Tattoos. Do they age well?

I think that many people who get tattoos don’t take into consideration how styles and tastes change. I took the photo below in 1974 at the Sunbury pop festival in Victoria Australia. I’m sure that when the woman in the photo first got the tattoos she probably thought they were so cool. I bet they were the latest designs of their day and I also bet her friends egged her on with praise to get them. The trouble is, is that time moves on and style changes and flesh sags.

I wonder what she looks like now

I’ve shown this photo to various friends’ teenage children who said that they wanted to get a tat, in the hope they will see how ridiculous some things can look over time. On the same line, I can remember back in late sixties, as a young teenager, thinking to myself when I bought my first pair of Levi flared jeans that they were so classically cool that they’d never go out of fashion. The thing with flairs though, is they can be taken off easily.

I also remember back in 1980 when I was working in the carnival, one of my friends got himself drunk and a tattoo on the same night. It was a Pegasus complete with a unicorn’s horn. To make matters even lamer, the horn was crooked. When he showed it to me in the morning I offered him $200 (my weeks wage at the time), to compensate him for what he’d spent on the tat, if he’d let me scrub it out before the scab got too thick and the tattoo set. He said he liked it (he probably hadn’t even looked at it closeiy in a mirror by then) and that he wanted to keep it.

Let’s wind the years forward to 2007. I wonder if the woman in the photo (most likely in her late sixties or early seventies if she’s still alive) and the Carney still think that the indelible blurry kitsch in their skin is still so cool.

9 thoughts on “Tattoos. Do they age well?”

  1. It’s not about how she looks personally. I was referring to the design of the tattoos and how what seemed like a cool idea in one’s youth might lead to some regret later. The tribal tattoos of today might end up looking like the equivalent of the blue bird tattoos of the fifties, in some future time.

  2. Yes, but then the youth will regret not getting them if they don’t.
    In turn it’s all a matter if, your really do like it enough to have it imprinted on your body for the rest of your life.
    I mean for all you know that woman is still very proud of her tattoos and every morning when she’s taking a shower she smiles at her body art.
    It all matters about the person.

  3. I think that quite a few of her tattoos would still look good on a young person of today, there is nothing definatly ’70’s about them at all. I think though you should seriously think about getting one first and there should be a cooling off period before the art is permently on your body. I have been designing mine for 4 years so far, you see mine will represent my daughter and therefore I will never regret to as long as I shall live even if it gets stretched or wrinkled. I will know that it took so long to design for the best reason in the world.

    And as above I will be in my 80’s and still love it!

  4. you forget, things like tribal, have been around hundreds of years. And I think it still looks badass. But things like band names and cartoon characters or fuckin, your gf/bf name is stupid to get because things like that will fade. Some things that are cool now will be gone in ten years, but theres always other things that will last forever

  5. “I say to each his/her own.”

    Well you would say that considering that your website is all about tattoos.

    My point is that many tattoos are crap (like those so-called patriotic tattoos with the grim reaper and the skulls that you have on your front page)and also people’s tastes change. What many people think is cool when they are young is not the same as what they like when they get older.

    “I respect the fact that she is still displaying her body art at her age and she doesn’t look bad at all.”

    One person’s respect is another person’s disgust. I’d hardly call a bunch of blue bird tattoos “art”.

    When I was in Japan I saw some amazing tattoos in the bath houses and I’d say that those sort of tattoos were close to being art but I’d say most tattoos are really rubbish that the people who get them will regret as they get older.

    I also take issue with the lemmings that have a product logo tattooed on themselves. Talk about weak minded.

Comments are closed.