Female Tattoos — the Bane of Old Age

Check out this “article” (I use the word very loosely in this case) about tattoos that women (not men, women specifically) should avoid getting because of the down-the-road implications.

Being someone with more than a little bit of ink adorning my own body, I obviously have weighed the pros and cons of where to have new tattoos placed and what exactly to get, which is why I found this brilliant piece of cutting-edge journalism so intriguing.

To start on a positive note, a few of these 15 recommendations I genuinely do agree with. For example, getting tattoos of curse words. In my opinion, it’s just tacky. Sure there was a time when we were all rebellious and wanted to go against the grain; so an artfully placed “F*ck the Police” tattoo might’ve seemed cool at the time, but I truly believe that most of us mellow out as we get older. We find more constructive ways to express ourselves rather than our use of expletives that reek of desperate attempts to shock the prude or elderly.

Case in point, my parents took my daughter and I out to eat at a nice restaurant a little while ago and our waitress had a phrase written pretty prominently on her arm with the word “fuck” in it. It wasn’t even a particularly “artful” phrase. It was right out in the open (although easy enough to hide with sleeves) and though I’m covered in my fair share of tattoos and very pro-body art, even I thought it was in bad taste…especially for someone dealing with the public on a daily basis – in a nice establishment no less. I was actually surprised she wasn’t wearing something to cover it up of her own accord or that management hadn’t asked her to do so.

So I have that in common with the article. And that’s about where our overlap ends.

Besides agreeing on the “no curse words” idea, the article is complete nonsense if seen as a whole. Imagine you’re back in Health class and there’s a diagram of a very basic, featureless female body on the chalkboard that the teacher is pointing at. Now let’s go through the suggestions of this article and see what’s off-limits, shall we? No hands. Nothing on the back. Cross off the stomach. Nix the chest. Forget about the thigh. Upper arm is out too. Lower arm as well. And no face. Put all that together and basically the “article” is saying that the only acceptable places for a woman to even consider getting a tattoo are the feet (covered by shoes), the back of the neck (covered by hair), the calves — which frankly I think they simply forgot, and…that’s it!

Roughly 80% of the body is a no-ink zone which, I’m sorry, but are you kidding me? Their reasoning for restricting all this skin real estate of course is because of how things might sag, inflate, wrinkle, and stretch over time. To the author of the article I have to ask the following: by the time we’ve hit 80 years old do you really think we’re going to care?

Speaking personally, if I live to be 80 the state of my tattoos are going to be the least of my concerns. Seriously, if I make it that far, there are going to be a lot, and I mean a lot, of other things taking precedence…such as whether or not I’m going senile…or have the ability to eat on my own…or able to afford health insurance. Those fairy wings elongated by gravity?  Not so much.

And if it turns out I’ve got all my wits about me, you damn sure better believe that I’ll be pointing at my tattoos and telling some great stories in the old folks’ home.

17 thoughts on “Female Tattoos — the Bane of Old Age

  1. If and when I make it to, say, 80, there aren’t going to be a whole lot of people viewing my back, stomach, chest or thighs, so I really don’t see how this is an issue. The last time I looked, there aren’t a whole lot of octogenarians showing off their thighs and stomachs, anyway. And, speaking as someone with a tattoo, is the recommendation against getting ink on the face really necessary? Besides, if you’re the type who’s going for a serious facial tattoo, I don’t think an article is going to dissuade you.

    • You make an excellent point — if you’re getting tattoos on your face, an article is definitely not going to make too much of a difference on your life choices. As for the elderly not really showing much skin, you’re right, older people do tend to cover up more. And I’m sure I’ll follow right along with that. But…I think that if you make it that far in life, even if you’re part of a particularly rowdy crowd of elderly rebels who like to dance under the moonlight in their skimpy house-dresses showing off their saggy tattoos for all and sundry, really, who cares? The world is not just for the young. We lived to be 80 or 90 for god’s sake, who cares if our ink is a little “off” or faded? If we listened to this article (and others like it), we shouldn’t get inked NOW because someone down the road might not want to see it because we’re OLD? Forget that! 😀

  2. You can’t listen to what dorks say. Ink away and let them worry about where they think things should go on their own bodies. When you’re 80 and looking at your old ink you can laugh your self into a wild state remembering how much fun you had, while the authors of the boring article are all saggy and pristine, wondering why they were so BORING.

  3. Normally I am with you …tattoos aren’t my thing, but allow me to share this true story with you. I was working as a salesman in a Popular tire store here where I live and as I was standing at the counter I see a man approaching the store …he turned his head sideways to watch for traffic, and he had sideburns …ok no big deal , he looked like he was a Elvis impersonator to be honest anyway he walked in the store and as he got closer to the counter I realized they were not sideburns but tattoos of daggers. I had to hold it together for professional reason and my co worker and I assisted him. When we were done the coworker commented dude did you see that ?? WE both couldn’t even begin to imagine the pain he must of went through to have that happen not to mention he couldn’t work in a lot of places because like you said most businesses require you cover the tatoos when at work. Again tattoos aren’t my thing but a well placed one I can see but something like that screams issues on many levels.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly, making that kind of a life choice at any time greatly limits your options. So you have to weigh the choice knowing that you’re going to be limited career-wise and/or socially. Some people do not care. Some people are in a business where it’s perfectly acceptable and/or expected. But if you want a more mainstream career, you sort of have to pick and choose what’s more important. Making a statement or being what the mainstream considers presentable. Mine, although colorful, can all be covered up. That’s my choice for the here and now and I’ll always take that into consideration (no daggers for side burns for me!!). But when I got them, I didn’t really think about or care what they may look like when I’m 80. That shouldn’t be what stops women from getting a tattoo (IF they want one).

  4. I’m with you! I personally don’t have any tattoos, but if you like them and want them, that’s only your business. As for what they look like when you’re 80+, I figure anyone with tattoos probably has some GREAT stories to tell, and if you’re showing them off in private you’re probably making more new great stories to tell.

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