The idea of adorning your body with art is not new. Tattoos have been around for millennia, with the oldest recorded found on an inked ‘iceman’ 5,300 years ago.
As recently as fifty years ago, having tattoos hinted you belonged to an outsider gang or were a biker, jailbird or criminal. Today though, you’re hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t inked or thinking of inking. Tattoos are pretty mainstream.
Australians love their ink! Research shows 1 in 5 Australians have a tattoo, and 20% have more than one. It’s not just the Gen Y’s getting inked either with 1 in 10 people over 45 having at least one tattoo.
Australian women are more likely than Aussie men to have a tattoo with 25% sporting at least one, compared to just 19% of men. Older women are saying hell yes to body art too, with numbers skyrocketing in recent years. Granny ink is all the rage these days, and while I’m not sure I love the term ‘granny ink’, I do love the cut of these ‘grannies’ jib.
Why? Why not!
Many women become bolder and more confident in themselves with age which might contribute to their decision to get ink. Personal and symbolic reasons often factor in as well, with some just starting to tick off their bucket lists.
My favourite 81 year old Aunty treated herself to a tattoo for her 60th birthday. She didn’t ask for anyones opinion and told no one she was getting it. This was her way of doing something just for herself. In her words, ‘I’d done everything that was expected of me my whole life, so this was just for me’. She has absolutely no regrets about her ink, and wears her bluebird with pride to this day.
I like to think we take on a more of a ‘why not’ mentality as we age. And let’s face it if not now — then when ladies? As for me, I’m a cleanskin … but one day why the hell not ?
Tracy is a media professional working in television. An enthusiastic explorer of the inter webs, she's held many different roles and has worked on documentary, reality and lifestyle television shows across almost two decades in the industry. Tracy also writes.