Before she passed away aged 77, Isobel Varley held the Guinness World Record for being the “most tattooed female senior citizen”, with over 90 per cent of her body covered in ink. 

“What will your tattoos look like when you’re 60?”

Well, that’s the never-ending question that we’ll all face for the rest of our lives, but that question may soon change as the latest trend in the world of tattoos is that older people are taking the leap to get tatted and it comes with good reason.

A recent study from Remember A Charity has revealed that five percent of us get our first tattoo after turning 60. Yes. That’s a factual study and we’ve experienced an influx of older clientele right here at Skin Design Tattoo so we see it ourselves. From couples visiting Las Vegas, to locals, older folks are getting tattoos because of many reasons.

Many have said that it marks important events in their lives, some say it’s because the art work and options have gotten better, but either way it’s a new trend that’s here to stay.


Take a look at 79-year-old Sadie Sellers who got her first tattoo (a small love heart) in July, after she’d been convinced by her granddaughter Samantha: “When you get to my age, you just have to live life to the full every day. I was talking about it with Samantha for a couple of weeks and she showed me hers. She came in one day after her holiday and I just thought, ‘I’ll get one too!’ 

“I’m absolutely made up with mine. I asked the fella how long it would take and he said it had finished five minutes ago. I never felt a thing. He just laughed at me.”

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When Louise Hartford turned 90, she realized that she had to come good on a promise she had made some 40 years ago. Ironically enough, she remembers being livid when her grandson first opened up, “Toledo Tattoo Company.” Some years later, she eventually loosened up and promised him that she’d get a tattoo from him before the age of 65, but she found herself pushing it off.


“So I had to break down and get my tattoo at 90 because I don’t know how many more years I got and I always tell them to keep your promise if you make a promise to somebody,” said Louise. To make good on that, she decided to get a flower tattoo which she drew and it was her great-grandson that gave her the tattoo.

Talk about leading by example. Good job Louise!