It might look like crap when you are 60, but you can always have it touched up. (you probably will want to, especially if it is on the foot as they tend to fade quickly.) I haven’t seen anyone with wrinkled feet or ankles personally, so I don’t know how worried I would be about that.
For me, part of what I love about my tattoos is that they age just like the rest of me. I have no problems with my ink, and don’t think it will look silly as I get older, but that’s me. But if you are planning on having laser surgery to remove the tat at some point, I would say don’t get it. If you aren’t comforable with the ink being a permanent part of your body, you shouldn’t get one.
If you do decide to get one, be sure you find a good artist who works in a clean shop and who will be willing and able to talk to you and give you EXACTLY what you want. You may also want to dummy draw the design on yourself with a sharpie and walk around with it for a few days to make sure it seems like something you could live with.
If it looks crap when you’re 60, then, it looks like crap when you’re 60. Unless you plan on winning beauty contests at 60, I wouldn’t worry about it. At 42, everything is already changing in ways I Do Not Approve Of.
And I’m anti-tattoo, but pro “do anything you like within reason to your own body.”
From what I hear, tattoo inks have come a long way in the last few decades. They say that if you get one now, in 30 years it will not have faded or blurred as much as the 30-year-old tattoos you see on someone today.
Using sunscreen (or getting it where the sun don’t shine ) will keep it looking good longer.
I agree that if you are worried about future removal, it may not be a good idea for you.
If you decide to get one, care is important. Especially at first. You need to wash the area twice daily with antibacterial soap that is fragarance free. You should also moisturize the area twice daily also with a fragarance and dye free moisturizer. Your local tattoo shop should carry and/or be able to recommend some appropriate products.
Also, I might suggest hitting your local pub for tattoo advice. You’re not likely to find too many badasses around here.
I’ve heard this, too, about today’s ink not fading so much but how can we possibly know until 30 or 40 years have passed? I’ve seen a lot of tattoos that are 30, 40, even 50 years old. They are faded and blurry and saggy and stretched out. But who cares? Nobody in the nursing home will even remark on them.
I got a tattoo on my left forearm for my 19th birthday. It was a nice anchor with USN on it. 33 years later I have a black blob on my arm that faintly resembles an anchor. A few years ago I inquired into laser removal, it would cost about $2000 and would leave a patch of skin on my arm that would never tan or really look normal. Looking back, I wish I never got it. Getting one in a less visible location might not be as bad.
I think there are quite a few people around here with tattoos. A lot of tattoos, not just small ones.
I agree with the rest of your statement though. Care is really important, keep it clean when you’re just starting, and listen to your tattoo artist. Bring a picture of what you want, with color, when you talk to your artist for the first time.
Also, be prepared for it to itch when it’s healing, and also be prepared to NOT scratch it. I say this as I’m really, really trying not to scratch my newest one right now, it just got to the “itchy stage” this morning.
Your foot/ankle area is going to sag/wrinkle less than a lot of other parts of your body, too. Especially if you keep it out of the sun - always wear sunscreen when it’s uncovered, it’ll help prevent fading.
Hippos, my only advice on getting a tattoo would be what I give to everyone else:
Pick a design that you want to have on your body forever, and then decide to have it as a tattoo, not the other way around (for the love of god DO NOT walk into a tattooist and flick through a book to find one the day you plan to get it done, there is no way you won’t regret it).
When you have a design you want write in your diary “found tattoo design”. Then, go ahead six months and write in your diary “Can now have tattoo”. If in six months you still want the tattoo then you’ll want it for the rest of your life. If you can’t wait six months to get it you’re doing it for the wrong reasons (or really haven’t though this through properly).
Illuminatiprimus: proudly sporting a massive tattoo for the last 10 years without a single day of regret.
My opinion–and I’m not much of a fan of tattoos–is that unless what it will look like when you are 60 is the least of your concerns, you should not get a tattoo.
Far higher on my list of suggested concerns:
Can I conceal this tattoo for a job interview? Not that there aren’t times and places where having a tattoo won’t disqualify you for the job, just that being able to choose whether the tattoo is visible is generally a good thing.
Can I conceal this tattoo if I’m asked to be in a wedding party? Now, maybe you are a guy, and thus a normal suit or even just normal pants and socks will cover the ankle. But if you are a woman, there may be occassions where being able to wear sandals or nice heels (with or without pantyhose or nylons) would be a good thing. On many of those occasions, a small tattoo will not be a deal breaker. But think about the potential for wanting to cover it up before you get it.
And do some research on how to care for the tattoo and what colors will fade least, etc. Give some thought to whether the design you want is timeless or likely to be quickly dated “Go, Obama”.
Consider getting some form of temporary tattoo–then you can play with having a tattoo on your ankle–have a decorated ankle for fun–but you don’t have to worry about what it will look like in thirty-odd years.
If you’re worried about what it’s going to look like on your forearm or neck at 60, you should choose a different spot for your first tattoo. If you’re worried about how it’s going to look on your back or your ass at 60, I’d suggest not taking your clothes off in front of strangers at that point period.