she prides in their vibrance despite having seen years shaved off her skin.
"They've become so much a part of me that I can't really imagine not having them”
Finally, does she regret getting tattooed? It's a no for Briony, too but claims that the work on her is quite finished. “Well, I'm 62 and I'm very colorful. I have had nightmares about looking in the mirror and seeing them all gone. They've become so much a part of me that I can't really imagine not having them.” Read the rest of their stories at Elite Daily.