I like to see elderly tattooed people. I don’t mean elderly people who were tattooed many, many years ago and as a result their tattoos have aged along with them, no. Don’t get me wrong, that’s cool too, but what I think is really cool is when elderly people go out and get tattoos while they’re elderly.
That’s what Chicago, Illinois resident Helen Lambin is doing. Lambin, who won’t reveal her exact age and who will only say that she has three children in their 40’s and an 18-year-old granddaugther, has been getting tattooed since 2008.
‘”I was retired and I didn’t have to worry about how it might look in the workplace,” said Lambin, who used to be a program coordinator at Loyola University. “I was feeling depressed and I would not allow myself to be depressed, so I wanted to do something different. I decided I didn’t want to grow old gracefully.”‘
Not only has this new passion given Lambin a different take on life, but it’s also lead to a boost in her confidence, helping her to feel more comfortable about speaking out on the issues that matter to her.
‘”The ink, all colorful, well done — and never offensive, I hope — forms a bridge that reaches across age, gender, race and cultural borders.
“Now, I am not dim. I know that some groups of people — including young people — can be dangerous. … Any violence is terrible and tragic. But these kids — and to me they are kids — have been polite, friendly and fun. Even as I talk about meeting them, they probably go home and talk about the eccentric older lady with all the ink.”
But it’s not just the young people who open up. Lambin said her tattoos embolden her. Suited up, she can be mild-mannered and demure. But when she shows some skin, she becomes her real self: one who’s determined to speak out against sexism, racism, gender inequality and homophobia, among other topics.’
Great to see, really. I wish there were more elderly people like Helen Lambin. It’s refreshing to see someone her age who is so open minded and aware of what tattoos can and will do for an individual. I wish her all the best and hope she keeps on getting tattooed!