artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


01 April 2016

Thinking about 1st tattoo, post-40 Tell me your thoughts. [More:]

I'm in my mid-40s. Never had a tattoo, never fully wanted one. Finally, though, I've found both a design that I would really find a great personal symbol, and the desire to have something permanently affixed to my skin that would be a reminder of my roots and values.

What should I know? Should I even bother at this late date? Will I be like "ugh, why did I do this?" Or will it be as self-empowering as I imagine?

Where should I get it? I'm not too worried about professional repercussions as I'd say my field is tattoo-tolerant if not outright tattoo-friendly. But I'd like the flexibility of not being defined by it, and also the ability to not have it be super prominent at formal events.

Any other thoughts welcome.
I would. I've never found the right tattoo or I'd do it. If on a shoulder you can decide for any event whether to show it or not.
posted by bearwife 01 April | 21:45
I had my one and only tattoo when I was 44. It's unobtrusive, symbolic and I'm glad I had it.
posted by Senyar 02 April | 05:42
My grandmother got a tattoo when she was about 60. So 40s doesn't seem too late to me. I don't have one yet and was thinking about making it my 40th birthday present. I'm fairly sure I want it to be hidden but viewable without a mirror so I'll probably go with my shoulder/upper arm area or my upper thigh.

posted by bluesapphires 02 April | 07:22
I've been thinking about getting a couple for a few years now. I can't think of any possible reason why you shouldn't go ahead if you want it. In terms of where, if you want to be able to not have it visible, just give some thought to what you would normally wear in situations where you might not want it visible (or at least not prominent) and be guided by that.
posted by dg 02 April | 08:23
Do it! My mom got a tattoo when she was 50. It's never too late.

Placement will determine on size and shape. Around the ankles are pretty unobtrusive... If bigger, thigh? Back?

One thing to keep in mind is that it will most likely be bigger than you plan on, just to fit the skin right and show details. Your artist will be able to guide you.

(I literally just got a llama tattoo last night that ended up being way bigger than I planned, but it looks amazing and I love's a pic
posted by Fig 02 April | 09:34
You are making me think more about this, Miko, and now I am contemplating adding this, צדק ואמת, the words for justice and truth in Heberw, to my own shoulder.
posted by bearwife 02 April | 12:23
I have a very specific tattoo I want to do for my only one, but haven't the funds or gumption to do it. But I think it is a fabulous way to express something important to yourself that nobody can take away from you.
posted by mightshould 02 April | 16:06
Ok, I gotta be honest, and in MY opinion, I would stay away from doing anything on the thigh area. Every single time I see someone (male or female) with a thigh tattoo, it always just looks like a big, ugly bruise (it's usually at the beach, the only time I would see others' thigh areas!). I don't know, I just think thigh tattoos are the worst (especially if their like big tribal suns or something round). Sorry, hope I'm not offending anyone here and I hope that is not close to what you were thinking! But that is just my .02 on that.

What about on your bikini line area? Like someone else said, I agree it depends on the design of where it looks best.

Early 90's, I got a thin tribal anklet, I had no doubts in my mind when I got it, no hesitation or ambivalence. Through the years, however, there have been a handful of times that I had wished I did not have it - usually when I was dressed up for nice occasions (e.g., weddings) and sometimes when I wear skirts/dresses to certain work functions.

This is just another perspective, by the way, so definitely do what YOU want to do!
posted by Foxhat 02 April | 17:49
Like bear wife, I'd get a tattoo if I could think of the right thing- my sisters and I have been kicking around the idea of a sister tattoo for years, one day we'll find something. I say do it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 02 April | 19:13
I can't stand tattoos and wouldn't dream of getting one -- ugh! -- but I certainly don't think there should be an age limit on getting one. That would be silly.
posted by JanetLand 03 April | 08:19
If I ever got the tattoo that I've thought about for years (which I probably wouldn't at this point for various reasons), it would be on the back of my neck, when I could choose to cover it or not. I've heard that's a very painful place to get a tattoo, though.
posted by amro 03 April | 10:32
Hey Miko, so of the newer members may not have seen your husband's Metachat tattoo! You should share a pic!
posted by amro 03 April | 10:33
Ah! I will. I don't think I have a pic myself but can snap one. It is cute.
posted by Miko 03 April | 10:58
Hey Miko! Go for it.

I got my first at about 38, and while I wish it had been done better, I am still pretty okay with it. I got it on the inside of an ankle (well, just above) so I can see it easily if I wish, and cover it, if I want to.

I JUST got my second this January (at 45), and it's larger, nicer and on the inside of my left forearm. Same premise though. I can see it whenever I want, but it's relatively easy to cover, should I wish to do so. I'm much happier with the second one, too. Sometimes it's nice to wait it out and think if over; though I like the idea that many of my heavily-tattooed friends have of thinking of it like a journal. Each tattoo is who you are/were, at that point in time.
posted by richat 04 April | 15:07
Miko, I just made my appointment to get mine, which I expect will be my one and only, on May 1. You definitely inspired me.
posted by bearwife 05 April | 12:47
I also say go for it (no such thing as too old)-- there are a couple of memorial tattoos I'd like, in particular a crow for my father and a dragonfly for my birth mother. Then there's this lovely Rackham fairy I've wanted forever. I would so do at least the memorial tattoos this summer for my 50th birthday, but unfortunately I'm currently on a blood thinner and I understand it can be a problem for tattoos (the extra bleeding can make it hard for the ink to take). I may be able to interrupt the blood thinner at some point, though (dental work's on hold, too), or I may chance it with a small tattoo, since not everyone on a bloodthinner has a problem, maybe the dragonfly.

In terms of location, I was thinking about my forearms, below each wrist, for the small memorial tattoos, and maybe above my left elbow crease for the fairy, or my left upperarm, but I want them visible. I think the shoulder's nice, too, though hard to see, of course. I also had a friend with a small ladybug tattooed behind her ear, which was really cute and a great spot, I thought. Have fun! : )
posted by Pips 05 April | 15:55
I say go for it. It hurts, yes, but when it's something that truly mean something to you, then the pain doesn't matter. All of mine have meaning; I started when I was 21 and I am still considering a new one (I have eight). Do your research when choosing an artist (some folks are better in certain genres than others). Ask to see their own portfolios. Usually you go in and make an appointment, and you can talk with the artist a head of time about your expectations, color, etc.

I've never regretted any of my tattoos; they all tell a part of my story. They are the illustrations I carry on me.
posted by redvixen 08 April | 18:30
Forgot to mention placement: My first was on my right shoulder blade. I was proud of it (though i wish I'd gotten it bigger) but I couldn't see it. Over the years, it's gotten blurry from sun damage and it's the one I'm considering have covered by something bigger and better. If you are in the sun a lot, it's something to consider. Nowadays I use SPF 50 on all my tattoos. My second tattoo was on my left chest. Again, I love my tattoo (it was also my own design) but as Foxhat pointed out, there were times I wish I hadn't gotten it there. All the other six are around my ankles (I have four different versions of Snoopy around my right; two birds representing my sons on my left inner, and an Irish symbol on my left outer). I can see these easily; I can cover them with long skirts, boots, pants, etc. The easiest to cover would be the shoulder blades, but you can't admire them without a mirror!

Looking forward to hearing your decision!
posted by redvixen 08 April | 18:40
I definitely want to be able to see it myself. In fact, I kind of want it on my forearm or inner wrist, so I can look down in a meeting and see my own sorta power-symbol. A second option would be front shoulder or maybe bicep area.
posted by Miko 08 April | 22:38
My mom and various other female relatives and I have frequently discussed getting a particular family tattoo. We still haven't done it, but it's still under serious consideration. Two of the participants are in their 70s.

It's an onion.
posted by tangerine 09 April | 22:13
Friday Question NOT from the Book of Questions: Name two things you do quite well || when you should discard spirits and other items in your bar cart.