© Do not reproduce images without permission

Why I won’t regret my tattoos when I’m 80

Who says I’ll get wrinkly anyway?

The first thing people ask when they see you have a tattoo is if it hurt. I always try to answer politely, comparing it to being continuously being stung by bees.

Then they ask whether I’ll regret having them when I’m older, which usually gets a less polite response! The short answer is, no. And here’s why…

They’re mine, why would I?

It’s the age old ‘it’s my body, I’ll do what I want with it’ argument, but it’s so right. I’m lucky to be in a position where getting art inked on my skin forever is possible. Some think it’s a terrible idea, but they’re not the ones being tattooed, so what does it matter?

I’m very sure that my tastes will change with age, but if someone wants a Boyzone montage across their back or the Gryffindor crest resting on their forearm, it’s their choice and theirs alone. I’m not sorry you have to look at my tattoos either, because they’re your eyes and you can do what you want with them too.

© Do not reproduce without permission — artwork by Rachel Baldwin/Bold as Brass.

Every single one is personal

I’m not exactly the tattooed lady, but for every design I have inked on my body, there’s a part of my life to match it. I got my first tattoo aged 18, determined to do what I wanted despite my mum and dad’s wishes. Even if it warps out of shape when I have kids, it’ll still be there to remind me of my own star-shaped teenage rebellion.

The black and grey swallows on my back mean the most to me. They’ll fly forever for a lost friend, so tell me how I could ever regret remembering one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known like this?

The tattoos on my feet are bright, detailed, quite large, and I’ve had nothing but compliments about them. The china cup, spoon and sugar lumps are a great reminder of time spent with grandparents and a nod to a childhood classic — Alice in Wonderland.

And the huge, colourful display on my thigh is a tribute to my family — me and my husband as our favourite dinosaurs, and our two cats playing by our side. It’s nothing but a happy moment I can look at forever.

I could be a badass grandma

I have no idea what I’ll be like as an 80-year-old, because I haven’t got there yet. When I was five, I didn’t know what I’d be like as a teen. And even at 29 now, I haven’t the foggiest about what my life will be when I turn 30. So, who’s to say I won’t be a badass picture book grandma able to tell stories about my past with a point of a finger at a wrinkled tattoo?

I won’t be able to defy gravity, but I’m planning on looking after my body the best I can. Having tattoos doesn’t affect my brain or my ability to move, it just means I’ll be the most colourful granny in the retirement home.

© Do not reproduce without permission — artwork by Stefano C./Frith Street Tattoo.

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