As many women in our community have told me, tattoos are not just for young people on spring break. A great number of older women, including Judi Dench, are choosing to celebrate their past, present and future in beautiful ink.
In Judi’s case, she decided to have the words “carpe diem” (seize the day) placed on her wrist to celebrate her 81st birthday. Even though I don’t have a tattoo personally, I admire Judi’s choice for several reasons.
The first reason that I appreciate her decision to get a tattoo at age 81 is that it represents our desire as older women to continue to express ourselves.
Unlike previous generations of older women who were forced into invisibility, we are free to be ourselves. We can pay attention to the latest fashion trends or make up our own rules. We can let our hair go grey or we can continue to color our hair blond, brown, purple or even pink, in the case of Helen Mirren.
I realize that getting a tattoo won’t appeal to every woman my age. At the same time, I love the fact that people like Judi and Helen are making it acceptable for those older women who want a tattoo to get one.
The second reason that I love Judi’s new tattoo is the message itself. A few weeks ago, I asked the women in our community to describe life after 60 in 2 words. The results were amazing.
In just a few hours, we had over 300 women join the conversation. They used words like “bloody marvelous,” “getting better,” “never busier,” “feeling great,” “having fun” and “loving wrinkles” to describe their lives.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that “carpe diem” is a perfect description of how most women feel about life after 60.
We have done so many things over the years. We have raised families. We have navigated the corporate world or started our own businesses. We have been girlfriends and wives, best friends and mothers. We have made mistakes and achieved so many things. Now, in our 60s, 70s and 80s, we finally realize just how precious every moment on this beautiful planet really is.
So, as Judi’s new tattoo says, carpe diem! Seize the day, my Sixty and Me sisters! Let’s show the world that life after 60 is something to be celebrated, not feared!
Do you have a tattoo? If so, why did you decide to get it? If not, would you ever get a tattoo? If so, what would it say? Please join the conversation.