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Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Get a Tattoo in My 50s

By Marcia Kester Doyle
June 01, 2022

Don’t Tell Me I Can’t is a series designed to celebrate all the ways you can forge your own path in midlife and beyond.

Several years ago at a party, a woman in her 70s with seafoam highlights in her gray hair introduced herself as Alice, the host's grandmother. What caught my eye wasn’t her bold hair. Just above the neckline of her T-shirt, there was the orange-and-black tip of a tattoo showing. She saw me staring and pulled down her shirt to reveal a monarch butterfly tattoo above her left breast.

"It's brand new—my first tattoo," she said with a wink. "Why should young people have all the fun?"