I got my first tattoo almost 15 years ago when I was a senior in high school. (Note to young readers: Really think about whether high school is the best time to decide to get a tattoo. The answer is probably no. Okay, preachy mom moment over.) Even though I was a teenager, the most frequent comment people made about my new tattoo was, "Yeah, but what will it look like when you're old and wrinkly?" I even had one teacher (whom I loved) ask, "What are you going to do when it sags?" To which I replied, "Well... it's not really in a spot particularly prone to sagging." (It's not.) "Oh honey," she replied, "it aaaaaallllll sags." These foreboding words were terrifying for so many reasons, but specific to my tattoo, it definitely raised concerns. Because what did I know? Do tattoos stretch as you get older? How was I supposed to know? Fortunately, this new video from Buzzfeed elegantly answers that favorite concern troll question via badass images of seniors sporting tons of ink. So, what will your tattoos look like when you're old? In a word: awesome. In two words: Completely awesome.
Certainly tattoos have enjoyed a mainstream cultural moment in the U.S. over the past decade or so that they have not previously. Once adorning only those on the fringe of "polite society," it is now estimated that 1 in 5 adults has a tattoo, and that number goes up to 40% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29. It's no longer weird to see a housewife with a rose on her ankle, or a youth minister with full sleeves. So in a few decades, we will be seeing a large portion or perhaps even a majority of senior citizens tatted up. Based on the preview in this video, it's going to be pretty cool.
There are lots of arguments not to get a tattoo: a lot of them are valid, a lot of them are not. I think we've now settled where the "but it'll look bad when you're old!" argument falls on that spectrum.