To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo

The world is divided into two kinds of people... Photo by: Mauro Luna

We’re been hearing about Angelina Jolie’s tattoos for years.  Now it seems as if all the young female celebrities have at least one.  Scarlett Johansson has a sunrise on her arm; its significance is personal.  Rihanna, Megan Fox, and Nicole Richie have nine each.  Katy Perry and Lindsay Lohan, among other singers and actresses, are catching up.

Miley Cyrus, just 19 years old, has been into ink for a while.  Her tats include a dream catcher on her torso, an anchor on her wrist, and a cross and heart on her hand.  “Just Breathe” is written on her ribcage and “LOVE” on her ear.  Her latest is an equals sign on her ring finger, symbolizing all love is equal.

Cher, now 65 year old, is credited, and rightly so, with bringing body art into the mainstream.  It matched her over-the-top sense of style.   “I don’t know why I like tattoos so much,” she has said. “I’ve had some of my tattoos for twenty years.  I love getting them.”  She takes them off, too, but it’s doubtful if she’ll ever take them all off.  Laser removal is a painful process.

Among Cher’s collection of work is a necklace with dangling charms, art deco crystal, a black orchid, a black rose, and a Chinese symbol meaning strength.  Her most prominent tattoo is a floral and butterfly motif imprinted on her derriere. How do we know this?  She has designed costumes made up of little more than a mesh body stocking to show it off, as she did in her music video “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Tattoos aren’t just for the young, but the young at heart, even if you’re over forty.

Jennifer Aniston, 42, got her first earlier this year on the inside of her right foot in honor of Norman, her recently departed Welsh corgi-terrier.  Meg Ryan, 49, now dating John Mellencamp, is inked with “Life is short.”  Melanie Griffith sports a large heart engraved with her husband’s name.  She acquired it after she and Antonio Banderas married fifteen years ago.  Now 54 year old, she still has no qualms about wearing sleeveless tank tops or strapless evening dresses.

... those who have tattoos and those who are afraid of people with tattoos. Photo by: bucaorg

Angel wings are popular designs.  So are references to family members.  When 61 years old, Susan Sarandon put a pattern of interlocking gothic-style letters representing her three children on her back.   The phrase “andand” is displayed around her wrist like a bracelet.  It stands for  “A New Dawn A New Day,” reminding her that she can always start over.

As Sarandon blithely noted, “I’ve only got my body for a few more years anyway.”

You’re never too old to try this for yourself.  Just remember that tattoos start to fade after seven years.  Then they just look old.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


  1. louisa may alcott says:

    Back in the day, we called this “dirt”..nothing that lye soap could not fix.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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