Why Do People Get Tattoos?

Aug 30, 2016 | Turning 60 and Beyond | 1 comment

So why do people get tattoos? The reasons are as unique as the tattoos themselves. Tattoos have been around for 5,000 years or more and have a long history in cultures from Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania. The appearance of tattoos varied geographically but they always possessed a very specific meaning for the particular culture.

Most people get tattoos to mark a significant aspect of themselves or their life. Quite often they are symbols for belonging to a certain tribe of people; some do it as a form of rebellion. What comes instantly to mind for many is bad bikers in gangs. Others do it to remind oneself of a personal milestone or accomplishment or even a passage into a new stage of one’s life.

Why am I asking this question, you might wonder. Last week, August 25, 2016, I got my first tattoo. I wanted one for 20 years or so but didn’t have the courage; always afraid of what people would say, of being ridiculed. After all nice women don’t get tattoos. What’s changed now? If Judi Dench can get a tattoo at 71, I can too.  I fall into the realm of a personal milestone and a passage into a new stage of life. I am happy and content with who I am. I don’t fret so much about what others think about me and how I live my life. Here it is and to me represents that I love life and living.

My Tattoo

I decided about three months ago that I was actually going to get a tattoo before my 65th birthday. A lot of time was spent on the internet looking for something that spoke to me. I know that’s a question that will be asked over and over again. There are so many that it was hard at first to find just the right one, not too big, not too small. It has to be visible to me and to others. I finally came across this heart and eternity symbol, and put it away for a while. When I came back to it a month later, yes, it was the right choice.

Now with the first step accomplished, on to step two—finding the shop and artist to do it. There are three in Calgary that I either read about or were recommended to me but I really liked the first place I went, Strange World Tattoo. The shop was immaculate, there were people in the shop getting tattooed (I even got to watch for a few minutes) and they answered all my questions without making me feel like a total idiot. Janine was my artist of choice and she was wonderful. She’s been doing tattoos at Strange World for two years and another five in other shops. She was so good at keeping me calm; talked to me throughout the whole process explaining as she went. A Big Thank You to you, Janine.

Just in case you are wondering—yes, it hurt but not unbearable and now I have about three to four weeks to heal. Was it worth it? Yes, I love it. Will I get another one? Perhaps! One never knows!!