To Tattoo or not to Tattoo?

Q. Do any of you amazing 40-somethings have a tattoo? Did you get it when you were 20-something, or more recently? Do you regret it?

A. If you are doing it for you and you consider your lifestyle…expect no tat regrets.

There are more and more 40-sometthing women getting tattoos and some who continue to enjoy the tattoos they got when they are younger and then there are those that regret.

Those who regret got a tattoo in their 20s, perhaps a boyfriends name, a favorite band or their sorority letters…likely because their friends were doing it or maybe a reaction to a break up or some other emotionally turbulent situation.

“Yes. I did it, BUT I’m very glad mine is hidden from the viewing public! I wouldn’t do it again.  All the other sorority gals I went to college with that got them on their ankles are SO sorry!  Don’t do it!  Listen to your mother or at least listen to me, I am 46 and a mother.” – 40-something, Milwaukee WI

If it’s a knee jerk reaction…or a whim…take some time to think about it. Don’t do something trendy or so tied to a time and place that you may regret it later. As one dermatologist said in regard to tattoos,”Don’t do anything permanent to your skin”. I would add, “Unless you are pretty damn sure it has some permanence in how you want to express yourself.

“I do have several tattoos that are fairly large scale and visible and NO I do not regret them.  People who later regret tattoos have not considered if they work with their lifestyle and self-image.  I would not recommend getting a spontaneous tattoo and certainly not after a night of drinking!” – 40-something, fashion designer, working mom, Brooklyn, NY

Yes. Friends don’t let drunken friends get tattoos. If you feel an instant urge to do something to heal a broken heart or do something impulsive…consider a hair change, a temporary tattoo or even splurging on a great pair of shoes first …it can make you feel sexy and take you outside yourself but it won’t follow you for life.

“That skeleton on your chest is going to look really dead by the time you are 60.” – 40-something, Sierra Vista, AZ

Or if you want to get that skeleton…do it somewhere were it wont’ show.

“Don’t get a tattoo anywhere that would keep you from going to a job interview or a funeral”. – 40-something, San Diego

Then there is getting a tattoo for the right reason…for you or to mark a relationship that does have permanence. These women got tattoos later in life as a symbol of getting to know themselves and to share a bond with a daughter or mother. I love the cross-generational connection!

“I got a tattoo at 44, my daughter’s name. I have no regrets. Tattoos are often a mark of a change in life; mine was a way of finally getting over my divorce. It’s very small on my pinky under a pinky ring so really for me only, the best kind of tattoos.” – 40-something, New York, NY


“My mom and I got matching tattoos when I turned 30 and she turned 60. It’s a symbol that represents our last name. It’s small and on the ankle, so totally discreet that it can be hidden when need be. I feel this is imperative. It has super special meaning because my mom agreed to do it with me. Not sure I would have done it otherwise. But I haven’t regretted it for a moment! I love it! – 40-something, Los Angeles, CA

I also like the idea of it being something special that you can see when you wish but can be hidden when needed. I never got the idea of having a tattoo on the back where you can’t see it. I would want to see it and get that pleasure in it rather than have it be only something others could see. This woman agrees.

“There are plenty of bad tattoos out there. Since they are so ubiquitous, I think the issue is less about when you get a tattoo, but more “why and how”.  That’s probably why so many 30 and 40 something women pay higher end artists like Scott Campbell and choose more meaningful images they won’t regret later–or even the names of their firstborn. Goodbye tramp stamp!” – 40-somerhing, NYC


on Twitter

on Facebook

on Google+