Tattoo – Why I Decided to Get One After 40




verb: tattoo; 3rd person present: tattoos; past tense: tattooed; past participle: tattooed; gerund or present participle: tattooing
1. mark (a person or a part of the body) with an indelible design by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin.
“his cheek was tattooed with a winged fist.”
2. make (an indelible design) on a part of the body by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin.
“he has a heart tattooed on his left hand.”

noun: tattoo; plural noun: tattoos
1. a design made by tattooing.

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Growing up, there were things that I always wanted to do but was scared to do because of what my parents or my friends would think.

One major thing I have wanted for a long time is a tattoo. Getting a tattoo, in my mind, could make or break long-held relationships. I didn’t want to suffer the wrath of what would happen if I did something to myself that was permanent, and my parents disapproved. You also have the disapproval of friends to deal with as well, but sometimes you have both. You don’t want to seem like the delinquent or renegade friend. You always want to fit in with the crowd. You want your parents to like everything you do.

Enter – The Tattoo.

A few of my friends got tattoos as soon as they were legally able to go to the tattoo parlor without parental consent – 18 years old. One of my dear friends went with her father; he actually took her for her birthday to get her first tattoo. Wasn’t that awesome? To me, that was everything. My house was not that lenient when it came to things like that.

My family is West Indian, and my parents (from Trinidad and Jamaica) had a hard stance on tattoos and body piercings. You know what the stance was? DON’T GET IT DONE. End of story. If you did get it done, be ready for the looks, the constant comments, the phone calls to all of the other relatives, and the loud talking at family events. The funny thing is, my father gave himself a tattoo years and years ago, and he said he regrets doing it (you can barely see the thing, lol).

Fast forward to my awareness awakening. I am guessing it happened around the time I turned 40.

I started to give zero clucks about what everyone thought about what I wanted to do with my life, my body, my choice of events to attend, my everything. So long as I was not hurting anyone with my choices, then it was all right.

I decided I wanted tattoos of my kids’ names on my feet. If you ask anyone who has gotten tattoos, they will tell you that this area of the body is one of the most painful areas to get a tattoo. I have to agree. And for that reason, I decided to get my kids’ names tattooed on my feet all in one session.

I will tell you that I have gone through a lot of pain throughout my years, including pregnancy and vaginal childbirth. But these tattoos? They took pain to another level. I had one name completed, and I breathed a sigh of relief; until I realized that I had another name to do on the other foot! I have never had sweaty palms or feet until this occurrence.

When the tattoos were finally done, a sense of euphoria came over me. I have meaningful tattoos on my feet, something I will never regret.

I also threw all my clucks out the window and didn’t care what my parents would think when they saw them. This feeling of accomplishment was so overwhelming. I still look at my feet in amazement. So much, that I got a second tattoo earlier this year on my back shoulder. Three butterflies. Each butterfly to signify my children, with a smaller one in between the two larger ones. This smaller butterfly represents my angel baby that left this world via miscarriage at 11 weeks 5 days.

So, I guess you can say I waited to get tattoos to be meaningful enough to me that I would never be ashamed of getting them. I beam with pride when people notice them or ask questions about them.

The friends in my life are happy about my tattoos and are especially excited that I got them and love them. My parents have not said one word about them. I haven’t shown them off to my parents, just because I know what they would say. But I do not hide my tattoos. I embrace my tattoos because they are a part of my life and are representative of my life. Will I get another tattoo? Maybe. They say tattoos are addicting, you know.

Do you have a tattoo?


  1. Love this Joni! So happy for you with your new found FREEdom… Believe me I know all too well how we hinder ourselves for others, and freeing ourselves from that is so liberating.
    Proud of you sis!

  2. Love love LOVE THIS!!! I, too, come from a family that is NOT accepting or appreciative of tattoos. My mother did acquiesce recently and gave her permission for me to get permanent eyeliner!! Isn’t that just a scream?!?!?!!! I haven’t done anything yet because I haven’t figured out what would best represent what I want to say forever…or where I want to say it…BUT…love, love, love that someone else GETS IT!! Congratulations on your amazingness!!

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