Several years ago I developed a theory when women over 30 started getting tattoos--you know, dolphin tattoos on their ankles, butterflies or flowers on their shoulders, the occasional Japanese symbol for unity and strength inked onto their lower back. These were women who'd never been tattooed before, so they weren't updating the gallery of art on their bodies (those committed to body art are exempt from my theory). I believe they viewed the act of getting a tattoo as a sort of rebellion, a cool, dangerous thing that younger, hipper people do to declare their symbolism or free nature or unrestrained spirit to the world. (This amuses me, too. I'm 37 and can't think of a single word or image that "symbolizes my life." WTF?)
To me, these tattoos smacked of something entirely different. The tramp stamp after age 30 on an otherwise ink-free body screams desperation. It's the new mid-life crisis. It's the way women try to prove they're still relevant.
I imagine going to the beach when I'm 60, looking at the crowds with faded, stretched out, saggy tramp stamps--sorry looking dolphins and butterflies on ankles all around me, shoulder tattoos of roses and lilies in desperate need of fresh ink. Face it, people, old tattoos on old skin is NOT sexy. It leaves the filmy, greasy residue of past mistakes and regret. (I'll add here how easy and cheap it is to erase other past mistakes--like mullets or brassy highlights or even navel piercings.)
Ladies, (yes, this is directed at ladies, because I don't know of many men getting their first tattoo after they hit 30--they get tattoos from ages 18-25 and then have them removed after 30) you want to prove you're relevant? The tattoo doesn't do it.
Think about it. Even Angelina Jolie looks a little silly these days with all the ink up and down her arms and shoulders. Have you noticed how often she's covering those tats up with make up in recent pictures?
Leave a comment--what's your take on this trend? Am I off my rocker or have I hit a nerve?