100-Years-Old: The Right Age to Get Tattooed?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

The first question any newly tattooed person hears is almost always the same: "Will you still like that when you're 65?"

Last month Mimi Rosenthal, a 101-year-old grandmother in Florida, proved that you're never too old to get inked when she went into a tattoo shop and got a sunflower on her arm.

It isn't even her first tattoo. Two years ago, at the age of 99, Rosenthal got a small butterfly on her ankle as a gift to herself.

It doesn't get cooler than that. I got my first tattoo when I was just over 30. My husband and I created a symbol from our names combined for our seventh wedding anniversary. It was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done.

As the tattoo artist worked, I felt like a snake shedding my old skin. It was so empowering to take this skin and create something new, to create a symbol on my body that was all mine (and my husband's).

Adulthood is the perfect time to get tattooed. We've lived long enough to understand the meaning of permanence, we know what we want, and we've had enough hardship to make it that much more empowering.

I've heard friends describe the tattoos they got in their youth as "permanent reminders of temporary feelings." I like that, too.

Any time a person gets a tattoo, they make a permanent mark in their skin. They "reclaim" it, as Angelina Jolie has recently said about hers.

Tattoos are permanent and they are a reclamation of our own skin. We choose our own destiny, our own skin in many ways. A 101-year-old woman with enough joie de vivre and optimism to do something like that is impressive.

You are never too old to get tattooed! Just ask Mimi Rosenthal.

Do you think there is a "right" age to get a tattoo?


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