Tattoo or Not to? CategoriesThis Boomer's Life

Tattoo or Not to?

No! No, no, no. The answer is NOT to tattoo! I have a very strong opinion on this. While I acknowledge that it is an art form and is all about self-expression, and I absolutely support anyone’s decision to express themselves in this way, it is not for me.

My dad was a WWII veteran and as a kid my only knowledge of tattoos were on military guys, my Dad’s Navy buddies. I saw it as something of a badge of honor for these tough old birds who had seen it all. A favorite was the Hawaiian hula girl, always made me wonder what the story was behind the wild night that spawned such a decision. I knew not a single person my age with a tattoo throughout my college years. It wasn’t until the 90s that tattoos seemed to become such a trend, that now it is hard to find someone without one. Of course, I live in Richmond VA, supposedly one of the most tattooed cities in the U.S.

If my teenage daughter is any indication, young women spend a LOT of time thinking about how they look and a damn lot of money on makeup to try to attain perfection. Yet they will mark the pristine skin they seek to attain with a tattoo, which I can’t get straight in my mind. I was on the treadmill at the gym the other day, and out of the corner of my eye saw a scantily clad woman and the first thing I thought was “poor thing,” as I registered some sort of scarring, only to realize she had paw prints tattooed up and down her legs.

My conservative husband loves the music of rocker bad boy George Thorogood. Yep, we are Bad to the Bone. We were at a concert recently and I took a look around, because there was a lot to see. George still has groupies, except now they are in their 50s and 60s+, and lets just say their tattoos, which they are quite fond of displaying, just don’t have the same effect at 60 that they must have had when procured at 20. On the other hand I will say I have seen amazingly beautiful tattoos that are magnificent works of art, but still I think of it as defiling perfectly good skin.


Sometimes I do ponder the rush it might be to do something outrageous like get a tattoo, and just say what the hell. Over Ladies Weekend at the Outer Banks, after a day of shopping at the beach boutiques, checking out the latest color of Jack Rogers sandals, and an evening drunk on wine and canapés, maybe my partners in crime would goad me into doing something crazy. There is only one tattoo I have ever dreamed of sporting, and that is a thin band of badass barbed wire on my upper right arm. Something subtle but that clearly states Do Not F**K With ME. Baring that in yoga class would surely inspire newfound fear and respect. My daughter would view her badass mama with new eyes! Upon further reflection, I decided the only way I would do such a thing is if I had gone to the gym long enough to have a nice muscular, sinewy upper arm to display such a gem. And that is never going to happen. So, a tattoo will remain one of those life experiences I never had. It’s OK though. I’ve had lots of others.

Gravatar image

Cherie is a late bloomer Boomer, born at the tail end of the Boomer generation. She was playing with Barbies while her older sisters marched on Washington and fought for equal rights, but watched and learned. Now she is an empty nester with a whole new future to explore and share at! As “Philosopher in Chief” Cherie merely wants to change the world with this blog: to encourage those of us in the midst of our “second act” to look at life with new eyes, open to a life filled with new beginnings rather than endings, and to apply all we have learned to a way of living that is more meaningful and profound. There is SO much to live for, up until the very end.


  1. I waited till I was almost 50 to get my tattoo, a beautiful fantasy bird on my upper arm. I love the way it makes my arm look when I wear sleeveless clothes; perhaps it’s an antidote to my grandma arms?

    1. You go girl! As I said in the blog, I have seen many many tattoos that are beautiful works of art and yours is one.

Comments are closed.