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Too Old For Body Art?
Interestingly, from time to time I come across a posting on a body art web forum where someone has stated that while tattoos are fine for younger people, they just aren't appropriate for middle-aged or older persons. Not surprisingly, most of these arguments seem to be based on purely personal preference or prejudice and don't carry the slightest whiff of facts to go with them.
Although great strides have been made in creating procedures that can remove or reduce the appearances of tattooing, for the most part it remains the permanent body art process that it has been for the last few thousand years. And given that tattoo removal averages out at costing ten times the cost of the original artwork to remove and is just as or more painful, it's not something that most tattooed people consider. Piercings are more easily removed, but as many young people who've gauged their ears are learning, that too is something that doesn't just reverse and heal itself. Ear lobe reconstruction is something that requires plastic surgeon skills and comes with the pricing to match.
As tattooing has gone from being a fad to a full-on mainstream trend, many more people are both considering the process as well as actually going through with getting the skin art. This increase at first saw a wild explosion of design choices and reasoning, but as the presence of tattooing in modern Western culture matures, so do the design choices and the people choosing to get them. Slowly but surely the bulk of the "I did it because it looks cool" people are done with getting tattoos and more people getting inked are choosing to do so to mark significant milestones and happenings in their lives. This reclaiming of meaning results in more people getting tattoos they can happily live with for the rest of their lives.
Wider acceptance has not only worked to broaden the pool of who is getting tattooed but has also created a greatly expanded perception of who might be a tattooed person. No longer is tattooing something that only fringe cultures engage in. Anyone and their grandmother might be tattooed, and it's not uncommon for that newly tattooed person to have gotten tattooed right along with Grandma as a shared experience. Sociologist and pop culture historians are starting to see that with an older population warming up to the idea of being tattooed, their great maturity and experience is leading them to be happier with their tattoo choices when they first make such choices in their 40s and 50s instead of their 20s and 30s.
This is a slow change and for sure, it's still clear that a majority of people expect someone with tattoos, piercings and brightly-colored hair to be someone under the age of thirty. However, speaking as a middle-aged person who has all those types of body art, and who finds herself being carded again in her early 40s, is it really so bad for people to think you are half your age?
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