It’s no secret that tattoos are a controversial issue between generations. While some look at it as a beautiful way to express themselves through art, others look at it as a shameful way to ruin a perfectly unmarked body. The debates over tattoos, placement, style, color, and the fact that they’re permanent have been ongoing for years, and will most likely continue. In my generation, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have at least one tattoo, and furthermore it’d be likely that they’ve all heard at least some form of the same resounding question from the naysayers of ink:
“But what are you going to do about your tattoo when you’re older?”
Though I currently have only 2 tattoos that are both quite small, I am looking forward to getting more in the future and am fascinated by the overall art of tattooing. I think the choices we make with our own body are just that – our choices, and I can’t help but feel sorry for those who spew negativity and look down on individuals who have made the decision to get inked. The concern and dismay that myself and my friends have experienced regarding our choice of getting tattoos comes mostly from those who are confused as to what we will do about them once we get older. How will we explain it? We can’t possibly think it will still be cool when we’re 80, can we?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve come to realize I really don’t think my choice of tattoos will be the worst of my problems when I am old and gray, as I will be dealing with many other changes, both physically, and mentally, and experiencing a whole new world as a ‘Senior Citizen’. It seemed only seemed necessary to compile a list of all the other problems I’m sure I’ll endure when I’m elderly that will pale in comparison against the tattoo I got when I was 19. Long story short, I think I’m going to have a sh*tload of other problems that have nothing to do with permanent ink.
Do Your Boobs Hang Low, Do They Wobble To And Fro?
I know, I know, but I had to start with this one. I mean let’s be realistic…boobs just can’t stay perky forever. Eventually, like me after I graduated college, they will begin their downward spiral. Unless you make the decision to start a new relationship with silicone or saline and bring your sag back to life, you can say bye-bye to your twin besties. Of course it’s only natural, and is something that comes with age, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to happily accept it. Did anyone ever see the movie The Sweetest Thing? Cameron Diaz’s character noticed her boobs had changed from the age of 22 to the age of 28, so what does that mean for the rest of us!? I’m pretty sure the thought of having boobs that a push-up bra can’t even save when I’m 80 is a lot more worrisome than the butterfly tattoo I got when I was 20.
Speak Into My Good Ear, Child
While some people may be in their 80s and have still maintained their fantastic hearing, I already know this will not be the case for me. Various concerts, loud, blaring headphones, and insisting on dancing right next to the speakers at the club will prove to do me in once I reach senior status. In fact, the constant ringing in my ears I currently experience after a loud night of booty shaking with the thumping of the bass tells me my hearing loss has already begun. This is just another problem that will be a lot more annoying than the giant BatWing tattoo you got on your leg after the Dark Knight came out. So what if it looks more like a giant bruise now that you’re old and saggy? It’s not like you can hear what anyone is saying about it anyways!
Do You See What I See?
With the ever-constant advancement of Technology, iPads, Tablets, Kindles, and iPhones have become the forefront of many of our lives. Furthermore, some of us spend all day looking at the bright screens of our computers or phones, whether it be for personal enjoyment, or work-related instances. When we’re almost a century old I highly doubt we’re going to be embarrassed about the flower tattoo on our foot and more concerned with what the f*ck is actually in front of us while we’re driving down the street. Is that a bird, or a person? Maybe it’s a plane..? Sometimes in serious cases when safety is a factor, senior citizens are required to re-take their Driving Test. I had to take it twice when I was 16, can you imagine how many times I’ll have to take it when I’m 86?
Oops I Crapped My Pants
Getting old…I mean really old…sometimes means you stop depending on your body to tell you when it’s time to use the bathroom and instead you begin to depend…on your Depends. Adult diapers seem to be the new normal for some senior citizens, and I think it may be the most fearful inevitability of them all. The only positive about sh*tting your pants in public is the fact that it’s less shocking because you’re old. People will begin to expect it. However, the thought of walking around with a large diaper on and freely doing my business in it while playing Pinochle shakes me to the core. This is just another thing to worry about when you become older. Who cares if you got a stripper’s name tattooed on your arm that time you were drunk in Vegas? Now that you’re old, you’ve got real problems. Like the fact that you’re smiling, not because you won in Canasta, but because you just dropped a giant load and nobody knows about it.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Balding is definitely something to worry about when you’re getting older, male or female. Even if your hair turns an unfortunate color of gray, at least the follicles have stuck with you in solidarity, and haven’t chosen to jump ship. The receding hairline that some seem to notice in their 20s will only begin to recede as time goes on, causing panic that sometimes results in the purchasing of a toupee. In addition to your hair turning its back on you, the awful pruney thing that happens to your skin when you stay in the bathtub too long will become permanent. Though the polite term for the wrinkles around your face are kindly referred to as “laugh lines”, they can’t be very humorous or enjoyable to have. I highly doubt the Unicorn tattoo you got on the inside of your wrist will be much of a concern when you’re poking and prodding your face in the mirror, wondering how this change in your body seemed to happen overnight.
Who Are You Again?
Going completely senile is something that is pretty terrifying yet can be a very common side-effect of getting older. I’m terrible at remembering who people are now, so I only know it’s going to get worse with age. Do tattoo cynics really think we’re even going to remember our tattoo, or what it means when we reach our late 80s and 90s? And are we really going to care? If we do, we’ll remember how bad ass it was to get it, and if we don’t we’ll get to make up a new story about what it is each time we’re asked. I look at that situation as a win-win, and better yet, it may sometimes even do so much as to allow us to reminisce on the time that we got it, and trigger a happy memory of the good old days. I really don’t think there’s anything negative about something that will allow us to look back fondly on the wonderful and full life that we’ve lived. Now…umm…wait. What were we talking about again?
Overall, to the people who constantly look down on tattoos and shake their head in fear of what we will do about those tattoos when we get older – relax. We’ve got it under control. Worst case scenario, we won’t know what the heck it is, which will present us with the opportunity to make something up, and best case scenario, we’ll mentally be able to transport back to the time we got it, what a great experience it was, and how we don’t regret it for a second. If that explanation doesn’t calm your fears, maybe this will: Kindly worry about your damn self, and let me enjoy my tattoos. Besides, have you ever actually seen an old person with a lot of tattoos? It’s pretty bad ass, and shows that they’ve probably got some incredible stories to tell.
Let’s be realistic on what’s worse: Having tattoos on your body when you’re 80, or sh*tting your pants in public? I say, get the ink.